Let’s test at Let’s Test

I’ve been telling people that the best conference I know for thinking testers is Let’s Test (followed closely by CAST, which I will also be at, this year, in New York). Let’s Test was created by people who experienced CAST and wanted to be even more dedicated to Context-Driven testing principles.

Now, I’m here in Stockholm once again to be with the most interesting testers in Europe. I’m not done with my presentations, yet. But I still have a couple of days.

(I will presenting a new model of what it means to be an excellent observer, together with one or two observation challenges for participants. And Pradeep Soundararajan and I will be presenting a tutorial on reviewing a specification by testing it.)

Let’s Test is not for the faint of heart. Events go on day and night. I suffer from terrible jet lag, so I probably won’t be seen after dinner. But for you crazy kids, it’s a great place to try a testing exercise, or present one.

(Note: I’m being paid to teach at Let’s Test. I don’t get a percentage of the gate, though– I get paid the same whether anyone shows up or not.)

Australia Let’s Test

I will also be in Australia for the first Let’s Test happening down there, in September. There are some interesting testers in Oz. I’m sure they will all be there. It will be the first great party of ambitious intellectual testers that I know of in the history of Australian testing.

Anne-Marie Charrett and I will be doing our Coaching Testers tutorial, which is the only time this year we will teach it together.

“Intellectual” testers?

Why do I keep saying that? Because the state of the practice in testing is for testers NOT to read about their craft, NOT to study social science or know anything about the proper use of statistics or the meaning of the word “heuristic”, and NOT to challenge the now 40 year stale ideas about making testing into factory work that lead directly to mass outsourcing of testing to lowest bidder instead of the most able tester.

Intellectual testers are not the most common type of tester.

The ISTQB and similar programs require your stupidity and your fear in order to survive. And their business model is working. They don’t debate us for the same reason that HP made billions of dollars selling bad test tools by pitching them to non-testers who had more money than wisdom. Debating us would spoil their racket.

So, don’t be like that. Be smart.

I’ll see you at Let’s Test.

5 thoughts on “Let’s test at Let’s Test

  1. Hello sir,

    I am doing a job in software testing as a Manual Tester and i am passionating about my work. I have not done any type of certification.But i am confident about my work,means how to start work,how to prepare test case and other stuff like as how to describe each and every thing to developers,so he/she can easly to under stand the what is the issues and how it can be reloved and look like. so please give me advise to make good tester what things is to be required and any testing certification is must.


    [James’ Reply: See the “for newbies” category of blog posts on this blog.]

  2. I’ll be at Let’s Test Oz, looking forward to it. Hopefully I fit into the Intellectual Tester category!

  3. Hello James!

    I am a fresh-faced tester (~2 years of experience) and just started a new job with a consulting company that truly values learning (which is exciting!). We are developing a “Testing Practice” to offer our clients and want to bring the best possible testing practices and methodologies to the table.

    [James’ Reply: Okay.]

    In offering a testing service to clients we want to show them that we have the skills to do so, and that we are competent in our craft. Generally this could be done with certifications, though I know you are skeptical of certification programs, are there any that you value?

    [James’ Reply: I am aware of no credible, commercial, skill-based, community-identified, and ethically grounded certification program in our industry. I doubt there will ever be one, because such a program would be quite expensive.]

    We have looked in to numerous certification boards for Software Testing and Software Quality Assurance, however as I’m sure you know, the curriculum tends to be fairly disappointing.

    [James’ Reply: Not just the curriculum, but the everything else, too.]

    I know you’re very busy with upcoming conferences, but we are curious as to the best way to show prospective clients that we have the skills necessary to help them test their products and applications. Of course, experience is key, and though I did very well at my previous position, much of what I did involved proprietary software. So, though the skills exist and I know that I am (fairly) competent, it is hard to show that to prospective clients without, well, just showing them. Thus, the desire for a somewhat decent certification, which we are struggling to find.

    [James’ Reply: What you need to do is study testing; practice explaining testing; gain reputation in the field; and prepare a portfolio of your work.]

    Thanks for any help!


    Jared Starner

  4. Hi James,
    I primarily see myself as a CDT tester and I donĀ“t think much about ISTQB but do you know any foremost differences between ISTQB and CDT?


    [James’ Reply: The foremost difference is that ISTQB does not consider itself limited to saying or doing what it has good reason to believe are truthful, useful testing ideas and practices. In CDT we are ethically bound to speak about testing in ways that reflect our consciences as well as our studies. The ISTQB either deliberately or ignorantly turns away from developing itself or its clients in the craft of testing, because the true craft of testing cannot be systematized according to kind of shallow and unexamined platitudes and terms and templates that are easy to sell. You hear “but that’s what customers want” from ISTQB apologists. Yes, what ignorant people fantasize about is just what the ISTQB will pretend to give them.

    The ISTQB is not a community dedicated to excellence in testing. They are dedicated to getting money from foolish or frightened people.

    A secondary and obvious difference is that ISTQB people believe in best practices and not skills. CDT people believe in skills, but not best practices.]

  5. Hi James,
    I had been one of your student and a participant for event you conducted on RTI (Jan this year).I always find you have so much to add on Science of Testing which amazes me.
    My best wishes to you for spreading knowledge to multitudes like me.


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