Consultancy Can Work Quickly and Effectively
Consultancy has a bad rep, and for good reason. Consultants cost more, and often lack the experience you need to
make changes fast. Consultants sometimes come in with their Consultancy Head Office solution ready to impose,
when what you need is different. You need a solution custom built and working uniquely for you.
I'm going to tell you now that I'm different. I have the experience and I know how to apply it to solve your
problems quickly, uniquely, and working with you. I'll help you get from where you are now, to where you need to
"Consultancy" has a bad rep, but its the best word to describe what I do.
You Have Problems to Solve
Finding the right person to solve your problems can be hard. Particularly when you want it done fast, and done
Hiring contractors and staff takes a long time, and they might not have the experience you need. It also means a long
term commitment, which can be more expensive over the long term than hiring a consultant.
But finding consultants can be just as hard, because you often have to bring in a "Consultancy", and they want to
sell you their junior staff.
But you know this already. You have a proper job.
Sometimes there are problems that you need solving now, and you need the right consultant to help.
And you need a consultant because you know that with the right person, you only need to bring them in for a short
period of time and your problem is solved. You don't want to hire a consultant to come in every day for months,
because that isn't cost effective.
I've had a proper job too. I wasn't always a consultant.
I've been a Tester, Test Manager and 'Head of Testing'. I've had to hire consultants to solve my problems at work,
and I considered myself lucky when I found a good consultant.
I use the word "consultancy", because it describes what I do. I provide expert advice in a particular area (Software
Testing and Development). And I back that up with expertise derived from years of experience.
I don't just discuss things. I do things.
I'd love to use a different word like "coach" or "mentor" or "innovator" or "thought leader", but to me, they don't
describe someone who does stuff well, or even someone who does stuff at all.
I consult. I do stuff. I mentor, innovate, coach and do hands on work. And I do it well.
When You're Ready to Solve Your Problems
I work with people who recognise that they:
- need to make improvements to how they work
- recognise that they have issues with their process
- know that they could be doing better than they are doing now
- and are ready to take action
When you know that you are ready to take action, then I can work with you to improve your situation.
When I consult, I work in a way that meets your needs. I am good at observing organisational and team dynamics, and
work firmly with the situation you have, not a situation I'd like you to have. I'm independent, I don't work for a
big consultancy organisation. I work with you to solve your problems, not to sell you more consultants.
Consultancy Can Help You
Start Automating Your Applications
If you're learning from your mistakes, you're doing it the hard and expensive way. Learn from my
and be up and running quickly.
You could learn to automate your application by yourself. You'll also make the same mistakes everyone
does: you won't synchronise enough, you won't know how to abstract to minimise impact of change.
Someone with experience can create the groundwork pretty fast. Within a week I have put the basics in
place: coded running tests with abstractions, synchronisation and examples to build on.
[You want to start automating based on experience]
Improve your existing automated approach
If you've come quite far already, you'll need experience to advance faster or resolve issues. Hiring
a consultant gives you access to that experience quickly.
The more time and effort you put into automating applications, the more you want it to support your
- e.g. Make your automated code support different types of testing.
- Help you automate as part of your exploratory test approach.
- Reduce maintenance effort and resolve 'flaky test syndrome'.
Just some examples of how experience can take your automated work further.
[You want to improve how you automate]
Code Reviews and Recommendations
Ongoing support as you automate. I review your code changes, with feedback to
Working on a retainer basis, I will review your code as you check it in to your version control
system. I'll provide feedback on what looks good, what looks risky, and where you can improve.
Together, we'll identify where you need more examples, and how you want to grow your code.
Automating effectively means building a code base very deliberately and understanding the decisions
made and what those choices lead to.
[You'd like to discuss a review retainer]
Become more Agile
Learning how to test in Agile? I can help you make your test approach work with your chosen
tools and adopt Exploratory and Technical Testing.
