Friday 5 December 2014

What I got back from EuroStar - Every Tester has a price, by Michael Bolton.

Since I attended the EuroStar conference, I would like to write down a little about talks I went to, just to put together notes, pictures and toughs.

Every Tester Has a PRICE: Sources of Product and Project Information by Michael Bolton @michaelbolton.

This man has taught me a lot about Software Testing, so attending to his talk was in my plan. Not because I haven't been to any of his talks before, but just because I knew I'll learn something out of it.

Michael is also a musician, and the way he performed his talk reminded me a lot to those times when musicians gather together to teach and learn from each other, first explaining what they are going to do, then doing it slowly and finally playing the whole set so the music sounds with it's intended form and the harmonies happen to make total sense.

We went to the room at the conference, and it happened to be totally crowded, so after a glance he decided that whatever format he had planned for his talk wouldn't work, so he improvised using a laptop and xmind a tool for doing mindmaps.

He talked about handling expectations, about how for a single test you should not expect a single result, about how requirements live in collective heads, in collective tacit knowledge.

And then he asked the assistants to outline where a tester could gather information about testing, and many things came out, like Requirements, Competing products, Marketing campaigns, Regulations, Bug reports...
At some point he had his screen full of items, (about 50 of them) you could use to get information about what you should be testing and making questions about.

But all these items were messed around the screen, so the eureka! moment came when he told us that there are four types of Information:
- Reference: Information that is written somewhere.
- Conference: Information that you get when talking with people.
- Inference: Information you get when you use something, or people use to do in a certain way.
- Experience: Information you got from experiments you did, or from things you know how to do.

And he allocated each of the items to one of these four types, explaining how each one could belong to a certain type of information and making totally sense out of the previous mess.

What I got out from it:
Well, I already knew how important it is for a tester to have information about what he is testing, what the context is about and what matters and why. Bolton reminded me that when I search for information, there are a lot of places to go and to have in mind, it's just a matter of using your imagination.

I haven't found this talk at the internets, but if you are curious I can recommend you his talk about Agile Testing Quadrants and maybe, to check in his page and take a Rapid Software Testing class whenever that might be. I took that training in May 2012, and it set my testing career looking (so far) at the right direction.

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