I attended the Agile and Automation Days Conference in Krakow, Poland on the 16th November 2015 to present a Keynote and a Tutorial on Technical Testing in Agile.
The Keynote title was "How to Improve your Technical Test Ability". I described approaches, tools and mindsets that I use to improve my ability to test with increasing technical competency.
The tutorial covered "Technical Testing in Agile", how to use and justify technical testing skills in an Agile context. This hands on tutorial requires much interactive investigation and execution.
The actual conference was very technical, and was one of those international conferences where I wished I spoke the native language because I missed most of the talks due to the language barrier. But the titles and blurbs all looked as though I would have liked to have seen most of the talks.
The keynote was recorded:
The initial blurb I submitted read as follows:
We often work on improving the testability of an application to better support our testing. And what if, in addition to this, we actively improved our "Test Ability"? Because then we can take advantage of the new and existing application features during our testing. Alan will describe the steps he has taken to improve his Test Ability. The main examples will be drawn from his experience of testing web and HTTP based applications. Alan will explain how you can use the inbuilt browser features to help you, and describe add-ons you can use. Also, how you can chain external tools like sniffers and proxies, and why you would want to. Because, and this is more important than the individual tool examples, Alan will describe how he models an application to identify gaps in his knowledge and tooling, and then improves his Technical Test Ability by filling those gaps.
I found that, as I build the slidedeck, I took inspiration from self-help books from the 50's and 'borrowed' some of their covers.
Primarily because, the decision to improve your technical skills comes from you. As a self-help decision. No-one else will give you the skills, they are skills that you have to develop and practice, and work on for yourself.
You can find the slides on slideshare:
Let's adopt the view that when we test on Agile projects we want to add value as often and quickly as possible.
On this tutorial we will use a mix of discussion, instruction, exercises and debriefs to explore what it means to work in an Agile Environment and how we can push our testing beyond user stories and test a technical level.
We will test an application together, and you will be challenged to add your unique value to the group. You will draw upon your experience as you test, share your thoughts and ideas, and learn nuances and new approaches from the group, and your own explorations.
Bring a laptop, or other electronic computing device which you think can use for testing, because this is a practical class and you will be engaged in hands on testing. Load your chosen device with whatever tools and resources you think you need. You can use them, and share them, because we want to learn from each other and explore what it means to conduct Technical Testing in an Agile Environment.
Some stuff we will cover:
- How to use Systems Thinking to test technically and understand the "System under development"
- How to use System Thinking to understand the "System of development" and adjust your test approach accordingly
- What does "Technical Testing" mean?
- How far to push the boundaries of user stories
- How to improve your technical testing skills and abilities
- Technical Testing does not mean Automation
- What are your existing "technical skills" - you probably have more than you think.
- Risks and Issues with technical testing, and strategies to counter them
- How to document and describe your technical testing to others
- How to justify, and use Technical Testing in an Agile Environment
I was fortunate to receive a tranche of social media mentions and comments with images: