Lets Test South Africa – Day 3 – A Sad Farewell

Filed in Lets Test South Africa 2015 by on 18 November, 2015

Dimensions of TestabilityDay 3 was exhausting and thrilling at the same time. The sessions I attended included the following:

  • Dimensions of Testability – Maria Kedemo and Benjamin Kelly
  • Are you getting value from your automated tests – Joshua Lewis
  • Uncanny Construction of Meaning – Danie Roux

Maria and Benjamin started off their session by asking questions like "Why do we test? and "What is testability?". The crux of determining testability of a product is that we need to take a number of factors into account – the tester's skills and knowledge; the tester's physical and mental state; context drivers like risks, resources, relationships and development paradigm; product issues such as code and environment, team and vision.

The workshop "Uncanny Construction of Meaning" was very philosophical and I had difficulty following the concepts. Two issues that stood ourt for me. Firsly, we have to be careful how we communicate, since our intended meaning may not be the one that the recipient of the communication hears. For example, when we say we will bring an event two days forward, does this mean we are having it two days later or two days earlier? Secondly, A tester needs to be in the right frame of mind ("in the zone", happy) to effectively evaluate a software product. A set of predefined actions can contribute towards being in the zone. I will be contacting the speaker to get references for some of the additional reading material so that I can understand this concept better.

The most controversial part of the conference was the one on test automation by Joshua Lewis. Joshua is not a fan of test driven development. He prefers outside-in testing, from the customers point of view. He further believes that unit tests should have a limited life span, and be discarded once they have served their function.

The final session was really thanking everybody, attendees, speakers and organisers. The facilitator also encouraged further get togethers to discuss context context based testing. Emails were taken and the plan was to faciliate the get-togethers by city.

Lastly, a very sad time, saying goodbye to new friends, some of them from distant South African cities and some from distant countries. 

Some final thoughts on the conference. There was a wealth of material, the speakers were well prepared, the conference was well organised, the workshops were often thought provoking. The best part for me was the networking with people from other cities and from other countries, seeing how they do things and exhanging ideas.

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