STAREAST 2012 Keynote: Evaluating Testing: The Qualitative Way

Michael Bolton, DevelopSense Inc.

For years, testers and managers alike have wrestled with the problem of evaluating software products and testing efforts, often using approaches derived from manufacturing, construction, and physical sciences. These approaches have been only partially successful because software products aren't physical products. Rather, software is part of a complex web of relationships among programs, computing equipment, networks, and, most importantly, people. Michael Bolton explains how he uses interdisciplinary and exploratory methods to make sense of both the products we test and testing itself. He explains how anthropology, which describes cultures and artifacts, can guide our testing; how investigative journalism can show us how to build a compelling testing story; and how sociology can help us understand how people interact with their tools. Move beyond the old ways of thinking and evaluating to more qualitative, social science-based approaches. Take back new insights to help you and your team improve your testing work, develop a coherent and powerful testing story, and help your stakeholders make better project decisions. 


About the Presenter

Tester, consultant, and trainer Michael Bolton is the co-author (with James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a course that presents a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure. Michael is a leader in the context-driven software testing movement with twenty years of experience testing, developing, managing, and writing about software. Currently, he leads DevelopSense, a Toronto-based consultancy. Prior to DevelopSense, he was with Quarterdeck Corporation, where he managed the company’s flagship products, and directed project and testing teams both in-house and worldwide. Contact Michael at [email protected].

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