STAREAST 2015 Interview with Andy Glover: Problem Solving for Testers


Andy Glover, head of testing at Exco InTouch, discusses his STAREAST experience. Look for more keynotes, sessions, and interviews at this year’s STARWEST conference in Anaheim.


In this STAREAST interview, Andy Glover explains how testers solve problems. He digs into visual testing and its uses, as well as how we need to innovate in order to move the industry forward. 

Jennifer Bonine: All right. We are back with another interview. This is Andy Glover. Andy, thank you for joining us.

Andrew Glover: Thank you for having me.

Jennifer Bonine: Andy, you work for a company called Exco InTouch. For those of you out there that haven't heard of this organization, can you tell us a little bit about what it does and what you guys do?

Andrew Glover: Sure. Exco InTouch works in the pharmaceutical industry. We help large pharma with clinical trials. One of the main things is, we collect data from patients. Through that we use mobile apps, so we provide an app to a patient, a patient logs in every day, answer questions, how they're feeling. We might remind them to take medication, or maybe remind them to go and see their doctor.

All that information can really help the pharma companies gather their information for a clinical trial, and hopefully get the medication, or the drug, to market.

Jennifer Bonine: Wow. Now, the application of that, does that work in all markets or just in certain markets? Obviously there's certain regulations for the FDA in the United States versus internationally. Does it work across the globe?

Andrew Glover: Yeah across the globe. We're based in the UK. We work with lots of big pharma companies. FDA pretty much trumps everything, so everyone has to pull to the FDA. It doesn't matter where you work. If you work in England, or you work in the USA, or any other country, it seems to be the FDA standard. We have to follow their regulations, and so do everyone else really.

There are other regulations in the UK. There's the MHRA, but again, FDA seems to be more important.

Jennifer Bonine: Trumps?

Andrew Glover: Yeah, absolutely.

Jennifer Bonine: So you guys go with that one. That's interesting. Can you give us a little bit of background about how you ended up at this conference and what you're doing here, and your path to this industry?

Andrew Glover: Yeah. I've been testing for a long time now, about thirteen, fourteen years, mostly in the pharma industry. The reason I'm here though, is I've sort of got into visual testing over the last few years. I did a workshop on Monday, a half-day workshop, and discussed how to learn about visual testing and how to apply it and get the confidence to use it on a daily basis really.

Jennifer Bonine: Wow. Now, inside your organization are you guys using visual testing?

Andrew Glover: Yes. For example, we use mind maps. Mind maps are really good. Mind maps are often used to generate ideas, which is an important part of testing. When you test applications, for example, you might be given a requirements document, but not all the requirements are written down. It's good to have a mind map to generate more ideas. You can bounce the ideas off other testers and project members as well.

The good thing about mind maps as well, it can be a living document. Rather than having a test plan, which is often lots and lots of words, and often I find people don't read them, which is a communication tool, but nobody uses it for communication. A mind map, I call it a living document.


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