“CAST Live”

Posted October 3, 2014 by dynamoben
Categories: Software Testing

I realized the other day that I’ve been involved with something for years that I’ve failed to mention here. Since 2011 I’ve hosted an evening show at CAST where I interview interesting testers as part of AST’s conference live-stream.

If you didn’t know about it or haven’t had a chance to check it out please do.

Direct link to the “CAST Live” interviews on YouTube »

webCAST 2014

Posted July 19, 2014 by dynamoben
Categories: Software Testing

I will be at the helm again this year running the livestream for CAST 2014. It’s totally free and worth checking out! I’ll also be hosting an evening show called “CAST Live” on the 12th and 13th at the end of the conference day.

Reminder: Have twitter open while you are watching so you can ask questions of the speakers via the tweet printer.


Dice.com: Interview on Interviewing Testers

Posted June 19, 2014 by dynamoben
Categories: Software Testing

A few weeks ago a writer for Dice.com approached me about interviewing testers. She was doing a series centered around interview questions for technical positions; good responses, bad responses, and rational. I’ve written about interviewing and been part of panel discussions before (Part I, Part II) so I was honored to have the opportunity to chat with her about interviewing. Check it out and comment if you feel compelled.

“Interview Questions for Novice Software Testers” – Dice.com

Software Testing Patch

Posted June 11, 2014 by dynamoben
Categories: Software Testing

A while back I created a software testing patch. While I never had it made I thought it was still worth sharing.

The eye is for observation, the lightning bolt is for action, the day is knowledge, the night is the unknown, the square waves are software, and the banner reads “Light From Darkness.”


Tester’s Creed

Posted May 12, 2014 by dynamoben
Categories: Software Testing

Tirelessly I shall defend my craft as cognitively complex, empirical, and scientific.

Energetically I will meet each challenge set before me. For each challenge allows me to stretch my abilities which makes me a stronger, more skilled tester.

Stakeholders shall be the cornerstone of my existence, and I shall strive to provide quality-related information in a timely manner.

Thoughtfully I will design and execute my testing, keeping context at the forefront of my mind.

Education shall be my lifeblood. I will strive to improve my knowledge and skills so I can better my craft.

Readily I will display my passion for testing while remaining ethical, and technically competent.

Don’t follow the leader

Posted March 31, 2014 by dynamoben
Categories: Software Testing

Frequently throughout my career I’ve had people say to me “we should test like company X” or “lets do technique Y here because it worked for person Z there.”

On this surface this seems like a good idea, just follow the path blazed by others because it leads to success, right? However I’ve learned that replicating someone else’s approach or methods has rarely lead to success. Usually the opposite, it leads to failure. That’s because no two people, companies, or situations are the same.

So instead of testing like company X or person Z study how they test, ask lots of questions, and experiment with the things you think might be useful in your company and on your projects. Don’t just replicate what others are doing and assume that what they are doing has to be better than what you are doing. Strive to be your own leader instead of seeking out people or companies to follow.

Fair warning, if you do decide to replicate someone else you may end up replicating all their mistakes and none of their successes.

When cooperation becomes contempt

Posted December 12, 2013 by dynamoben
Categories: Software Testing

As a tester, I provide a service to the projects I work on. I help my stakeholders (developers, project managers, customers) by gathering important information about the product and reporting it. Often this information isn’t positive because I am highlighting things that could reduce the value of the product. Even so typically my work is perceived as a benefit to the project; however at times that perception can flip to one of hindrance.

This is especially true when time is short and pressure is high. When this happens my stakeholders can move from cooperation to contempt. Suddenly the information I’m providing is no longer welcomed, which makes for an interesting dilemma. If my  feedback is no longer welcomed am I still providing a valuable service to my stakeholders and this project? If it isn’t welcomed should I still provide it? How do I get back to being seen as benefit and re-inspire cooperation?

Over the years I’ve found that there is a very fine line between cooperation and contempt during stressful times and I’ve struggled with this. On one hand I’m tasked with discovering important information but on the other hand the project is horribly delayed and each new thing I find jeopardizes shipping the product on time.

Regardless the climate we testers have a responsibility to highlight both good and not so good information about the product. We should strive for cooperation but we must be ready to steer around contempt. We must avoid the temptation of withholding or not seeking out information about the software because regardless the state of the project the information we discover is still valuable. In the end we need to stay focused on whats important which is information gathering and realize that stressful times are often short lived.

While our stakeholders may not be happy with what they are hearing now they are often far less happy hearing it from the field later.