Track Talk Th20

TX – A New Testing Paradigm

Graham Freeburn

15:45-16:30 CEST Thursday 15th June

Testing has struggled with the perception, largely external, that it is a negative activity that slows down projects and provides little value. “Manual testing” continues to be used in a derogatory way, both to belittle testers and testing and drive towards automation – the mythical silver bullet that is so often a blank.

Despite excellent critique of these behaviours by respected testing leaders, and all the skill, hard work and commitment shown by all kinds of testers this negative perception lingers.

Early in my career, I was involved in “Human Computer Interface (HCI) Design” – focusing on standards for layout of mainframe green screens based on visual perception and usability. Fast forward to today and this has morphed into two new, and increasingly prominent, disciplines – User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX). These are both getting a lot of buy-in and gave me an idea that might finally nail the “manual testing” moniker.

This keynote will propose a way forward in terms of resetting this perception by adopting the concept of Test experience (TX). This builds on the true, experiential, nature of testing and recognises that TX is not a tester “exclusive” domain. I’ll explore how the social activity of software development will benefit from shift to this new paradigm. For the movie fans among you TX has another, quite sinister association, but I’ll set out why I think using this will move us forward and why it is more than just a simple renaming exercise. Leveraging some of the ethos and concepts of UX like Hierarchy and Context is Key; and Personalise the Experience and Shaping the Customer Journey for CX, I hope to provide you some new weapons in the fight with bad software. As an example from UX – Fitt’s Law: The time to acquire a target (find a bug) is a function of the distance to (how far away from it you are and which way you’re looking) and size of the target (how big is the bug).

I’ll describe how a reset could terminate the “manual testing” label and at least slow down the rise of the machines.