007 Unlicensed to Test


Day 3


Early sessions, early start. I decided to skip the early sessions, partly because I was tired, partly because I thought I could catchup with the speakers of the sessions I would skip and ask about them later.

Breakfast, a catchup with Dan Billing as I was facilitating his session (although another table where I tried to sit with different people), and one mistake! -  I had to have checked out of my room straight after breakfast but that was when the session was. Minor panic, not quite the prep I wanted for facilitating at Dan’s Session. - Sorry Dan

A very quick checkout ensued, and back to Dan’s session. - rather tired


The Human Factor – Exploring Social Engineering


Dan’s session was all about social engineering, a fun session where we got to see how much we knew about our fellow conference attendees from the internet. - An awful lot it appears.

Date of births, jobs, home addresses, social security numbers, family members, holidays, likes and dislikes.

We also mapped out some potential attack vectors in social engineering:

Spying and Eavesdropping

Dan used social engineering to get details from from one of the attendees as part of the interaction during the session (I'm still not sure if that was intentional or not)

Attendees then had to find Dan’s password from his new site that shows security issues for practicing testing (as I’m working on mobile, is there going to be a mobile one of those, or shall we create one?)

Some very clever and interesting and close guesses, based on Dan's personal information divulged on the internet. The majority being science fiction based. I wonder if his actual password now has something to do with AC/DC

A great fun session by Dan, I will be looking at future sessions and conferences he is speaking at, I hope he makes a few London Tester Gathering meetups and testbashes.



Improv(e) Your Testing: Tips Tricks from Jester to Tester


Next up was Damian Synadinos, based on the previous evening I expected this to be fun, and it was.

Damian was introducing Improvisation to us, specifically improvisation comedy and it’s relation to testing especially around improvisation comedy guidelines. He walked through each of the guidelines (with a volunteer).



           Improvisation Guideline             Examples of how it relates to testing
           Yes and...                                →  Accept a test result and try something else
           No Driving                             →  Cognitive Biases
           Know your environment     →  Test environments/working environments
           Performance Ideas              →  Cheat sheets, mneumonics, mind maps
           Focus on Relationships       →  Personas
           Listen                                     →  Defocus
           Contemplate Death             →  Reflection, feedback


It was one of my favourite sessions, as not only did Damian present improvisation guidelines and how they relate to testing, he backed it up with some group testing to emphasise his point.

It would be a good icebreaker that session for one of our internal company meetups, even a London Tester Gatehring (any chance I could run that session internally Damian?)


How to pick your battles




The next session was a speakeasy session, Letstest amongst other conferences allow first time speakers speak at a conference (I think this is a good idea as sometimes there are the same well known speakers at multiple conferences and speakers re-use their sessions quite a lot at different conferences)

It again was a hard choice but I went to Nicola Owens ‘How to pick your battles’

Nicola did a good job at her first speaking event, she went through an experience report of how she interacted with programmers, how she would always fight for every bug to get fixed and how she adapted her approach. 

She introduced WIT (Are there Workarounds to bugs? Are the workarounds feasible? What's the Impact? Who would be affected? Time - what is the fix time, and getting bang for the buck)

Her focus seemed to be on bugs and programmers, I did wonder if Nicola had also applied her approach to other areas like interaction with other teams, stakeholders etc - however this can depend on the context.

Perhaps that is your next talk Nicola?



She also mentioned the importance of credibility as a tester:
  • Be reliable
  • Be honest
  • Do good work 
I think Nicola will be speaking again, thanks Letstest for allowing new speakers on the programme.



Next the closing keynote by Fiona Charles, I actually missed the closing keynote as I had to get the taxi back to the airport. If anyone has some notes please could they share them.

Thanks Letstest, I learned a lot again, tried to push myself further and met new testers. YOU ROCK!