Posted by Ben Simo
Here's some short blurbs of a few things I took away from CAST sessions.
From Lee Copeland's keynote address:
- "It's nonsensical to talk about automated tests as if they were automated human testing."
- Write or speak about something you're knowledgeable and passionate about.
- Combine things from multiple disciplines.
From Harry Robinson's keynote address:
- Weinberg's Second Law: If Builders Built Buildings The Way Programmers Write Programs, Then The First Woodpecker That Came Along Would Destroy Civilization.
From Esther Derby's keynote:
- To successfully coach someone, they must want to be coached and want to be coached by you.
From James Bach's tutorial:
- Pinata Heuristic: Keep beating at it until the candy comes out. ... and stop once the candy drops.
- Dead Horse Heuristic: You may be beating a dead horse.
- If it is a pinata, don't stop beating at it until the candy drops; but if it is a dead horse, your beating is bringing no value. It can be a challenge to determine if its a pinata or a dead horse.
- Separate automation models into high level (behavior) and low level (behavior implementation) components to reuse test models on a variety of platforms and configurations.
More from James Bach's tutorial:
- Testing does not break software. Testing dispels illusions.
- Rational Unified Process is none of the three. (attributed to Jerry Weinberg)
From the tester exhibition:
- Testing what can't be fixed or controlled may be of little value. Some things may not be worth testing.
- There is great value in the diversity of approaches and skills on a test team.
- It may be possible to beat a dead horse and test (and analyze) too much. Sometimes we should just stop testing and act on the information we have.
From Doug Hoffman's tutorial:
- Record and playback automation can be very useful for testing for the same behavior with many configurations. And, once the script stops finding errors: throw it out.
From Keith Stobie's keynote:
- Reduce the paths though your system to improve quality. Fewer features may be better.
- Free web sites often have higher quality than subscription sites. This is because it is easy to measure the cost of downtime on ad-supported systems.
From David Gilbert's session:
- People expect hurricanes to blow around and change path. We should expect the same with software development projects. (David has some interesting ideas about forecasting in software development.)
- Numbers tell a story only in context. You must understand the story behind the numbers.
- Keep Notes!
What did you take away from CAST?