Tester's Digest

A weekly source of software testing news


ISSUE #77 - November 25, 2018

Tester’s Digest is back! Our publication cadence got impacted by conference attendance, vacations/holidays, and the SF Bay Area air quality issues, apologies to faithful readers. This issue covers the highlights from TestBash SF conference, mostly day 1 (Nov 7) as I missed day 2 due to the heavy smoke cover over San Francisco. The lineup of talks was:


Topic: TestBash SF 2018

This blog post covers the main points of all Day 1 talks so I don’t have to!


Another blog picks up some Day 2 talks as well:


Just a few additional links worth passing on. The beautiful intro talk by Elizabeth Hendrickson was on the distinction between authority and leadership with the main message being “You. Have. Agency”. It’s not online afaict, but you can get a sense of her style from an older blog post:


The talk mentioned the importance of shaving the right yaks. In case you’ve heard the expression but don’t know its history, this is the original MIT email with the explanation:


The speaker made an interesting point that organizations can employ “inverse Conway” - changing boundary lines in a software system, such as APIs, can result in organizational change, natural rearrangement of teams. This post (unrelated to TestBash) has the background on Conway’s law:


I enjoyed Adrian P. Dunston’s talk “Tester at the Table and the Tester in My Head” on creating lasting impact by passing your tester’s mindset to developers you work with, such that they develop a little tester voice in their brains. How?

  1. By repeating yourself a lot, with catch phrases and stories.
  2. By making a deal between QA and Dev that brings promises on both sides: QA will catch the big bad bugs, keeping the developer safe, if Dev will stick up for the testers and do “fit and finish” to avoid burying QA in a pile of itty bitty bugs. (Seems fair to me.)
  3. By arguing correctly, starting with agreement (we have a common goal) and not trying to win.
  4. By promoting yourself, so the tester’s voice is heard. The deck for this talk was super fun:


Paul Grizzaffi’s talk “Automation Declared Software” calls for treating test automation as a software development process, a notion I fully agree with and follow. This talk is not online yet, has coverage in live blogging notes (see below), the speaker’s other blog posts on automation can be found here:


When delivering his talk “Climbing to the top of the mobile testing pyramid”, Rick Clymer mentioned a weekly tip website for Selenium users, which is worth sharing:


The presenter on “Creating a Culture of Quality”, Angela Riggs, made her deck publicly available:


Of the 99-second talks (impromptu short presentations by conference attendees), one is online, on the Modern Testing Principles which seem to be the new twist on agile QA:



For more talk coverage, see this set of live blogging notes:



A tweetstream on what is potentially the oldest bug still in wide distribution, a long and very funny read.


Here’s a short retelling:


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