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Notes on Software Testers Speak Up Meeting #1

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Yesterday, we held Software Testers Speak Up Meeting #1. Zeljko Filipin wrote about that event on his blog.
I would like to put some of my notes.
There were 16 people from various companies (200+ employees), and one tester from very small company (Zeljko).
For me It was a great event. How do I know that it was a great event? For that I use my own heuristic:
If discussions on event last for three hours without a break, and people starts topics in a meaningful flow, than that is a great event.
I put some topics on the whiteboard just for start.
We started discussion with question: “Why did you become a tester?”
First issue emerged, testers from big companies have one common problem: they all have to write documentation. I asked two questions: who reads that documentation, and do they mean by documentation word documents?.
Should (and which) documentation must be produced, depends on the company process (not only necessary software development process). But remember, when tester writes Word document, he does not do his job, and that is testing.
Question about requirements specification emerged next. We all agreed that no one have ever got satisfactory requirements specification.
Testing process was next topic, and CMMI come along with that discussion. I briefly explained testing process in my company and how we use mantis as a supporting tool for that process.
How testers cope with the deadlines provoked counter questions: “What is deadline?” and “What should be done by that deadline?” On statement QA is testing I explained that testers are not QA police. Whole organization  should take care about quality. Testers only provide information about product quality.
Testers from big companies all agreed that their software development process does not contain unit testing, TDD, code reviews.

Pizza time had arrived, and I discussed about JMeter. I introduced grinder, by explaining how I am currently using it in order to test the capacity of our new mq broker configuration with Oracle database.

In the end, whiteboard looked like this.

Our plan is to do #2 SpeekUp meeting in two months, this time with some presentations.

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Karlo Smid

2 Comments

  1. I forgot to mention two interesting topics.
    Zeljko explained how he is doing testing in his small company. My conclusion is that he is testing in order to improve their product in accordance with customers needs. In big companies testing is not directed in that fashion, because there is no customer feedback until the late stage of the project (waterfall alert).
    Second was description of acceptance test for one of the Telegra products. In order to pass the acceptance test for the tunnel fire alarm system
    they put in the tunnel barrel with gasoline, start te fire, and fire alarm should be triggered. The real smoke test!

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