Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TestBash Retrospective #2 - Don't Be Vague, Respect the Bug Report

Anna's 99 Second Talk

Anna Baik [@TesterAB] (no less) gave a talk on being less vague. The cornerstone of the talk was to be more specific in our language so that we're respected within and outside testing - in our company and beyond. To talk about skills instead of just naming processes. To use words like modelling and exploring in place of test cases and scripts. Be specific and proud of what you do, and talk about it in a professional way, for the benefit of you and the software industry.

Amy's 99 Second Talk

Amy Phillips [@ItJustBroke] (no less) gave a talk called "Respect The Bug Report", with a personal admission of a lapse in bug report quality. A brave thing to do, and it gives me the confidence to admit that I have been known to lapse in my communication. The thrust of this talk was to remember to respect your communication channels - to provide your test clients with good quality information, which is after all half the purpose of a tester. I've done some work on this at my own company and I found that talking to developers (I know! Crazy!) asking for feedback is a great way to identify the information they want from their report, and what information they actually use that you provide. You can streamline your communications by understanding the needs of your audience. Don't forget that testing and then keeping the information to yourself is a waste of time - testing isn't an end in itself, but a means to an end.

It strikes me at this point that all the people I've begun with are women. Hey, non-testers, if you're wondering where all the female talent is in the tech industry, I think we stole them all. Sorry*.
*not sorry.

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