Gaining Consciousness

Fiona Charles

Testers make difficult decisions with minimal information in turbulent times on critical projects.  Independent consultant, Fiona Charles, suggests that testers must learn to draw a line in the decision-making process between trained intuition and careless assumption.  In this presentation, Fiona shares her experience with helping testers train their instincts leading to better decision making. Skilled practitioners naturally make some decisions purely on instinct. For example, an expert medical doctor makes a dazzlingly accurate diagnosis in a complex case that baffles other physicians yet cannot explain how she knows what ails the patient. In other cases, a doctor with similar or greater expertise might miss the diagnostic mark entirely.  As testers, we have trained our instincts through increasing experience and practice in the craft. But if we fool ourselves into believing that we can operate on instinct alone, we can lapse into an autopilot state like sleepwalking. You will learn to avoid the rigid mindset of sleepwalkers and the potential mistakes that could result, to challenge everything and especially to be conscious of and to question your own assumptions.

About the Presenter

Fiona Charles is an independent consultant, specialising in the human side of software development and projects: teaching organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. She consults with clients on testing and test management, works as an Agile testing coach, and acts occasionally as a program-level test manager on difficult projects. She speaks and conducts workshops at international conferences and in-house for clients, has recorded many webinars, and published many articles in test-related publications.  Fiona is co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett) of Speak Easy, a volunteer organisation designed to increase gender diversity at tech conferences and help new speakers find their voice.  Contact Fiona via her website, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

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