Track Talk F8

Hope is Not a Plan

Fredrik Håård

10:00-10:45 CEST Friday 16th June

On a management level, almost any organisation – enterprise or startup – has a tendency to promote optimistic thinking, a “solutions not problems” attitude, and focus on moving forward above moving carefully.

While this may very well be a key to success, in the real world we sometimes need to take into consideration inconvenient things like compliance with law and regulations, protection of personal information, trade secrets, and life and limb.

For someone working in testing, QA, infosec, or operations it’s easy to come off as a naysayer and doomsday prophet when constantly raising concerns, and many organisations are content that as long as someone cares about “that stuff”, it will be enough to just hope that there will never be a data breach, backup failure, or serious accident.

This talk is about how we can handle working in an organisation where the impetus is to move forward without the regard to risk, and how we can communicate risk and allow informed decisions to be made instead of hoping everything will turn out right. It is not an attempt to teach shortcuts in communication to make others change, but a discussion of uncomfortable choices and prioritization, and about taking responsibility for consequences – even when the organisation sometimes feels unfair.

In the interest of not doing too abstract a talk, it will be sprinkled with real life amusing (terrifying?) war stories collected in twentysomething years of contracting – from newbie tester to tech lead.