Paul Gerrard
Gerrard Consulting (UK)

Biography

Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, programmer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and publisher. He has conducted consulting assignments in all aspects of software testing and quality assurance, specialising in test assurance. He has presented keynote talks and tutorials at testing conferences across Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and occasionally won awards for them. He was the founding chair of the British Computer Society Information Systems Examination Board (BCS ISEB) of the Software Testing certification board. Educated at the universities of Oxford and Imperial College London, he is a Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited and is the host of the Technology Leadership Forum. He wrote “Risk-Based E-Business Testing” with Neil Thompson in 2002 and the “Business Story Pocketbook” with Susan Windsor in 2012. He wrote “The Tester’s Pocketbook” in 2009. He has also written a book on the Python programming language “Lean Python” in 2013 and “Digital Assurance” in 2016. Paul won the EuroSTAR European Testing Excellence award in 2011 and The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) award for Lifetime Achievement in 2013 and the ISTQB International Software Testing Excellence Award in 2018. He was the Programme Chair for the EuroSTAR 2014 conference in Dublin.

About the presentation

Keynote: Testers! Why you need to lead

If you are a test manager, you need to lead your team. But if you are the tester on your agile team, the team will look to you to take a lead. All the questions directed at test managers and leads will come your way. You need to be the test expert, to have deeper insights into testing and sometimes coach and lead your team.

Whatever the size of your project, with or without test managers, the same questions need to be answered. Who are our stakeholders? What do they want from test? What information should testing provide? How much testing is enough? How do we distribute testing across the team? Etc. etc.

In this class you will learn:

  • The importance of stakeholders, their goals and risks in formulating a test strategy
  • The big questions that arise – leading and facilitating the discussion
  • How to deal with the unexpected (staying calm and in control)

Paul highlights the range of challenges that testers need to manage when your team look to you for leadership. Whatever your situation as a tester, you need to step up!

 

Tutorial: Leadership in Test – Strategy

This tutorial focuses on strategy – “how should we test in this project?” Someone must figure out how you test in your projects. If not the tester, who will do that? This is where you must take the lead. But leadership does not mean telling people what must happen.

Strategy is a collaborative activity, not a document. The approach you take depends on learning what your customers (your stakeholders) need from testing. To do this, you need to have a common understanding – a shared mental model – of what is required. Modelling is a powerful tool in the tester’s toolbox.

Stakeholders have two main concern: achieving their business goals and minimising or better understanding, risk. As a team you need to agree an approach where stakeholder needs are met and the testing ‘workload’ is distributed in an effective way.

This tutorial explores the thinking and conversations you need to have to do this.

Agenda:

  • Strategy
  • Stakeholder-Driven Testing
  • The Value of Testing
  • Values and Expectations
  • Thinking Strategically
  • Agile Test Strategy
  • Models and Coverage
  • New Model Testing
  • Systems Thinking: Perceptions and Models
  • Defining Scope
  • What coverage means
  • How much testing is enough?
  • Risk
  • Classic Risk Management
  • Risk-Based Testing in a Nutshell
  • From Risks to Tests
  • Practicalities