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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Tuesday, August 9 • 11:00 - 12:00
Babble & Dabble: Creating Bonds Across Disciplines

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As testers, we sit in the middle of the software development process surrounded by specialists with different strengths. Our environment provides many opportunities for us to promote our skills and seek to understand the skills of others. Yet many testers fail to foster the collaborative practices required for this exchange of knowledge.

Testing that is influenced by information from outside our discipline will be better than testing performed in isolation. Business analysts guide us towards what our customers want, developers help us to prioritize testing vulnerable areas of the application, and support provides a deeper understanding of the way customers really use our software.

Similarly, other specialists can benefit from the skills offered by testing. Business analysts learn to evaluate their own requirements from a test perspective, developers start to build testable software, and support improves the way that they document user-reported bugs.

Beyond simply sharing skills, testers benefit from being part of a software development team where testing is widely understood, where there is shared ownership of testing tasks, and where testing is valued. To cultivate this environment testers must promote collaboration so they can teach and be taught.

Katrina and Carol explain how to spread ideas between disciplines. They describe how using broadcast techniques like “lunch & learn” presentations, internal conferences, or learning pathways are useful to raise awareness. They also share their experiences with promoting active learning through hands-on activities like pairing, peer reviews, or huddles.

avatar for Carol Brands

Carol Brands

Software Tester, DNV GL Software
Carol Brands began her software career working as a technical support representative, where she developed an empathy and understanding for her users. After choosing to focus on testing, she moved to DNV GL Software and spent the next three years developing her testing skills and studying... Read More →
avatar for Katrina Clokie

Katrina Clokie

Testing Coach, Bank of New Zealand
Katrina Clokie serves a team of about 30 testers as a Testing Coach at the Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. She is an active contributor to the international testing community as the editor of Testing Trapeze magazine, a mentor with Speak Easy, a co-founder of her local testing... Read More →

Tuesday August 9, 2016 11:00 - 12:00 PDT
Fletcher Challenge Theatre (1900) Simon Fraser University Vancouver 515 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3