New Testing Ideas

I was checking out test conference programs, and found a list of talk titles I found intriguing (this is a sampling of titles from the conference). I’m curious to know how interesting and innovative you think this conference would be.

  • The Art and Science of Load Testing Internet Applications
  • Model-Based Testing for Data Centric Products
  • Successful Test Management: 8 Lessons Learned
  • Managing User Acceptance Tests in Large Projects
  • Architectures of Test Automation
  • Testing Rapidly Created Web Sites
  • Measuring Ad Hoc Testing
  • The Habits of Highly Effective Testers

There are definitely a few interesting topics above, and I’d probably attend all of the sessions if I went to the conference. Unfortunately, it’s too late to register, as the conference I pulled these titles from is nearly twelve years old.

I’ve complained in the past about the lack of new ideas in testing, but despite a massive amount of idea-regurgitation, I think software testing is edging up on a growth spurt. It takes a bit of “cooking” to come up with new Ideas (good ideas, at least), and two of the biggest ingredients seem to be falling into place.

First off, ideas take time to germinate. Testers are beginning to stay in testing longer (you’ll still see half or more of conference attendees with a year or less of testing experience), but anecdotal information, along with my testing spidey-sense tells me that we have more testers staying in test longer than we did a decade ago. With the experience, comes the ability of these testers to draw on enough experience and experiment long enough to bring new ideas to fruition.

Big ideas are often collisions between smaller ideas. You little tool or approach may not be much on it’s own, and my idea for short-circuiting the fizzbazz is a novelty at best. But when we discover each other’s ideas, a new idea may emerge (use the fizzbazz within your approach to make magic happen). In order to enable these collisions of small ideas, we need people with ideas – but we need a network to get those ideas to happen. The degrees of separation and the size of networks is massively larger than it was a decade ago. I think testing is ready to foster idea collision on a massive scale.

I could go on, and on…and I will – but not now.

I’ll be giving a talk on Where (Testing) Ideas Come From as part of the Eurostar Virtual Software Testing Conference. Register for free (‘cause I’m all about making money :}) and hear more of my crazy ideas.


  1. “staying in test longer” the explanation could be easy- testing is a younger profession than software development, 12 years ago I had less than a year of testing experience and so are some of my colleges.
    It’s the same as “there are no programmers over 30” that turned to 35 and touching 40 nowadays

  2. “Unfortunately, it’s too late to register, as the conference I pulled these titles from is nearly twelve years old.”

    LOL! Missed it by *that much*!

    I’ll try to attend your talk on the virtual conference, but I’m not sure I can (virtually) make it that day, so will have to review it on-demand. Thanks!

  3. In a previous life, I specialized in large scale systems integrations for governments and universities. For things like Payroll, Finance, or Human Resources, we used a package such as PeopleSoft, Oracle or SAP. But for many government agencies (e.g. Health and Human Services) we had to build the applications from scratch. These went form PowerBuilder + Oracle to Oracle Tools + Oracle to whatever dev-tool-du jour + Oracle on the DB side. I did integration and pilot testing with the end users. Half of my brain had to work the business process end to try to “break” the system, and the other half had to “trap” the error and report the break points to the coders. Stressful, but invaluable once I opened a recording studio. Maybe most recording engineers don’t realize how much they could learn from software development, but I certainly do and respect the job IT professionals do.

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