Conference & Meetup Talks, and Podcast Interviews
The Transition from Traditional to Modern Testing
Several years ago I wanted to transition from Traditional Testing to Modern Testing.
My goal was to no longer be a safety net for teams, break the cycle of being the “lone tester” and guide teams towards shared responsibility for quality. Through a variety of painful testing experiences, I knew what didn’t work but was struggling to find new and better approaches.
Throughout this journey, I have experimented, learned many lessons, and embraced many concepts. Two of those key concepts were Whole Team Testing (Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory) and The Modern Testing Principles (Alan Page and Brent Jensen).
These concepts evolve testers to the next level so that their teams embrace whole team quality.
Personally, it helped me undertake changes such as no longer being a safety net for the team, embracing lean principles, and ensuring the team made data-driven decisions. Embracing these concepts accelerated my development to becoming a Modern Tester, influenced how I lead a team of distributed testers, and ultimately helped improve the quality culture of teams.
In this talk, I will openly share my successes, failures, and plans for the future.
- An Understanding of Traditional Testing, Agile Testing, and Modern Testing
- An understanding of the three phases of a tester’s career, executor, partner, and influencer, and how to transition between each phase
- An understanding of Whole Team Testing and the 7 Principles of Modern Testing, and the huge benefits that can be gained from these approaches
- Practical examples of activities to move you towards modern testing, and future-proofing your career
Delivered: Scheduled for TestBashX Edinburgh, 28th April 2022
As testers, do we do more harm than good?
There is a wealth of evidence to show the detrimental impact of traditional testing, in particular, the separation of testing from the implementation of code.
As testers, we assume our work does good and it’s painful to realise that we can unwittingly do harm.
Much of what we do as testers is Context-based, harmful on one project may be good on another project.
This harm can become apparent through quality issues and reduced frequency of releases.
In this talk, I emphasise the importance of transitioning from traditional to modern testing, including my own painful lessons over the past 15 years.
My story involves moving from test executor, to test partner and influencer.
Traditional testers have really valuable skills but need to apply those skills in new ways.
At the heart of this talk, is the good we do as testers and ultimately our future is rooted in collaboration.
– Examples of the harm we can do as testers supported by data
– Practical examples of activities that you can try to move towards modern testing
– Questions to help guide you towards doing good as a tester, and future-proofing your career.
Delivered: OnlineTestConf Spring 2021, Ministry of Testing Sarajevo Meetup. Scheduled for Romania Testing Conference 2022
The Modern Testing Principles: The Evolution of Quality in Agile teams
The Modern Testing Principles are 7 key principles, created by Alan Page and Brent Jensen. These principles evolve agile testers to the next level and ensure the whole team embraces quality.In this talk, I will explain the Modern Testing Principles, share my experiences with the principles and ultimately the benefits that can be achieved through the principles.
The Principles have had an enormous positive impact on how I think about Testing and Quality. Before hearing about Modern testing I was already undertaking changes such as no longer being a safety net for the team, embracing lean principles and ensuring the team made data-driven decisions. Embracing Modern Testing accelerated my development to becoming a Modern Tester and ultimately helped improve the quality culture of two teams.
- An understanding of the 7 Principles of Modern Testing.
- Why the Principles are not actually modern and in many ways have little to do with Testing, and have more to do with Lean principles.
- Why some of the Principles may be viewed as controversial and why some Testers may feel threatened by them.
- Practical examples of how you can Implement the Modern Testing Principles in your role and team.
Delivered: AgileLeanInternational October 2020, Test Heads Dublin Meetup and Ministry of Testing Athens
Slides: The Modern Testing Principles
Experimenting our way to Team-based Testing
Title: Experimenting our way to Team-based Testing (Joint Presentation with Rob Meaney)
Abstract: Are you overwhelmed with the burden of testing? Do you feel that the responsibility of testing rests solely on your shoulders? Do you feel like you’re the bottleneck to your team’s productivity? Between Conor and Rob, they have accumulated 30 years of testing experience. They have both worked through a variety of painful testing experiences and wanted to break the cycle of the “lone tester”.
Poppulo provided an opportunity for them both to work together for a second time and they decided it was time to explore a different path. Three years and dozens of experiments later, Conor and Rob will openly share their successes, failures, and plans for the future. In this talk, they will describe how to get people from different disciplines involved in testing, how to adopt a whole team responsibility for quality, how to use visualisation to manage the testing burden and how to build testing skills across different disciplines.
