The School of 1

Like many testers I’ve been watching the unfolding drama of school versus approach that is taking place in  Context Driven Testing community with part dismay, part fascination and part anger.
That’s a mixed bag of emotions and it bothers me.

Two people that I hold in such high regard are not speaking to each other. People that I have worked with and respect deeply. On a personal level that saddens me. From a professional testing perspective, not so much as good testing will continue to thrive as long as testers are devoted to their craft.

But something angers me about this whole debacle. Lanette Creamer describes this as estranged family but to me it more like when a couple decides to divorce and the friends end up divorcing too. To be fair to both James and Cem, neither have suggested that this is necessary. James has stated he still has a huge respect for Cem. I admire him for that. Similarly, Cem has never suggested that ‘sides’ have to be taken.

Why then, do I feel that I’m being put in a position that I have to chose between the two?

Emotions aside, this whole debacle has challenged me to try and logicaly reason about what I think. Where I see myself.

I am a Context Driven Tester. I don’t want to test in any other way. I won’t test in any other way. If its an  an approach then I’m not going to take any other. I guess according to this post, that makes me part of the Context Driven School.

Yet I do agree with Cem. The idea of schools is polarizing and sometimes I feel uncomfortable when other schools are denegrated publicly. Regardless of schools, I respect thoughtful testers who work in these paradigms.

My solution at times like this is too look to myself. Reaffirm what I believe and move on with my work. I will continue to test in a way that I believe is best for me. I will continue to treat testers who I admire regardless of school with respect. I hope that means being able to work with both Cem and James (albeit independently) in the future. Time will prove if thats possible or not.

So in the mean time I will continue to study testing, help others test and focus on growing a vibrant testing community in Sydney. If that means I end up in a school of one, then so be it.



Blasting off to CAST 2010

It’s my first outing to CAST this year.

CAST has been on my wish list for a couple of years now, but with moving countries, raising kids, and earning a living I’ve found it hard to make it. This year I decided no more excuses, it was time to go.

As well as wanting to attend the conference and meet some great testers, I wanted the chance to complete the BBST Instructors course which is being held as a post conference session. I’ve been assisting in the Black Box System Testing courses for a while now. I find teaching them very satisfying and to boot, I get taught by some great testers on giving courses.

The post CAST session is being run by Becky Fielder a long time trainer and Cem Kaner. So as well as being taught by some of the best, I  get to meet them too. There is some information here on the course.

I was looking for sponsorship for this one though. There was no way I was going to be able to make it on my own. Fortunately the Association For Software Testing stepped in and have sponsored me the conference fees. So a BIG THANK YOU to the AST for that.

The Software Testing Club offered to sponsor my accommodation, so another big THANK YOU to Rosie Sherry and the crew at the STC.   The STC crew work really hard to make a genuine and real experience for many software testers.

I’ve had great support from them in so many areas, from mentoring, recruiting, publishing my articles as well as some great discussions on their testing forum.  It’s also nice to see people bringing fun into testing. I think sometimes we take ourselves way to seriously.

I’m still on the hunt for more sponsorship, so if you know of a company or association willing to support, get them to contact me. I’m happy to wear a T-Shirt at the conference, blog about how supportive they are etc. Another way to sponsor me is to offer me some work!

Below, I’ve included information about this year’s CAST. I hope you can make it!

Attend CAST 2010

The 5th annual Conference of the Association for Software Testing

August 2-4, 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

“Skills in Testing”

About CAST

CAST reflects the AST’s core mission: to build community amongst scholars, practitioners, and students for the advancement of the practice of software testing. In 2010, CAST aims to leverage peer collaboration to build an enhanced understanding of how various skills influence tester effectiveness.

CAST offers a unique opportunity to learn and confer with others that simply isn’t found at other conferences. Each scheduled session allocates time for facilitated “open season” discussions that encourage participants to question and challenge the presentation. What takes place in the hallways, at receptions, and during meals and lightning talks truly sets CAST apart; for many attendees, the greatest value is derived from the opportunity to discuss and delve into the topics that matter to them.

Space is limited Register Today!

More information and Registration:

We can’t wait to see you in Grand Rapids!