Testing Machines that Think

The Risks, Challenges and Opportunities for Testers

Giving a signal boost for my new colleagues at KPMG UK for their first of a series of testing webinars. In this webinar, to be held virtually on Wednesday 2 December between 16:00–17:00 GMT, we will discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and other related technologies through the lens of software testing.

You can register for the webinar HERE, where our presenters will focus on testing implications for ‘Machines that Think’ – discussing the new challenges and risks associated with using AI & ML, and what we, as Test Professionals need to do to be ready.

We will demonstrate a worked example of how we have used AI in Defect Analytics, followed by an opportunity for Q&A.

Speakers

  • Sally Drew, Senior Manager – Testing Services, KPMG in the UK
  • Abdulla Mohammad, Manager – KPMG in the UK

the road is life.

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” – Jack Kerouac

A quick update that after 20+ years in a business that’s taken me to over 20 countries and 6 international moves, I’ve decided it’s time for one more run down the road. I am very happy to announce that I’ve relocated once again to the UK and taken a role with KPMG as a Director in their Testing Services business.

I’m excited to join the team and look after the the banking sector while expanding our partnerships and growing what is already an award winning practice. Thanks to everyone that helped make this possible and I wish only the best for my friends at Orion and Fiserv.

More to come once I get settled in, and I hope to see you around soon! Cheers!

The beatings will continue until morale improves . . .

I got a few questions about org dysfunction and how it specially relates to software testing, so I figured it would be easier to address them here as sort of a “reply all” to the different channels where I’ve made those comments.

Merriam-Webster defines “dysfunction” as: 1: impaired or abnormal functioning or 2: abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group. In my experience, organizational dysfunction occurs when leadership have misperceptions about how the organization is designed and actually operates, but more fundamentally, not understanding that the organization is performing EXACTLY as designed.

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Upon further review…

I tweeted this out the other day in response to watching a project manager get abused by a “senior IT director” over defects being found by clients that they clearly felt should have been “caught by QA”. Apparently this resonated with the testing community as the reactions have been overwhelmingly in support of the sentiment and anti-bullying position.

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QR Podcast – Ethics Panel

Very happy to dusting off the QR Podcast with my pals Fiona Charles, Dan Billing, Ash Coleman, and our returning champion Michael Bolton to discuss ethics in technology, the responsibilities of software testers, and all that “big brother” noise lately about contact tracing apps in the age of COVID-19. Check it out HERE… Enjoy!

Citations

Barnes, Austin. “White House Expected to Endorse KC-Built COVID-19 Exposure Tracking App.” Startland News (blog), March 19, 2020.

“Pandemic Data Could Be Deadly for the Old.” Bloomberg.Com, April 21, 2020.

“The Covid-19 Tracking App Won’t Work.” Bloomberg.Com, April 15, 2020.

Gizmodo. “Trump Admin Gives Coronavirus Tracking Contract to Peter Thiel’s Palantir: Report.” Accessed April 22, 2020.

Tech Ethics and the “Big Ask”

Recently I saw a Twitter thread asking the software testing community for volunteers to work on the SafePaths “contact tracing” app being developed by MIT. This project is made of up ex-Facebook execs, companies with questionable ethical pasts, and vague statements like “a number of leaders and personnel” and “experts from government agencies”. I’m sorry but that isn’t even remotely good enough for a project of this depth and scale.  

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Center Left: Operational Models in Enterprise Test Transformation

UPDATE: Due to the changes in the Accelerate format, I will no longer be presenting at the conference. I’ll continue to find a venue for this talk as soon as possible…thanks!

Over the course of my career, I’ve tried to help enterprise technology organizations get the most from their testing efforts. A regular conversation I have with IT leadership concerns the right organizational structure (centralized, decentralized, hybrid) to ensure they’re testing the right things at the right time in a lean and efficient manner.

As they transition to agile and continuous testing, many enterprise test teams are struggling with the right operating models, data, and measures to meet the needs of their business and development partners. At Tricentis Accelerate 2020 in San Francisco, I’ll explore the different approaches I’ve used in helping test centers adapt to the ever changing world of enterprise software quality management. Hope to see you there!

I Don’t Think That Means What You Think it Means (Enterprise Software Testing Metrics)

In my travels as a management consultant focusing on testing and quality in the enterprise, I see a lot of well-intended “symptom treating” in agile/CICD/devops transitions. Recently I’ve been advising one of the biggest mergers in the industry on combining their testing operations and how to “transform” into a leaner model. I haven’t blogged in while, but people have been asking me about some of the workshops I’ve been taking them through with a particular interest in metrics (as usual), so I figured this was as good a topic as any to start writing again.

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Accelerate SF – Back to the Reporting Future!

I had a great time catching up with old friends and talking about new ways to visualize software quality at Tricentis Accelerate in San Francisco. Aside from hanging out and talking testing with Paul Grizzaffi on his continuing hunt for Sasquatch, and my partner at Prestige Worldwide, Martin Hynie, I also got a front row seat for Ash Colemans fantastic talk, “When You Say Context, Does That Include Me?”

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Tricentis Accelerate SF

Hey everyone! I’ll be giving a talk this year at the Tricentis Accelerate SF conference on May 22nd – hope to see you there!

Who are you going to believe – me or your own eyes? (Rethinking data visualization in testing)

Perception is reality. How we “see” things, influences our feelings about them and guides our decision-making process whether we realize it or not. Matching perception with reality should be a primary objective of the information produced from testing software – but frequently, our tools and methods and have let us down, and often astray. Traditional test reporting can drive dysfunctional practices, introduce fragility, and distract us from business risk. Through this talk, Keith will discuss different models of “seeing” systems and quality, and how advancements in modeling and machine learning may soon be helping us bridge the gap between our perception and reality.

All Your QA Is Hate You: Software Quality Anti-Patterns in Testing

I’m doing a series of talks with QASymphony this fall…here’s the video and abstract  – Enjoy!

All Your QA Is Hate You: Software Quality Anti-Patterns in Testing

From metrics-based micromanagement to the law of triviality, software testing has been subjected to a standard set of responses to testing’s ambiguous, unchartered journey into a sea of bias and experimentation. There are many anti-patterns associated with managing software testing and their effect on quality, from how you organize and fund testing, to the tools you use to automated and manage the process. Through this talk, Keith will explore common solutions to problems regularly encountered by software testing efforts and the unintended consequences, dysfunction, and risks they introduce to your organization.

REPOST: QR Podcast – Jerry Weinberg

I never got to meet Jerry, but I did get to spend a few wonderful hours with him for the QR Podcast. The shadow that he cast over the testing industry and all of technology is impossible to fathom, so in honor of his recent passing, I’m reposting our discussion. Thanks – KK

QR Podcast – Jerry Weinberg

What more can I say about Jerry Weinberg than hasn’t already been said? He’s been consulting and writing for over 50 years, including seminal works like The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software, and The Secrets of Consulting. In the business of software testing, he has influenced ways of thinking about quality, value, and the role of testing in software development. Check us out (and Jerry’s ringing phone!) HERE discussing leadership, diversity, the state of software testing, and how to remain relevant after 60 years in the business. Enjoy!