November 2010 QASIG Meeting

My Crazy Plan to Respond to Change

Presented by Jon Bach, Manager for Corporate Intellect, Quardev, Inc.

During a given workday, we either focus on testing activities or we have to focus on the things that interrupt testing activities. Some of us lament the interruptions, others find it energizing because it’s consistent with notions of Agile – like responding to change over following a plan. I’ve got an idea on how to use interruptions to focus on testing activities. Multi-tasking is not evil, nor does it have to torpedo your project, but it may require a management technique to help you stay sane. Enter Thread-Based Test Management — a way to let interruptions guide you to where you’re needed most. Using a kanban-style dashboard is one way to go with the flow without losing your way. Using a spreadsheet with rows to track topics you followed in a day is another. In this talk, Jon Bach describes his experiences with a new technique he and his brother James invented that might help you get rid of the shame of feeling undisciplined for letting yourself be interrupted while being more response-able to the important things that need your time and attention.

About our speaker: Jon has over 15 years of experience, including Fortune 500 and start-up companies, serving in the Quality Assistance and Software Testing domain. He is a co-author of a Microsoft Patterns and Practices book on Acceptance Testing (2010) and is an award-winning keynote speaker for major testing conferences (STAR, QAI, BCS SIGIST). He has served as the vice president of conferences for the Association for Software Testing; invented a method for managing and measuring exploratory testing; a method for coaching testers (Open-Book Testing) and categorizing risk (Color-Aided Test Design) and has published over 50 articles, whitepapers, and presentations about the notions of value of exploration and rapid, risk-based testing. He has been with Quardev for the past 6 years and serves as the speaker chairman for the acclaimed Seattle non-profit QASIG testing forum.

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