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The First Submission for EuroSTAR 2011

  • 14/12/2010
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EuroSTAR is always a chance to meet old and new friends, and weather problems during the 2010 conference gave me further opportunities. My flight was delayed by 36 hours, so, free to wander through old Copenhagen, I was hailed by a booming voice in the middle of the Illums Bolighus department store.

Brett Gonzales had been trying to see me all conference, and had not slept the night before, writing and polishing his submission for EuroSTAR 2011. You may remember Brett had submitted the ‘lost’ piece for EuroSTAR 2010, whose star qualities were reported in the May 2010 EuroSTAR newsletter [EuroSTAR newsletter #50: http://qualtech.newsweaver.ie/startester/1pfmyig9qro]. Well, he has done it again, and I believe that we have a truly great presentation, and what is more, the first submission for the 2011 conference in Manchester.

As I turned over the pages, letting the numerous 1,000 Kroner notes fall into my lap, my eyes began to fill with tears. I had to continually force myself to NOT think about the Christmas presents that I could now buy, as the words began to tell their story. Here was a masterpiece. Rather than tell you about it, I will let Brett’s words wash over you. Even the title makes anticipation rise like a dove.

“What my father never told me about Software Testing”

Reflect for a moment. It is the duty of parents to instruct children in important aspects of life; why Polos have a hole in the centre, whether the moon is really made of Green Cheese, and of course, the intricacies of software testing, and whether there are any better test techniques than Classification Trees. The title shouts injustice at us, and we can feel the passion rising. The questions began to flow in my mind: is it because Brett’s father told him nearly everything about Software Testing, or taught him nothing at all? What a fantastic father to teach their child everything about the testing profession and the title makes me consider this a ‘must’ for the Manchester program. But it gets better.

When I was growing up in The Vatican City, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Andorra and Liechtenstein, we used to have family holidays in Greece, Hungary and Brazil. We would go ‘bug hunting in Belarus’, ‘(defect) tracking in Transylvania’ or ‘reviewing in Russia’, and it was only in later life that I appreciated the true, lasting value of these formative years.

Whilst others were enjoying the sand at a Baltic Sea resort, I was looking at motionless trains, and having static analysis and defective coupling (or was that defect coupling) explained. At army training sessions, the highlight was always Inspections, whilst the base of trees provided scope for interesting root cause analysis, but I had to be agile as I explored, to prevent me falling into disrepute.  However, father was always wise enough to make sure that trees were strong enough to take my weight – he called this branch testing. Visits to scientific institutions would see theoretic scientists developing the first aeroplane black box flight recorder, or biologists developing thegenetic test process. We always liked scientists who are both cheerful and smoke cigarettes as they work, providing both happy day testing and smoke testing. Those that arrive before 06:30 are obviously doing early testing, whilst the late arrivals have had a bad day already and are testing when under pressure (stress testing). The fence that forms part of the border between France and Switzerland in the Jura was a lesson in boundary analysis, and visits to the UK Parliament let me see the Lords – a peer review. We always viewed elections as importing as this often resulted in state transition, and furniture buying could be a problem for the indecisive –decision: tables. Finally, car factories were often a highlight, as we would see cars driven off the production line – automotive testing.

My father was a good father and a good husband, and he instilled in me lots of guidelines for a long and productive career. I miss him since his untimely death, and he is obviously at this very momenttesting in the clouds. Remember: old testers never die – they just pass the exit criteria.

The opening sentence is superb. We have already identified with a number of countries, and Brett must have been given some inside information on countries from which we have NEVER had a presentation at EuroSTAR. Not only that, but the numerous delegates from some of these fringe countries who will attend the conference in Manchester 2011 can readily identify with the presenter, and recognise one of their own, a true patriot.

Brett has skilfully managed to cover vast swathes of the ISTQB Foundation syllabus in his submission, and this presentation alone will provided serious revision opportunities for anyone intending to take this extremely worthwhile examination in the near future. I have to admit that I wept openly when reading of the untimely death of Mr Gonzales (senior) – a sad loss to Brett’s family, and to the testing world. I am only grateful that Brett will be able to give us further insight into this previously unheard of giant of our industry.

The key point for me is that Brett has skilfully managed to remove the personal references from his former effort, whilst leaving conference delegates completely in the dark as to what he will talk about. That is mark of a truly great presentation, and one which I am sure the Program Committee will endorse, and even consider for a key-note session

After seeing the piece, it is only right that this is forwarded forthwith to the EuroSTAR team, and my duty as a man of integrity is to recommend that it is included. Unfortunately, the 1000 Kroner notes seem to have been mislaid at about the same time as the enormous hotel bill for my extended stay had to be paid. This is unfortunate, but these things happen sometimes.

Editor’s note: The EuroSTAR team note the evident quality of the submission, but on this occasion the piece will not be included for consideration for the conference. All submissions are reviewed by at least 2 of the review panel, and these are reviewed blindly, with the panel members unaware of the author. The mere inclusion of this piece has identified Brett Gonzales as the author. Any friends of Brett could be able to ‘persuade’ others of its merits. Submissions have personal information removed on receipt by the EuroSTAR team (name, age, country, company, etc.) to enable the review panel to be as objective as possible.

Submissions are considered for CONTENT, INNOVATION, CLARITY and THEME ALIGNMENT, and on these aspects only. Whilst so-called ‘war stories’ can have considerable merit, there has to be clearly identified Software Testing lessons available that will benefit a significant number of delegates.

Finally, all members of the Review Panel and the Program Committee themselves have the best interests of the world-wide Software Testing community close to their heart, and will not be susceptible to bribes of any kind.

Because of the problem with the missing 1000 Kroner notes, and the on-going police investigations, the EuroSTAR team believe that it is a correct decision NOT to reveal the identity of the author, which is why we have used the fictitious “BV Analysis”.

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