Tuesday night I had the pleasure of dining with famed Canadian tester Adam Goucher at Figo Pasta in the Atlanta suburb of Vinings. Adam was in town for training and looking for other testers to meet. Joining us was soon-to-be-famed Marlena Compton, another Atlanta-based tester like myself (and long time caver friend of mine).
Like other testers from Toronto I have met (e.g., Michael Bolton, Adam White), Adam Goucher was inspirational, full of good ideas, fond of debate, and a real pleasure to talk to. I kick myself for not taking notes but I didn’t want to look like an A-hole across the table from him.
Here are some of last night’s discussions I enjoyed… (most of these are Adam's opinions or advises)
- Determine what type of testing you are an expert on and teach it. He claims to be an expert on testing for international language compatibility (or something like that). He made me squirm attempting to tell him what I was an expert on...I'll have to work on this.
- All testers should be able to read code.
- Kanban flavor of Agile.
- When asked about software testing career paths, he says think hard, decide which you prefer, helping other testers to test or executing tests on your own. He prefers the former.
- A good test team lead should learn a little bit about everything that needs to be tested. This will help the team lead stay in touch with the team and provide backup support when a tester is out of the office.
- Start a local tester club that meets every month over dinner and beer to discuss testing.
- Pick some themes for your test blog (Adam’s is learning about testing through sports, and poor leadership is an impediment to better quality).
- Join AST. Take the free training. Talk at CAST and embrace the arguments against your talk.
- Tester politics. They exist. Adam experienced them first hand while working on his book.
- Four schools of testing, who fits where? What do these schools tell us?
- The latest happenings with James Bach and James Whittaker.
- Rapid Software Testing training and how much it costs (I remember it being inexpensive and worth every penny).
- Folklore-ish release to prod success stories (Flickr having some kind of record for releasing 56 regression tested builds to prod in one day).
- He nearly convinced me that, my theory of successful continuous sustained regression testing being impossible with fixed software additions, was flawed. I’ll have to post it later.
- Horses are expensive pets. (you’ll have to ask Adam about this)
- He informed me that half of all doctors are less qualified than the top 50%.
- Read test-related books (e.g., Blink, Practical Unit Testing or something…I should have taken notes. Sheesh, I guess I wasn't interested in reading the books. Shame on me. Maybe Adam will respond with his favorite test-related books).
- The fastest way to renew your passport. Surely there were some missed test scenarios in Adam's all-night struggle to get to Atlanta.
I'm sure I forgot lots of juicy stuff, but that's what I remember now. Adam inspired me and I have several ideas to experiment with. I'll be posting on these in the future. Thanks, Adam!