“Adapting Academic Course Materials in Software Testing for Industrial Professional Development.” [SLIDES] Colloquium, Florida Institute of Technology, March 2008
The Association for Software Testing and I have been adapting the BBST course for online professional development. This presentation updates my students and colleagues at work on what we’re doing to transfer fairly rigorous academic course materials and teaching methods to a practitioner audience.
These next three are reworkings of presentations I’ve given a few times before:
“Software testing as a social science,” [SLIDES] STEP 2000 Workshop on Software Testing, Memphis, May 2008.
Social sciences study humans, especially humans in society. The social scientist’s core question, for any new product or technology is, “What will be the impact of X on people?” Social scientists normally deal with ambiguous issues, partial answers, situationally specific results, diverse interpretations and values– and they often use qualitative research methods. If we think about software testing in terms of the objectives (why we test) and the challenges (what makes testing difficult) rather than the methods and processes, then I think testing is more like a social science than like programming or manufacturing quality control. As with all social sciences, tools are important. But tools are what we use, not why we use them.
“The ongoing revolution in software testing,” [SLIDES] October 2007
My intent in this talk is to challenge an orthodoxy in testing, a set of ommonly accepted assumptions about our mission, skills, and onstraints, including plenty that seemed good to me when I published them in 1988, 1993 or 2001. Surprisingly, some of the old notions lost popularity in the 1990Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s but came back under new marketing with the rise of eXtreme Programming.
I propose we embrace the idea that testing is an active, skilled technical investigation. Competent testers are investigatorsÃ¢â‚¬â€clever, sometimes mischievous researchersÃ¢â‚¬â€active learners who dig up information about
a product or process just as that information is needed.
I think that
- views of testing that donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t portray testing this way are obsolete and counterproductive for most contexts and
- educational resources for testing that donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t foster these skills and activities are misdirected and misleading.
“Software-related measurement: Risks and opportunties,” [SLIDES] October 2007
I’ve seen published claims that only 5% of software companies have metrics programs. Why so low? Are we just undisciplined and lazy? Most managers who I know have tried at least one measurement program–and abandoned them because so many programs do more harm than good, at a high cost. This session has
- Measurement theory and how it applies to software development metrics (which, at their core, are typically human performance measures).
- A couple of examples of qualitative measurements that can drive useful behavior.
- (Consideration of client’s particular context–deleted.)