Keynote 4

Why I Left Software Testing – and Why I Came Back

Maria Kedemo

16:30-17:30 Thursday 13th June

I´d had enough. There’s a relentless cycle of familiar patterns in software testing. Colleagues and peers who have been in software development for many years can all relate to the struggle of facing the same problems over and over again.

There’s the dismissal of the skills required for testing; the obsession with test cases and KPIs; the excessive emphasis on tools over what problem we really need to solve — and the over-belief in automation as a solution to every testing problem. Aware of the obstacles we need to tackle, many of us willingly dive head first into the storm, driven to mentor, challenge, and reshape the way individuals, teams and entire organizations approach software development and testing.

Even though I know there might be resistance to change, lack of support, and misalignment with visions and goals, I’ve kept putting myself in similar situations over and over again. I’ve navigated through turbulent political and emotional waters and at times felt close to exhaustion. Throughout my twenty-five years within software development the persistent quest for creating genuine value has been my guiding star.

What has kept me going is the passion and love for challenging the status quo, for teaching and showing the value of what skilled testing can provide, for advocating a holistic approach to testability, for achieving quality in the products and services we create, for building relationships and connecting people. I kept going – until that day when I hit my limit. I decided to take a break, uncertain about my return. Fast forward a few years and I am back in the testing arena with new insights.