Paul Gerrard's blog

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.

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.

Top 10 Books for Testers

Huib Schoots asked me to name my top 10 books for testers. Initially, I was reluctant because I'm no fan of beauty parades and if an overall 'Top 10 Books' were derived from voting:


  1. The same old same old books would probably top the chart again, and
  2. Any obscure books I nominated would be lost in the overall popularity contest.


So what's the point?


Story Based Testing and Automation

Did you know? We’re staging some webinars

Last night, we announced dates for two webinars that I will present on the subject, “Story-Based Test Automation Using Free Tools”. Nothing very exciting in that, except that it’s the first time we have used a paid-for service to host our own webinar and marketed that webinar ourselves. (In the past we have always pitched our talks through other people who marketed them).

New Tutorial: Test Strategy in a Day

This tutorial suggests that rather than being a document, test strategy is a thought process. The outcome of the thinking might be a short or a long document, but most importantly, the strategy must address the needs of the participants inside the project as well as the customers of the product to be built. It needs to be appropriate to a short agile project or to a 1000 man-year development. It has to have the buy-in of stakeholders but most importantly, it must have value and be communicated.

Live Specifications: From Requirements to Automated Tests and Back

Many thanks to the Eurostar folk allowing me to present the webinar, "Live Specifications: From Requirements to Automated Tests and Back". This talk describes how we think companies can implement continuous delivery and live specifications using the Behaviour-Driven Development approach and redistributed testing.