Delivered: SoftTest 2019, Joint Presentation with Rob Meaney and Quality Engineering Meetup Sydney.
Slides: SoftTest 2019 Slides
The Surprising Benefits of Exploring the Aviation Industry
Title: The Surprising Benefits of Exploring the Aviation Industry
Abstract: Typically we focus on metaphors from engineering and manufacturing and learn about the disciplines of these industries. There is so much to gain by learning about other industries such as Aviation and Health Care.
Having previously delivered this talk at SoftTest Dublin 2018 and TestBash Brighton 2019, an updated version of this talk will focus on the similarities between Tech and Healthcare, and what we can learn from the Aviation Industry.
- The relationship between Culture and Quality
- 5 keys learnings from the Aviation Industry
- The majority of Innovations in Testing Approaches and Techniques have come from other Disciplines and Industries
- The importance of Exploring in Software Testing
Delivered: RebelCon 2019, OnlineTestConf Spring 2020
Recording(s): Spring OTC 2020
The Surprising Benefits of Exploring Other Disciplines and Industries
Title: The Surprising Benefits of Exploring Other Disciplines and Industries
Abstract: Could exploring diverse disciplines and industries lead to dramatic improvements in your effectiveness as a tester?
The craft of testing has its origins in the social sciences. The characteristics that we seek to develop as testers include communication, creativity, critical thinking and curiosity.
Typically we focus on metaphors from engineering and manufacturing and learn about the disciplines of these industries.
There is so much to gain by learning about other industries such as Aviation and Health Care, and studying other disciplines, for instance, heuristics originated from behavioural economics and mind mapping was developed over centuries by philosophers and psychologists.
In this talk, I will share my journey of being transformed from a regimented confirmation tester to a context-based exploratory tester.
These changes occurred by the challenges faced by testing software in different industries and more importantly studying non-engineering disciplines.
Delivered: Soft Test Dublin 2018, TestBash Brighton 2019
Slides: Slide Deck
Recordings: Testbash-brighton-2019 Video
My Story of Kanban and Its Positive Impact on Testing
Title: My Story of Kanban and Its Positive Impact on Testing
Abstract: 18 months ago I joined a new company as a tester and was part of a new team that was forming. The decision to use Kanban had an enormous influence on how we tested as a team.
My personal story of testing with Kanban includes No split between development and testing – nothing was considered done until it was tested. Everyone became a tester. Supported a quality culture and test coaching “Quality gate” became kanban stages Production issues were prioritised over feature work. How we solved a serious bottleneck in our testing and how it improved overall quality.
- Kanban is more than a visual workflow management tool
- Kanban can support improved quality
- Makes everyone a tester
- Improves collaboration and communication
Conferences Delivered: TestBash Manchester 2019, Ministry of Testing Banglore
Slides: PDF of the Prezi Slides
QA Lead podcast
Interviewed by Jonathon Wright for the QA Lead podcast.
Interview here: The QA Lead Podcast Interview
Modern Testing – 343 Podcast.
Two part interview by Alan Page for the Modern Testing – 343 Podcast.
Alan Page recently interviewed me for a 2 part interview for the Modern Testing – 343 Podcast.
Part 1 covers Modern Testing Principles and how it applies to my role in Poppulo. Part 2 covers a number of topics related to the Modern Testing Principles.
Meetup Talks atMinistry of Testing Cork
Testing Techniques and heuristics – May 2017
Presented a talk Testing Techniques and heuristics at the 2017 May Meetup Ministry of Testing Cork.
An Overview of Exploratory Testing and Tools -June 2017 (Joint Presentation with Rob Meaney)
An Overview of Exploratory Testing and Tools, 2017 June Meetup Ministry of Testing.
Exploratory Testing Slides
Shifting Left, Right and everything in between – September 2017
A talk on how testing “shifted left” and then began to shift right
Introduction to Test Automation (aka Automated Checking) – December 2017
An Introduction to Test Automation (aka Automated Checking)”, December 2017 Meetup Ministry of Testing.
“Monolith to Microservices – A testers perspective” – Feb 2018 (Joint Presentation with Rob Meaney)
“Monolith to Microservices – A testers perspective”, Feb 2018 Meetup Ministry of Testing.
Blog written after this talk