QR Podcast – Mark Tomlinson

Always enjoy catching up system performance guru, bon vivant, and one of the nicest guys in our business, Mark Tomlinson. Aside from discussing his responsibility for getting this “podcast” interview series started, we have an extending discussion on “thought leaders” and expertise, innovation, ethics, and whats with all those “boring” testing conferences! (FWIW I had to cut over 30 mins of laughing, joking, and cross talk at the beginning and end of this!) Enjoy!


QR Podcast – Trish Khoo

Google v Microsoft? Ducks v Fish? Dungeons and Dragons? That means I could only be talking to one person – Trish Khoo! Listen in as we discuss making it as a tester in todays world, mental health, and what to do with all those extra ducks! Check out our chat on the latest QR Podcast! Enjoy!


A brief comment on “Thought Leaders”

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” Richard Feynman

I don’t believe in “thought leaders”. In my opinion based on my experience, too often the views of people biased towards very specific practices limited to certain contexts are given far too much weight. I believe you should research, question, and experiment in your own ways and means and draw your own conclusions based on that evidence. By all means draw on the practical experiences and advice of seasoned professionals, but don’t take what you hear as unquestionable fact.

There is a big difference between respecting a professional opinion and blind faith. People are the biggest contributor to any context, and people are messy, so find what works for you and your team and go with that.

In regards to “thought leaders” brow beating, bullying, discouraging, or otherwise using their position in the community to silence dissent or alternative views – knock it off. The title of “thought leader” is not a mantle to be claimed, it’s offered by a community and in my view carries with it the burden of modeling positive behavior. As well, if your ideas can’t suffer scrutiny or challenge, guess what, you were probably fully of shit and survivorship bias away…

Good luck and don’t stop questioning the “experts” in their own backyard…

Culture Is More Than A Mindset – Agile Testing Days 2017

So honored and excited to be giving this talk at Agile Testing Days this year with my pal, Ash Coleman! Hope to see you there! 

Culture Is More Than A Mindset

How language around work culture can foster an environment of growth and agility.

Changing culture is hard. Organizational values that define culture are deeply rooted in hiring practices, incentive programs, and management frequently based on practices and not shared principles. As well, there is often the illusion that a workplace is an environment built on those principles, but is often framed by what you DON’T say, not necessarily by what you do say. Meaningful change can only come through a clear minded assessment of the state of your industry, business and culture, and begins with a hard look at your own participation in those communities.

Through this talk, Ash and Keith will explore the structural barriers to attracting “like-mindedness” and how the way you advertise your workplace signals the underpinning values of your business. We will talk about what these words are really saying about your business and how you can affect better outcomes. We will talk about ways the testing community can lead by example in “attracting the right fit” and how our language around culture and opportunities at our organizations can either impose discrete limits on our development or can foster an environment for growth and agility.


QR Podcast – Launch and Damian Synadinos Interview

Hey everyone! I know you’ve been wondering, “when will there be ANOTHER software testing podcast” – well, the wait is finally over! I’m starting a new interview series hosted on the QR Podcast page and focusing on talking to interesting people in or around our business about stuff I want to know. Hope you enjoy my first episode with Damian Synadinos…cheers!


RTC 2017 – NOT talking about testing…

There’s not much more I can say about the quality of the Romanian Testing Conference, than to just point you in the direction of the speakers page. I have to hand to chair Rob Lambert and the team at RTC, they put on one hell of a conference. The venue was fantastic, the proceedings seamless, and as for attendees you couldn’t ask for much more. Having never been to Cluj, I didn’t know what to expect, but whatever those expectations might have been, they were far exceeded. The folks at the conference were engaged, critical, and after decent amount of antagonizing them in my workshop, even started to push back under my questioning!

Continue reading

Debugging Your Test Team – QASymphony QualityJam 2017

Had a great time giving this keynote at QASymphony’s QualityJam in Atlanta last month. Check out the other videos HERE…enjoy!

2017 State of Testing Report

Happy to be supporting the State of Testing report again…keeps getting better every year! Nice!

Get the full report HERE

Nevertheless, she persisted…

Hey everyone – This is the editorial I wrote for the latest edition of Women Testers. I took it as a chance to spotlight some influential women I’ve had the pleasure to either work with or learn from. The full edition can be found here. Thanks! – KK

Examples matter. In my experience, behavior modeling is one, if not THE most powerful influences on how we treat people and develop professionally either individually or as an organization. As someone who has led groups of all shapes and sizes and has reported into the highest levels of enterprise tech, I can assure you people are watching. Watching and emulating. That’s why examples matter – but if they are to have a positive impact they have to be seen.

Over the last twenty years I have had the opportunity to work with countless amazing, strong, intelligent women. Through this editorial, I wanted to take the opportunity to shine a light on some people who have had, and continue to have, the biggest impact on me professionally and inspire me personally. They became my examples to emulate by mentoring me, kicking my ass, and just being generally awesome at what they do. As well, as a father of two young boys, it is extremely important for them, so they can see things as they are and how they should be.

So here are some of my heroes – the smart, fierce, funny, and influential women who inspire me to be my best. Enjoy! Continue reading

Help a Friend in the Software Testing Community

Hi everyone – Kristoffer Nordström is a dear friend to the software testing community. He has been met with a terrible brain tumor diagnosis for his little girl, Linnea. To help them out, I’ll be donating from speaking fees I get this year from TestBash, Romanian Test Conference, QualityJam, CopenhagenContext and anything else that pops up to their YouCaring fund.

If you’re a speaker on software testing conference circuit and can afford donating from speaking fees / honorariums, I would encourage you to join me. Please consider doing whatever you can to help and apologies for the personal plea…thanks – Keith

YouCaring Donation Site

Elections Matter

Having recently attended and presented a keynote at my first Agile Testing Days in Germany, I wanted to respond to the sad news that Agile Testing Days US has been cancelled “due to the current political situation in the USA.” I had heard the rumors and  as they had invited me to come to Boston and support the  event, I reached out to the conference organizers to see if there was anything I could do to change their minds. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done to salvage the conference as speakers had already pulled out and attendees were either concerned about getting into the US or had already changed their plans. As well, AgileTD has a very strong commitment to diversity and out of respect to their values a principled stance against discrimination needed to be taken.

As  heartbreaking as this is for me as a testing professional and American, I completely understand and support this decision. Elections matter. What is going on the US political environment and in a broader cultural sense has consequences, and unfortunately I don’t think we’ve seen the last of cancellations like this. Personally, I would have loved to see the conference go on as planned and damn the torpedoes of hate and oppression, but it wasn’t my decision to make. I fully support the organizers of AgileTD and have offered my support in any way for their future events. Best of luck to everyone in these troubling times and stay safe. 


QASymphony Webinar Q&A Follow Up

Thanks everyone for attending my webinar with Tekmark and QASymphony – I had a great time doing it and there were so many questions we grouped them into themes. Here are my answers and as usual, these are just like, my opinions. Hope to see you all on the conference circuit soon! Cheers! Continue reading