Every Agile project is different. People use different tools, and make different decisions about the
risk they will take on, and the feedback loops they build into their process. You need to do more
than have conversations and write Given/When/Then Gherkin Scenarios.
I know how to map a testing process on to the tools in use, and I can help you identify risks in your
"System Of Development" so that your test approach adds maximum value.
[You want to improve your testing in Agile]
Test more Technically
If you only test from requirements, you're missing a whole set of risks. We can improve
your technical testing and risk analysis skills.
Technically informed testing means going deeper into the application and its communication approaches
to observe, interrogate and manipulate the system in many different ways. By doing this, you'll find
defects that would otherwise pass you by.
It takes experience to know how to do this without taking your testing off track too often. I can
help you make your testing more technical.
[You want to test more technically]
Do what you've never done before
Step back to look at your process. You'll be constrained by your environment. I
bring a fresh set of eyes and experience.
Even though you might recognise you have a problem, you might not identify all the options open to
you for solving it.
Because I'm coming from outside, I don't see the constraints that you take as 'normal'. Together,
we'll identify new ways of approaching your testing that can help you increase value and
[You want new options for your test approach]
Want to know what to improve? And fast? Let's review what you do, then perform the on-site work to
those priority changes and test better.
Pure consultancy. I come in for a week, work with your team. Understand the processes, the problems,
the capabilities and your priorities. As I do so I'll be seeing other problems, new opportunities.
We'll have the chance to do some experiments, and we'll prioritise the recommendations.
To maximise the benefit, I'll come back periodically for smaller reviews and to offer advice and
mentoring as you implement the recommendations.
[You'd like me to review your process]
Work with you on-site. Mentoring and pairing. Improving every step of the way. Sharing experience and
doing what it takes to make your testing better.
I can come in and train you, or I can come in and work beside you. Pairing with the team. That way
all knowledge is transferred directly in practice and we'll adopt new processes as we go.
I can't do this for every client, but sometimes I'll come on board for longer periods of time to help
you do whatever it takes to improve your testing.
[You'd like me to come onsite]
I Have Helped Other Teams
I have acted as consultant to other teams to help them with:
- Agile Testing,
- Exploratory Testing,
- Test Process,
- Test Management,
I haven't listed all of the areas above, because I've used my experience to helped people in lots of different
Test in Agile Projects
I have helped:
- Improve the development testing process,
- Improve the way tools are used,
- Change the way manual testing was carried out and communicated,
- Improve the way people collaborate,
- Train people in Agile,
- Transition teams to iterative and Agile processes
I'm not an Agile 'purist', there is no book I will quote at you. I look at the way you are working. I see problems
based on the system dynamics of the people. I help you improve those dynamics.
Automate Their Applications
- Evaluate tools,
- Change they teams use tools,
- Creating a basic structure for the automated work,
- Proof of concepts with the tools on their applications,
- Write custom tools and scripts,
- Train staff in the use of tools,
- Evaluate existing approaches for recommendations and improvements
I've worked with WebDriver in C#, Java. And I have programming experience in a bunch of other languages. Have a look
at the tools section on this site for a look at some of the languages I've used, it doesn't cover everything, but
should give you an idea of my range.
Recruit Great Staff
I'm good at recruitment. I can help you define the type of person you're looking for.
I use a recruitment process based on: phone interviews, auditions and practical pairing. I look for skill sets,
experience and attitude, as well as identifying someone who will fit well in your organisation.
Improve Their Exploratory Testing
I have managed teams using Exploratory Testing and helped teams heavily invested in a scripted testing culture, move
to Exploratory Testing. I work with the testers to understand how to communicate and document their testing, as well
as think about their testing.
On-site and Remote
I work on-site, within the team.
I can also work remotely, sometimes that's cheaper for people in different countries. If you can make your
application available remotely and can share your code, then I can help you test and automate. Using modern collaboration tools like hangouts,
skype, slack, chat; we can work effectively even at a distance.
If you need help, we can make it work.