Track Talk Th5

Is This Really Testing?

Hassan Bugti

11:45-12:45 Thursday 13th June

Are some elements of testing and test management becoming bullshit jobs? Is the industry coercing us into executing tasks that aren’t beneficial to us, our users, and/or creating value? Worse yet, are we contributing to that shift?

In my presentation, I will talk through examples of bullshit-tester-tasks and how detrimental they can be to our integrity and ethics as testers. My aim is to help those struggling with trivial and unproductive tasks, by showing them how they can identify and say “no” to said tasks. And by doing so, testers should be able to redefine their roles and swap out meaningless tasks from their daily routines, and re-establish themselves as integral members of their respective software development teams.

Inspired by authors like David Graeber, Dennis Nørmark, and Anders Fogh Jensen; and based on my own experiences as a tester and test leader as well, I will walk through examples of bullshit work in our industry. Understanding the underlying and contributing factors to those types of pointless duties and jobs will help you identify and avoid them in your daily work and hopefully, in your career choices.

You might be so fortunate that you don’t have any bullshit tasks in your job description or daily routine – but people around you might. This presentation will highlight the challenges that arise in an environment like that, and give you some ideas on how to tackle them – and maybe even help others break those patterns.