Tuesday, November 26, 2019

CEWT #7 Lean Coffee

After the presentations and discussions at CEWT #7 we split into groups for a Lean Coffee session to pick up threads from the day. Here's the topics and aggregated comments from the group that I was in.

I would love to see Devs discuss their purpose like this/Why does testing give itself such a hard time about value?

  • Thinking about this stuff allows people to focus their time in the areas they want to work in.
  • It helps managers know what motivates their staff.
  • The purpose of a developer is to solve problems for people.
  • Testing is never voted highly enough to get discussed at developer Lean Coffees I've attended.
  • Testing is evolving because the context in which we work is evolving, so we need to reflect on our role constantly.
  • Self-reflection is a strong testing skill
  • ... we expect thoughtful analysis of other things by testers, so why not also of themselves?
  • This group (at CEWT) is self-selecting and not representative of testers in general.
  • Do we really feel the need to justify ourselves?
  • Yes, sometimes I need to justify my role and activities.
  • Testers should teach others what testing is.
  • We should get feedback from stakeholders on whether they are getting what they want and need from us.

At some point there will be no employees with the role title "tester"

  • The activity will still be there.
  • Someone else will do the testing work.
  • On Scrum teams we're all developers, right?
  • So what if the role title does die off?
  • We've seen it happen locally; what were the consequences?
  • It doesn't happen in isolation, other role responsibilities shift too.
  • Testers need to think about their hireability, their skill set, branding themselves
  • ... so that they can get fulfilling and valueable roles in future.
  • Perhaps an "agitator" role?
  • Someone in a company needs to do critical thinking; it needn't be a tester

Testing will never be respected or understood widely outside testing communities

  • It's still hard to get respect and understanding even after working hard on projects.
  • Testing can be done by anyone, that's the perception.
  • Testing software feels simple; everyone knows how to bang on a keyboard.
  • Testing engines is a different matter, for example.
  • Use the word "experiment" rather than "play" when talking about testing.
  • Some testers are just 9-5-ers.
  • Some testers exploit the fact that testing time is usually squeezed to do a bad job
  • ... not taking responsibility for their work.
  • ... and this loses respect for all of us.
  • I've been asked this: "your're smart, why are you in testing?"
  • Scrum Master is a similarly intangible role title
  • ... but is it more fashionable?

If you couldn't be a tester what would you do?

  • Woodwork.
  • Sympathetic sceptic.
  • Something technical, problem-solving, investigation, creative.
  • Something in software, a Product Ownert or Scrum Master.
  • I'm only just becoming a tester!
  • Retired.
Photo: Neil Younger

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