ACCU 2010 Day Four....Sapient Testing...C+-....Kanban

Wow! Thursday at ACCU 2010 seemed to have created a some activity amongst the test community. Matt Heusser created this post and Markus Gärtner created this one

Did it create a storm amongst the dev community?....

I am slightly amazed if it has....but if it has it's all good isn't it?....

So what happened? James Bach presented his keynote 'Hello I'll be your tester today.....'

Talking about sapient testing....

For me as other testers have commented I didn't see this as new thing, we have to use our brains right?

James: "I'm testing outside the spec because the specification is just a rumor"
Spec vs Actual vs Imagined ????
"Simple tests tell us whether a product works. Good tests determine how it might not work "

Is that 'can it work' vs 'will it work' ?

One of the key things for me was when James started talking about automated tests not being the same as a manual tester conducting tests (however they can coincide)- I've been meaning to blog about this for a while. John Stevenson beat me too it.

James got challenged on this point( I think it was percieved (wrongly imo) to be an attack somehow on agile automated tests) , I think this may have been when dev cogs started to turn...but like you can't automate a testers mind can you?

I attended the first session of that day which was James was talking again, this time about 'The case against test cases"

So if James was talking about professionalism in the keynote, was he talking about integrity in the 2nd? Like don't go along with the test case illusion.

He talked about beyond Test Cases by:

Test Framing
Test Factoring
Critical Thinking

"Test Cases shouldn't be taken seriously....Cases over focus testing. It's the de-focus that find the problems."

"TDD not being a test thing but a methodical heartbeat to development thing"
"Activity based Testing rather than artefact based testing. "

The next session was by Sergei Ignatchenko giving a talk on The importance of early bug detection for improving program reliability and reducing development costs.

Sergei baiscally talked about personal experience where he found that nasty bugs among others are hard to find in the following areas:
- Multithreading
- Security
- 3rd Party Bugs

He mentioned the existing solutions of:
- Production mode logging and reporting
- Asserts - With more asserts you can get closer to the cause of the issue
- Static Code Analysis
- Language features - Const/Private

His solution was an opensource project called C+- (a new language) which allows you to create extensions for preventing restricting bugs in code.

The next session on Thursday was Database Testing Demistified by Sven Rosvall

He talked about Why we test Databases?
- to protect the production db
- test db as components
- automate tests
- facilitate change

What can we test?

- Table/Cols
- Constaints
- Defaults
- Triggers
- SP's
- Views
- ACL's

How we can test?

- Single stepping Sp's
- Unit Test Frameworks i.e. Spunit

The demonstration was good, however some of the stuff, it seemed I had been involved with about 5 years ago..

The last session I went to was 5 steps to Kanban by Karl Scotland...

Kanban taken from Toyota....the car manufacturer....Are they still using Kanban?

Ok the 5 steps were these...
1. Recognize the value ( queueing theory....others in the session weren't convinced)
2. Visualize the work
3. Limit Work in progress
4. Discover Cadence
5. Eliminate Kanban

I just wasn't convinced on this (although I took the most notes on this session the whole week)
It just seemed very processed...

Is anybody testing within a Kanban environment?

Because I have got this post out so late....Thomas Ponnet has already blogged about Friday at ACCU 2010 (well he's more Observant than me!) and it seems he was in 2 sessions I was in!!!!! Arghhh!

Lesson learnt I must read tweets more often......(Sorry Thomas it would have been good to meet up!....)

Parting notes...I haven't been to a conference in an age (years) everyone was very friendly, there seemed loads of energy a real buzz of an atmosphere! I got the impression some great things were being developed without being developed - if that makes sense. I need to make it next time!

Oh and I was gutted Lisa Crispin couldn't make it for her session (aparently something to do with a volcano, anyone heard about that?....Lisa can you still do your session some some other means?....

(If anyone is still stuck there?....are you lot going to build some software while your there...nothing better to do....well if you need a tester give me a shout!)

So is anybody got a conference lined up? where are you going?


  1. Hi,
    I'm slightly envious that you saw James' talks - I missed them due to client work, argh!
    Due to "Volcano awareness week" as he termed it I got to talk to him on Friday which was at least good for me.
    Interesting notes, thanks for writing this up as these were the talks/presentations that I was most interested in.
    Get in touch on twitter or LinkedIn as I still have no idea what you look like - I thought there weren't not a lot of testers at Accu2010.



  2. Seems like it was a good event, I'll have to try catch the next one.

  3. Hey Thomas!
    Yeh James talks were excellent! The Devs that were around me were loving his keynote! Oh he also showed his Steve Mcqueen video. High Five James!

    I got to talk to James on a couple of occasions, but kinda got stuck in awestruck goldfish mode caught in headlights....One thing I do know now that I have met James is that I've gotta a whole lot of reading to do...research and practice...Oh and also he seems a kool dude...

    I'm following you on watchout Thomas! hehe...Oh and I don't know what you look like either!..


  4. Hi Tony,
    The next one's got to include a STC gathering. I'm a bit disappointed I missed your tester gathering which happened to be the the same week as ACCU2010. I'm going to try and get out and about a bit more now..