CAST 2016 has ended
Testing: Software Development Catalyst

Testing is not an isolated activity. It interacts with and influences other disciplines in software development such as design, coding, release management, and deployment. As testers, our skills and experiences add value far beyond the immediate context of verifying functionality. Threats to value other than software errors exist.

Yet our discussions are often constrained to the testing space, omitting the connections to, and dependencies on, other roles and activities. Testing is an integral discipline of software development, and often plays an active and important role in bridging gaps between technical and business-focused roles, between leaders and engineers, and between makers and users.

How does the testing piece fit into the software development puzzle? How does – and how should – testing interact with other disciplines in software development? How can we most effectively add value to the software development projects we participate in?

Please join us for our 11th annual conference at the Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver, Canada, August 8-10 2016.


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Monday, August 8 • 13:30 - 17:00
Learning to Say No

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Although we’d like to be able to say “yes”, there are times when saying “no” serves our projects, our teammates and our stakeholders best.

Testers can be subject to many conflicting or unreasonable demands. A manager may insist we work on several projects simultaneously, making it impossible for us to do good work on any of them. There may be enormous pressure to work long hours, which will jeopardize our health and the quality of our testing. Sometimes we’re expected to commit to something that we don’t know how to do. We can even find ourselves pressured to misrepresent our findings about the quality of the software.

Paradoxically, learning to say a good “no” enhances our ability to say a meaningful “yes”. If we can say “no” appropriately to demands we know to be wrong for us or for the project, then we can also say “yes” with whole-hearted commitment.

Saying “no” is not easy for anyone, but it is a skill that we can learn.

This half-day tutorial will consist primarily of experiential exercises and debriefs—as many as we have time for. Some volunteer participants will get to practice saying “no” to unreasonable demands. Everyone will have opportunities to observe the interactions, ask questions, discuss, and draw their own conclusions.

This session is intended for testing practitioners and managers at all levels of experience.

Learning Objectives
Why “no” can be a more positive answer than “yes” in certain contexts
How to recognize and resist the many tactics people can use to get us to say “yes”
How to say “no” when that is the right answer for us—simply, and with conviction, equilibrium and respect

avatar for Fiona Charles

Fiona Charles

Independent Coach, Consultant, and Workshop Facilitator, Quality Intelligence
Fiona Charles is an independent coach, consultant, and workshop facilitator specializing in thehuman side of software development, quality, and testing. She teaches organizations to managetheir software quality risk, and software practitioners human skills “beyond process”—hands-onpractical... Read More →

Monday August 8, 2016 13:30 - 17:00 PDT
Canfor Policy Room (1600) Simon Fraser University Vancouver 515 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3