I was at Cambridge Agile Exchange's first Unconference the other night and I pitched a 15-minute discussion with the title The value of testing is ...:
I'm a tester and I'm interested in the value that others perceive testing brings to product development in their contexts. Where does testing add value? Where does it add most value? When does it add value? What kinds of testing activities deliver the right kind of value at the right kinds of costs? Do you need testers in order to test?
The participants in the session included product owners, scrum masters, developers, coaches, an ex-test manager, and a colleague from Linguamatics who has just switched to testing from linguistics. (And I'm still hiring.)
The mission I had in mind was to gather data, to solicit and record views, and to not push some kind of militant testing agenda. I think that worked well, and if I had to pull one observation out it'd be how quickly the conversation turned to threats to the value of testing.
Here's the mind map we created together:
Notes: This map has some groupings that I didn't manage on the fly, a couple of things added from memory, and a little reconstruction of the stuff I couldn't read on my photos. Any errors are mine.
Thank you to all the participants and CAE for the opportunity. It was fun.
Image: Dani Oliver