Tobias Geyer


Tobias never picked testing as a career on purpose but after more than 15 years of working in this field he’s glad he joined it. His experience ranges from waterfall environments in big enterprises to small agile teams. He worked on CNC machines, social networks and in the automotive industry. His love to learn and exchange knowledge made him co-found the “Software Testing User Group Hamburg” which he ran until he moved to the other end of Germany. Together with his great team he won the “NRG Global test competition” in 2014 and was a judge in the first Software Testing World Cup.

About the Presentation

Let’s talk about ethics and software testing


Testing is a craft which evolves continuously – instead only checking of functional correctness manually testers nowadays also use automation and keep an eye on the so called “-ilities” like usability and accessibility.

Current trends like IoT, AI and autonomous driving bring another area into focus: The ethical examination of the newly developed features.
Users are being subjected to ethically questionable algorithms and features already and they will become more present in the future. Some of those implementations made it into mass media and harmed the reputation of companies – something which could have been prevented beforehand.
The emissions scandals by car manufacturers are an obvious example here but also social networks and even free software to clone hard discs face ethical challenges.

As with most new areas which testers can work in ethics seems hard to get a grip on. How can ethical implications be tested for? Which guidelines exist already and what do they contain? Does this affect my current software under test or can ethics be ignored?

This talk starts with a quick introduction into the field of ethics. Then it connects real examples of ethically questionable features with existing codes of ethics. It explains why testers are good ethics advocates but can’t carry that burden alone, offers starting points for discussions about ethics and offers an approach for the testing of ethical implications of features.

In the end the audience will leave with enough knowledge about ethics to keep informing themselves and to raise the topic of ethics in their area of influence.