Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Down With OTC

After I'd done my talk at OnlineTestConf yesterday I stuck around to watch Conor Fitzgerald and Lena Wiberg speak. It's been a while since I practised my sketchnoting so I thought I'd give it a go again and I enjoyed borrowing my kids' colouring pencils rather than just using the biros I happen to have in my bag like I usually do. 

You can't tell, of course, but for some reason these particular pencils were scented (!) so if you can imagine cinnamon, cola, grape, and raspberry as you're looking at this post you'll get the more authentic experience.

Conor Fitzgerald presented an evolution of the talk he gave at SoftTest Ireland a couple of years ago. Back then it was a catalogue of tools for working as a tester, curated from an exploration of other industries. In this iteration it focused primarily on learnings from the aviation industry, gave examples of healthcare practitioners applying them, and suggestions for how we can do the same. The Checklist Manifesto and Black Box Thinking both feature heavily and I can recommend them both too. (Slides

Lena Wiberg is a fellow member of the board over at the Association For Software Testing, and really knows her onions. In this case, the situation bringing her to tears was a new job with a set of persistently failing tests and a team that seemed resigned to the fact that that was just how things were. The daily grind of arriving at work to investigate test failures from overnight runs and then go home seemed to be expected and no attempt was made to step back and take a broader perspective. 

Enter Lena! In her talk she stepped through a sequence of data gathering, analysis, review of the stakeholders of the results of these suites, and the generation of strategies for making the tests more reliable to run and more likely to deliver the desired data. 


  1. Nice sketchnotes. I attended OTC and got to hear Conor Fitzgerald and Lena Wiberg. These sketches summarizes everything spoken in the conference. Also,great insights shared by you in the conference. Thanks a lot.