Dirty Testing Secrets: Testing in Half the Time?


The 7th Cambridge Exploratory Workshop on Testing (CEWT) took place to the topic of “Dirty Testing Secrets”. The organisers wanted to know whether there were things that might “horrify” or “upset” when becoming public, and given CEWT is a peer conference, a place for discussion and a friendly environment to explore diverse ideas together, the talk I’ve presented was deliberately controversial. As a disclaimer, the picture I painted obviously will not be true for every context, but might be for some. Also, to leave open for discussion on the day, at this occasion, I did not suggest any answers or action to mitigate the concerns drawn – although I can think of some, and would be more than happy to discuss further!

This was the talk I gave on the day, titled “Testing in Half the Time”:

You want to know a secret?
You want to know a testing secret?
You want to know a dirty testing secret?

What about this.

I often thought that …

… half of the time, at least, we testers really are not needed.
… half of the time, at least, all this testing we do really is unnecessary.
… half of the time, at least, a tester in the team might actually endanger good development practices, team work, efficient communication.

That sounds tough, right? But please let me elaborate on that.
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Ministry of Testing Meetups in Cambridge 2018


2018 was a fantastic and incredibly busy year for the Ministry of Testing Cambridge group. We saw a total of 25 Meetups organised via three types of events: the traditional morning Lean Coffee gatherings, the evening Meetups with speakers, workshops or the occasional chat down the pub, and the monthly Software Testing Clinic session which started its first season in Cambridge in 2018!

I know it’s February already, but I think it’s never too late to say thanks to all who made this possible and to have a look back at what happened last year:

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Diversity Matters

The latest Cambridge Exploratory Workshop on Testing (CEWT) came along, asking “What Makes Good Testers and/or Testing?“. It made me think: Isn’t it rather nice that I can learn something new about testing everyday, so why try to define based on my knowledge of days past? Would I rather limit myself with a definition? And from looking through job adverts, talks, discussions – it seems we’re circling round the same core skills of testers for some time anyways, is there a need for me to re-iterate – regardless of how valid they might be? Maybe not. So in the end, this is the pitch I’ve handed in:

It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that a good tester must have attention to detail, is of a curious nature, thinks outside the box, likes to break things (sic!) and is a fiendish asker of questions. Admirable qualities. Must haves. At least that’s what the job adverts, our colleagues, social media and the internet tells us. But is this really it? And is this necessarily helpful?

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Twitter Timeline Q1/18


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Testers’ Island Discs


If you want to hear me “knocking it out of the park“, you can now head over to the Testers Island Disc Podcast, where I had the great pleasure of being guest on the 11th Episode.

Awesome host Neil Studd and me talk about my experiences in Cambridge, the growth of the Software Testing Clinic, and an unavoidable discussion about Brexit. We get into discussions about creating safe environments for learning, generating test ideas and avoiding cognitive biases in our testing, whilst also finding time to hear a range of song selections which span TV themes, 90s rock, and the first non-English-language offering. So if you fancy hearing a brilliant ep with my kind voice talking in dulcet tones you might find me knowledgeable, calm and collected – or in other words, you might have been fooled :D Continue reading

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On: What is Testing?

A place for me to capture resources, definitions, thoughts on a specific topic, here:

“What is testing?”

By nature an ongoing list, used as a starting point (for me). Often done while I research a topic; out of interest, to fill a knowledge gap, to prepare for a talk or workshop, for fun. Any comments or tips on further reading welcome :) Continue reading

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Learning Pairing

13950522581_3a3a23c8cc_oThe last year was a bit of a journey into pairing for me. Not that I hadn’t paired before and didn’t appreciate and enjoy it. But pairing got amplified in the last year as a more conscious effort and an initiative in the groups I was working with. It took place in different forms, but often would mean (two) people working on something together, as a dedicated session, potentially time boxed (to an hour), where we set ourselves a goal or a mission, did the thing, and debriefed.  Continue reading

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Ministry of Testing Meetups in Cambridge 2017

Tis the season! Let’s have a look back at another year of excellent evening events at the Ministry of Testing Meetup in Cambridge. I’m really pleased that we again managed to have events happening pretty regularly each month – a very warm shout out to all our speakers, hosts and sponsors who helped me make this possible. Continue reading

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Software Testing Clinic is coming to Cambridge!

Back in December I had the pleasure sending out this email to the members of the Ministry of Testing Cambridge Meetup announcing that Software Testing Clinic is coming to Cambridge, with monthly sessions from January 2018 on. I’ve been to a couple sessions in London before as a mentor, and am thrilled to now be part of bringing this to CambridgeContinue reading

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Snippets: stress, stress, stress

Lewis: Can I give you a piece of advice?
Hathaway: Yeah, if I can ignore it.
Lewis: Don’t push yourself so hard. Let Maddox help you.
Make sure you get some sleep.

Hathaway: That’s three pieces of advice.
Lewis: Okay, prioritise the sleep thing. 

Lewis #8.1

A few articles I’ve read recently about dealing with stress (at work). Or actually just life, generally? Continue reading

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