Test Management Track (iv), SIGiST Israel 2008

OK, so we come to the last presentation in the Test Management track for the day. There are actually two more test management presentations the following day, but I’m giving my own presentation in the Testing Methodology track, so I’ll be missing them.

Mieke Gevers, from aQis in Belgium, is our last speaker.

Mieke lives and breathes Testing, and in fact she told me that she is “passionate about testing – it is like blood running into her veins”. In addition to her 20 years’ experience as a software developer, analyst, project manager and ultimately QA Manager for several companies in Europe, including Borland and Segue, she is a regular conference speaker throughout Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia ( I really do envy her!). Mieke is also EuroSTAR‘s country coordinator for Belgium, and was a team member of the EuroSTAR 2007 committee.   Mieke Gevers

Mieke has a style of presenting that includes walking around the room (which is small enough to not make it weird), and asking the audience questions. Interestingly enough, Danny (Danko) Kovatch (look out for my blog about him soon) uses the same technique. Personally, I find it very effective. Just haven’t really had the guts to do it myself yet – I’m still connected by umbilical cord to the laptop …

Meike’s presentation, or maybe I should call it a discussion, is about Advanced Testing, but in order to talk about that, she has to take us back in time, through older methods, mentioning the V-model, the O-model (looks to me like iterative) and the O-model with a Time Axis (looks to me like Agile).

Mieke also takes us back to quickly mention Testing Techniques, past (like unit testing, static analysis, functional testing) and present (like Heuristic testing, exploratory testing, agile testing, scrum testing, RBT – requirements based testing).

And she does the same thing with requirements definition (past: word, excel, printed, home-made tools; present: stuff from the past, plus UML, Storyboarding, and Automatic Test-Case generation based on requirements); and testing tools.

Organizational structure gets the same treatment, where Mieke shows an organization from the past, and from the present – component based.

Then Mieke starts giving us food for thought. She mentioned three methods by which one might achieve Advanced Testing:

  1. Component based development (CBD) and component based testing (CBT). Coming from an organization that did just that, I’m not convinced, but I must admit that I didn’t think of it at the time…
  2. Models and Model-based Testing
  3. Techniques, like Exporatory Testing combined with tools
  4. Testing on the Move … a question with no answer, or that anyone can answer

What do you think? Do any of you come from a CBD/CBT organization, but feel like testing is still in dark ages? I’d be interested to hear, and we could get a great discussion going on this.

Then Mieke goes off in the direction of Advanced Testing for Managers, which has to save time, reduce risk, reduce costs, and save money! Her focus is mainly on Tools – which of the following will be part of Advanced Testing for Managers? Who knows, it could include any or all of the following, and more:

  • automatically define tests?
  • uniform test tools? uniform management of test data? Opensource?
  • totally integrated test facilities, parsing commands and sharing data?
  • generating data together with risk and impact analysis?
  • surely supporting existing and new test strategies
  • learning modes and maintenance strategies, accelerating testing and assuring high test ROI?
  • patterns for testing, and not just design?

In the end advanced testing is going to change the process, and lead to a new project management approach, organization, test techniques, infrastructure and architecture tools, and test approach.

The only thing that might not change is the importance of aligning testing with the customer‘s use.

Do you have a vision of what Advanced Testing might be? We heard Mieke, and we heard Vipul at the keynote. Do they have the same vision, or is it different? What do you think about where the Testing Profession is going to be in 10 or 20 years? Should this be the topic of a Working Group?

Use this forum, or any other, and maybe we can make a difference to the profession 🙂


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