A Special Let’s Test Oz Thank You

Obviously there are many people to thank when pulling together a conference like Let’s Test Oz; however there are two special people that need to be called out…

Anne-Marie Charrett and Henrik Andersson, my wonderful co-organisers.

Around 18 months ago I reached out to Henrik in his capacity as Let’s Test organiser. I had tried another conference, but the organisers were not interested in a new location for their ‘brand’ (for lack of a better term). Henrik’s immediate reply was one of overwhelming positiveness. His willingness to make it happen was all I needed to forge ahead.

Henrik advised that I really needed a local group that could assist, as he knew full well how much work it takes to get a conference of this scale off the ground. Anne-Marie and I had already shared emails about a new software testing conference Downunder. With STANZ and Fusion no longer happening there was a gap; a gap that we wanted to fill with a new style of conference. Let’s Test was that style.

I’m so very glad that Anne-Marie and I found each other for this. From day one (all that time ago) Anne-Marie has worked tirelessly. She was the organiser ‘on the ground'; the local Sydney-sider that did the leg work required. This was also the case for our prequel, Tasting Let’s Test, which really set the scene for Let’s Test Oz and gave people a taste for what we were all about.

So, from the bottom of my heart…

Thank you Henrik for saying YES! Thank you for remaining positive throughout and sharing all your knowledge in relation to conference organisation.

Thank you Anne-Marie for EVERYTHING. Thank you for being my partner in crime and working so incredibly hard to make this happen. A great debt is owed to you.

Let’s Test Oz is go!

LetsTEstOz2014

It’s almost go time for Let’s Test Oz!

What a journey it’s been… over a year in the making. We have a fabulous group of delegates attending and 3 days of testing conferring awesomeness. Not to mention the infamous Let’s Testing ‘after hours’ activities!

I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come together, and very much hoping we can build the CDT community Downunder; that being the driving force for me personally.

I plan on writing about the experience here, so watch this space.

Twitter hash tag will be #LetsTest, so please keep an eye on that.

Bring it! Oh, and STOP ISO 29119!

An open letter to Professional Tester…

People are doing this… I think it’s a great idea… here goes…

A copy of the article:

book_burners

 

To the publisher(s) of the blog post entitled ‘Book burners threaten (old) new testing standard’ on professionaltester.com on August 20, 2014:

PL-Book_Burner

Really?

Oh, for more insightful pieces (the above is the best I can do being a book burner and all) please see:

http://testjutsu.com/2014/08/an-open-letter-to-the-blog-publisher-of-professionaltester-com/

http://steveo1967.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/an-open-letter-to-professional-tester.html

I’m sure there will be more.

Regards,

David Greenlees

Professional Software Tester

Founding member of the International Society for Software Testing

Error Elimination Testing

I was recently asked to review Parimala Hariprasad’s CAST 2014 talk, and what a great talk it would have been; shame I missed it! The review prompted me to remember a technique that I’ve used in the past which I call Error Elimination Testing. I also thought it may be a good idea to finally write about it!

From past experience, it’s not uncommon for people to test for error messages. They invoke the message to make sure it appears, is readable/understandable, says what it’s suppose to say, etc, etc. But how many people think a little bit further, and test whether it is actually necessary, or think about possible changes to design elements which would mean there was no need for an error message in the first place?

I give you… Error Elimination Testing – Testing in order to eliminate the need for error messages.

One of the most common instances is the sign up/register page…

Meetup Sign Up

Seems simple enough, so let’s invoke an error message…

Meetup Sign Up Error

Fair call. 6 characters will be a bit safer than the 1 that I tried! However, if I’d used my dog’s name, which is 5 characters in length and far more likely than someone trying to enter 1, I would have got the same error.

So how much of a design problem would it be to have the text “Your password needs to be at least 6 characters long” permanently displayed on the page? I’m not a web designer, but I can’t imagine it being a big deal. A small line of text to save the frustration of being presented with an error message, and having to enter another password… works for me.

The above example is a simple one, but what a difference it could make to the overall user experience. When you combine issues such as these in the sign up process with other potential issues across the site, they can add up to a level of *insert negative emotion here* that detracts significantly from the user’s experience.

Once you do this on a few occasions you’ll find yourself thinking about it every time you see an error message; “What could we change so that we don’t need the error here?”

There will be times when you can’t change anything, and that’s cool, but at least you’ve taken your thought process one step further.