Tuesday 02 Apr 17:30

Tester Interrupted: On the Evolution of a Craft and a Role

James Bach


LEVEL: Intermediate

We will begin this evening with mingle and something lighter to eat.


This is what testing means: look carefully at a product to discover if it has important problems in it. Do you think you can create anything complex and important without testing it? No. You also should not drive with your lights off at night, or click on links provided in unsolicited emails from Nigeria. I mean, you CAN do these things-- but it won't end well.

Testing is important, unless bugs don't matter. But there are those who say that bugs can be avoided with good engineering practices. (It's true that some can be avoided completely, and others reduced.) There are also those who say that that you can automate all the tests you need. (It's true that lots of valuable testing-related activities can be automated, in principle.) But these these don't eliminate the need for testing, any more that the invention of the compiler eliminated the need for programming.

In this talk, I will explain how the testing role is changing, as the programming role has changed over the years. It's changing, and it may be rearranged in significant ways, but I will argue that there will always be a need for skilled and dedicated testers on projects that matter, just as there will always be a need for skilled and dedicated programmers.

Speaker; James Bach

James has been a programmer and tester for 29 years. He is best known for attacking all forms of bureaucratic nonsense that so many consulting companies call "process improvement." James helps companies grow skilled people-- a difficult and often messy process-- which is the only way that you can build software reliably and quickly. The ONLY way. Process documents, tools and metrics, which can be helpful, have merely a peripheral, supporting role. Understand this, or else you will suffer-- anyway that's what James has built his career on. James created the Rapid Software Testing methodology (step one of which is "learn how to test") and teaches it around the world. A self-educated man who is both the father and son of self-educated men, he wrote Lessons Learned in Software Testing, as well as Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar.

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