Oredev 2023: 8-10 Nov – Malmö, Sweden

Really excited to back in Sweden on the QA conference circuit this year speaking at Oredev in November! I’ll be giving a talk: The Great Liberation – Software Quality Management in the Age of AI on some research I’m doing on artificial intelligence in testing. I’ll cover the complexity and consequences of incorporating AI and how testers should approach testing and the range of tools becoming available. I’ll also talk about what IMO, the software testing industry needs to do to adapt to the reality of AI in testing. Hope to see you there!

“I’m no longer interested in the outcome . . .”

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. – George Carlin

Eric Schmidt just saying the quiet part out loud now…

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A rising tide grifts all bots. . .

“When the tide goes out, you see who has been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffet

I’ve been reviewing a lot of material for a larger piece I’m writing on the use of #chatgpt and various other “#artificialintelligence” tools in #softwaretesting and I have to say one thing as a preview – the state of what the #testing community views as testing is amazingly poor.

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That break you had was your leg . . .

On my way to work this morning, I was thinking about yet another in a long list of laid off #softwaretesters reaching out to me for a referral because they’re worried about the job market, the future of #testing, and most recently being replaced by “#ai-chat-whatever-the-bot-GPT” BS and it hit me – we’re just doing this….right?

We’re just pretending that the #techbro banking crisis, privacy invasions, wilful ethical violations, and disaster capitalism during a multi-year pandemic just didn’t happen? We’re just getting back on that train?

Well that just sucks…

So with the power (not) invested in me, you all can take the next 6 months off to sleep, grieve, catch your breath, or do whatever you need to start to deal with this trauma, because we have to have learned we’re able to do better than this….right? 😊

Software testing job insurance . . .

GPT-4 saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there were no more evenings, and there were no more mornings – just endless days…

“GPT-4 can take a picture of napkin mockup as an input and output a fully functional website (HTML/CSS/JS)”


“Manual” testing . . .

I worked with a client recently who was frustrated by all the “manual” interventions required to run their “100% fully automated” test suite. Irony aside, as an industry we really need to rethink the amount of sales nonsense we let dominate the public conversations around the value proposition of automation in testing. Terminology in our business is usually polarised and emotionally charged, but I’ve always believed that semantical arguments are worth having even if we can’t agree what to call stuff. Examples like this are just a symptom of a greater problem we have of letting vendors and <shudder> consultants sell us “fully-100%-automated-defect-predictonators” (said in your best Dr. Doofenshmirtz voice) for the last couple decades. We can do better and as well, when these ideas get into the business case, we are just undermining ourselves anyway…

The importance of good resources . . .

I’m doing some work on “documenting” my approach to reviewing software testing operations and I keep coming back to a couple resources. I forget sometimes how much Griffin Jones talk on “What is Good Evidence” and amongst several of his works, James Christies post “Not “right”, but as good as I can do” have influenced my work. They are both brilliant thinkers and contributed a lot to the testing profession…enjoy!

Happy Holidays and 2022 Testers!

Just wanted to send the quality engineering and software testing communities a short holiday note of appreciation for all the work you do.

Testing software is hard. Very hard. And not unlike plumbers, your effort is frequently not appreciated when things are working and first to be criticized when things go wrong.

Years ago I wrote a post trying to define why I like the business of software testing and specifically working with testers and why our work is so difficult.

“Testers spend their days trying to figure out what “might” go wrong by looking for ways a product is already broken – staring into the cosmic abyss of the impossibility of complete testing for all of us takes it toll. All the while competing in an industry teeming with unenlightened vendors, consultants and “experts” undermining their own value proposition by selling “bug free” methodologies, certified super-tester training programs and “automated algorithmic defect predictonators”.”

It doesn’t have to be like this, but it is, and there are lots of us fighting every day to make life better for testers while you make our systems safer, more reliable, and more equitable for the people who use them.

So from me, to you, thank you for all your hard work and know that I see it and appreciate it, even if a lot the world always doesn’t.

Wishing you a happy holiday season and great New Year.


Damian draws strangers . . .

Can’t love this enough! Many thanks to Damian Synadinos for the amazing artwork he does at I Draw Strangers. His drawing perfectly captured my “not you again with the same bullshit” look, so check him out and give him a commission to counter all this AI art crap! Cheers!

Letting Sleeping Watchdogs Lie . . .

I’m working on a larger piece on #artificalintelligence, testing and ethics, but I had to say something about the really depressing panel on #ethics and #AI I attended at the Cyber Security and Cloud Exp in London today. The conference in general (Cyber Security & Cloud Expo | Technology Conference | London (cybersecuritycloudexpo.com) was a great event and really well done, but I heard two comments from the “Keeping it Ethical in AI” panel that left my mouth hanging open.

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Software Testers Survival Guide: Interview tips . . .

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.Groucho Marx

The hits just keep coming these days, with new tech sector layoffs being announced seemingly on a daily basis. And as we limp into 2023, there are rumors that this is more than just a reaction to the market, but a new era being ushered in for austerity measures for hiring in tech. In light of this, I wanted to get something out to folks on interviewing tips to accompany my advice on how to stand out as a tester during economic downturns. For a more in depth analysis on managing your career in testing, I would point you to stellar works from Benjamin Kelly on and David Greenlees as well what I consider as essential reading on succeeding in tech, Secrets of Consulting by Gerald Weinberg.

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All models are wrong, but some are useful . . .

In light of the current state of hiring in tech right now, this talk seems pretty relevant again and hopefully sheds some light on how test teams are often reviewed for performance…enjoy!

“Over the course of my career I’ve reviewed the performance of countless software testing organizations, test teams, and testers looking for ways we can improve. Typically, the first suggestion when asked “how can we improve the state of testing here”, usually relates to something that OTHER people should do. Very few people or teams take an introspective approach to improvement based on their own values and principles. This talk is the review model and heuristics I use to identify things that are working and areas for improvement including efficiency, process improvement, and aligning your test approach for relevance to your business.”