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ANZTB Conference 2014 declares: Test smarter, better and earlier!

By: Benjamin Romberg, Applications Test Leader, Hewlett Packard Company (Asia/Pacific region)


Convention audience - compressed.jpgThe 2014 Australia & New Zealand Testing Board Conference (ANZTB) was held in Sydney on the 16th May and I was lucky enough to be able to attend. It had been a few years since I managed to get the time to attend a testing conference, and it was extremely interesting to see where the trends in Testing were heading, to listen to some excellent talks from highly recognised testing thought leaders and to network with some fellow test professionals.


The talks covered a diverse array of topics but the central point across all of them was that you can’t stand still in IT. New trends, new technology, new approaches which are constantly being explored and developed requires you to continually adjust your thinking. And by “you” I don’t just mean a generic individual, it applies to corporations as well. Far too many businesses think they can have the same focus, goals and strategic approach to the marketplace year after year; one of the talks gave examples of corporations that no longer exist, such as Blockbuster (when was the last time you rented a VHS cassette?) These organisations did not adjust their operating model to match the new world and found themselves trying to do business with a superceded approach.


Agile is an excellent case in point; the majority of IT projects are still delivered utilising a Waterfall or V-Model methodology, even though Agile has been proven time and time again to deliver higher quality results for less cost (with this caveat - when the Agile methodology is implemented correctly! We’ll cover that in a future blog). Automation is another example; there are still too few delivery projects fully utilising the benefits automation can bring - across the entire SDLC, not just within Testing. The same is true for Risk Based Testing. I hear many clients saying “Oh of course we use Risk Based Testing!” to which I ask “so your testers work with your business analysts, end users and architects to develop the risk profile in the Conception Phase of the project?” This question is usually met with silence - and yet correctly implementing Risk Based Testing has been shown to save costs, reduce project risks and ensure a successful project delivery in many cases.


So I was excited to observe at the conference that the bulk of the conversations were around how we, as testers, push our companies in the direction of adopting new methodologies and approaches to project delivery - not just testing itself, but how we think about software and services as a whole. How do we apply Agile? How do we make sure Risk Based Testing is performed correctly? How do we push for increased automation to ease repetitive manual testing? I’m hoping that the conversations I have with clients in the coming months get a little easier because the clients are hearing the same message from their internal testing teams - Test smarter! Test better! Test earlier!


The ANZTB is one of the regional councils under the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), a globally recognised testing certification organisation which operates worldwide and provides numerous certificates for testers within their testing specialities. Whenever the topic of certification for testers comes up there’s always a discussion around the validity of certification, and whether or not testers should be certified. My point of view is that, like any other professional career such as accountancy, law, medicine or auto mechanics, I would prefer to have the service supplied by someone who holds the appropriate training and certifications than by someone without. When the question of standardisation comes up (forcing testers to think rigidly rather than curiously - which is what really drives us to be testers in my opinion), my response is that a tester has to have a good basis of understanding of testing methodologies and processes before they can explore and properly break an application.


All in all, the conference was a joy to attend. I learnt a great deal and had some interesting conversations and idea exchanges with the other attendees. I’m looking forward to the next conference!


Previous blogs by Benjamin Romberg:


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About the author


Benjamin Romberg Photo.jpgBenjamin Romberg, Applications Test Leader, Hewlett Packard Company (Asia/Pacific region)

Benjamin has over twenty five years of experience in the IT industry, the last twelve as a Test professional. His experience includes work as a test engineer, performance testing specialist, automation specialist, test consultant and test executive. He has worked on a broad range of testing engagements from small web based applications to large core system upgrades. Benjamin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics, a Post Graduate Degree in Software Engineering and an Executive Masters in Business Administration. He now leads HP’s Testing Practice in Asia Pacific and Japan.

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About the Author
Benjamin Romberg has over twenty five years experience in the IT industry, the last twelve of which have been as a testing professional. He ...

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