Chris Armstrong
Qualitest (UK)


I love all things testing. I'm keen to connect with likeminded testers with whom I can share ideas and inspire to continue in this wonderful craft!

About the Presentation

The Pursuit of Failure
Invited Speech


As testers, we often seek balance: risk & quality, introvert & extrovert, holistic & granular, failure & success.

Throughout my twenty years in testing, I have had the longest relationship with failure. It has the power to demotivate, derail, break and end progress.

Is our identity as testers in finding bugs, in pointing out where things are incorrect, do we only bring negativity, are we diametrically opposed to developers in this saga called software development?

In my great wisdom, I used to try and stand up against it, saying ‘we should embrace failure’. Coming from a place of looking to face fears, accept they happen and build that into my psyche. But a good friend of mine helped shift my perspective to show that actually it is the lessons that we learn from failure that we should embrace, learn from and bring with us.

Failure can be an anchor, if all I am known as is a ‘bug hunter’, ‘code breaker’ and ‘harbinger of doom’, then what do I expect my perception and my ability to bring about positive change will be?

In this talk, I not only reflect on my close relationship with failure throughout my career but also how that has changed and continues to change. How my role in testing applies to so much more than just bugs and the lessons that I continue to share with colleagues to this day.

Key lessons learnt and takeaways:
1. Methods of reflection and retrospection to break a cycle of failure into success
2. The language that we use as testers has power
3. Awareness, movement and relevancy – software is ever evolving, and we need to change with and help to shape its future, without burning out