Paul Gerrard's blog

What's the acceptable involvement of a QA analyst in the requirements process?

A question from Amanda in Louiville, Kentucky USA.

“What's the acceptable involvement of a QA analyst in the requirements process?  Is it acceptable to communicate with users or should the QA analyst work exclusively with the business team when interpreting requirements and filling gaps?

As testers, we sometimes must make dreaded assumptions and it often helps to have an awareness of the users' experiences and expectations.”

No Tester is an Island

No tester is an island,
Entire of himself,
Every tester a piece of the team,
A part of the main.
If a case be washed away by the test,
Acceptance is the less.
As well as if a phase were.
As well as if a test of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any test failure diminishes me,
Because I am involved in testing,
And therefore never send to know for whom the test tolls; 
It tolls for thee. 

Huge apologies to John Donne

Will the Test Leaders Stand Up?

This talk was given at Eurostar 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“Significant forces in the IT industry that mean testing in most organisations is under extreme pressure. Bosses wonder why they need people ‘over here’ to make sure people ‘over there’ do their job properly. Users, analysts, developers and testers may have to redistribute responsibility for testing and checking and by collaborating more effectively.

Big Data: What is it and why all the fuss?

Big Data seems to be the latest buzzword that seems to be trending.

The term has been around for a while but now, the largest corporations are promoting Big Data products and services very strongly, so something big is on the horizon. Right now, it still looks like a load of hype, but scratching beneath the surface, it seems to me that it has the potential to affect every person in society and there's no getting away from it. What is all the fuss about?

Big Data isn't really just about 'big'. Depending on who you ask, mnemonics "V3" or "V4" summarise it well.

    Will the Test Leaders Stand Up?

    Testing is Long Overdue for a Change

    Rumours of the death of testing were greatly exaggerated, but even so, the changes we predict will be dramatic. My own company has been heralding the demise of the 'plain old functional tester' (POFT) for years and we’ve predicted both good and bad outcomes of the technological and economic change that is going on right now. Some time ago, I posted a blog, Testing is in a Mess where I suggested that there's complacency, self-delusion and over capacity in the testing business; there is too little agreement about what testing is, what it’s for or how it should be done.

    But there are also some significant forces at play in the IT industry and I think the testing community, will be coming under extreme pressure. I summarise this change as ‘redistributed testing’: users, analysts, developers and testers will redistribute responsibility for testing by, wait for it, collaborating more effectively. Testers probably won’t drive this transition, and they may be caught out if they ignore the winds of change.

    In this article, I’ll suggest what we need from the leaders in our industry, the market and our organisations. Of course, some responsibility will fall on your shoulders. Whether you are a manager or technical specialist, there will be an opportunity for you to lead the change.