GoTestIT, a valuable source

Today I discovered the GOtestIT site. is an up-to-the-minute news site that collects information and news. As the video proclaims, the site aims to be the add-free place for news and the guide to what people are talking about in the Testing & Quality Assurance Industry. “Agile, Mobile, Automation, Big Data and Cloud, we have it all,” says Rob Priest.

A first glance tempted me to linger a bit longer on the site, and read more…. so it might indeed fill up to the promise. Go Test It yourself.

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The power of not knowing

During my studies I was once automating a research environment. In a meeting the teacher asked, “You do refer to the red machine, don’t you?” My research partner and I doubted, but afraid to strike a goof nodded yes. One hour after the meeting the teacher stood in our office. He had walked over to the other side of the complex and had determined that the machine was if fact… blue. “If you do not know it, admit it.” He advised us stern.

This experience inspired me in writing the 7th blog on the EuroSTAR community pages. Want to know more and learn how this experience is related to Edward de Bono’s theory and the 6 hats from Belbin? Curious to what Patrick Lencioni has to do with this topic? View the video introduction and read the column.

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CDMA: Liander’s private wireless network

Currently I am working for the KPN (Dutch Telecom) on Liander’s CDMA project.  Liander is a large energy provider in the Netherlands, who has taken a lead in creating a SMART grid. A dedicated mobile network is being build. It’s like the Dutch GSM network, but this time its is based on CDMA technology.  By enabling devices, like the smart meter, to communicate with each other and their back-offices, the mobile network may set the standard to manage and save energy in the near future.

Valori is involved with setting up the overall test strategy and guiding the tests for the CDMA network. And I am glad that Liander made this nice video. Now, I can share what my colleague and I are working on. Great stuff.

Film is produced by Trackto in cooperartion with Arjen van Kleef, Erik Moll, Jos Brakband.


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Going Mobile: Technology is changing our lives

As an introduction to my presentation on mobile testing, I have compiled some footage that I found on the internet. It goes to show that Mobile is penetrating our lives more and more. Watching the video you’ll see augmented reality, mobile banking, mobile health and the way devices evolved over the years. Like the lady from KXAN states: “technology is changing our lives”.

The used video fragments are owned by the original makers, I do not intent to misuse it, our claim any ownership. The title song is from “Who’s Next” by the Who and inspired me to call the video “going mobile”.

I hope you like it.

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Going mobile: testers, get involved in development


Last week I spoke at the 6th world conference on software quality (wcsq6). I gave a presentation on mobile testing. Baseline of the story is that organizations benefit from testers that know how to do technical testing, (Mobile testing comes with technical challenges), and that can guide the organization during the development process.


Using a extensive mind map, I explained some of the design considerations that need to be made during the app development. The choices to be made are driven by the business goal that the organization has with going mobile. And both of these drive the tests that need to be performed.

Beside all the content that I presented, there is an underlying message: testers, get involved in development.

You can see the slides and mind map in my previous post on mobile testing.

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Implementing Test Automation, a story about changing insights and experiences

Today I gave a presentation on the Test Automation day. In this presentation I explain a simple strategy for implementing Test Automation in your organization. A simple strategy? I tell the story of my experience so far and look back in retrospective to the presentations I gave at the Test Automation Day before.
In this presentation I state that:

  • Organizational Maturity (like measured with TPI or TMMi) should not raise a threshold for getting started
  • In order to become good in Test Automation, we need to get started and learn from our mistakes (fail forward)
  • There is a shift from technology and tool selection toward selling the business case
  • But the real implementation is a process of organizational change, where people, and budgets play a key role.
  • People need to learn their new roles, need to work with new processes and you need to have a good story if you want to interfere with projects.
  • In the end, I conclude that once you completed the journey, and got the organization to start with test automation, you end up with the technical challenges again: What tool are you going to use, what architecture, and how do you write effective scripts….

A simple strategy? I am still learning.



The above presentation was preceded by a presentation from Ard Kramer. Today he gave this presentation alone, previously we gave this presentation together at the Dutch testing conference. The topics are very much related and its slides can be found here:


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Test Automation is an Industry standard

With the Test Automation Day coming up next Thursday, I decided to dedicate my new column on the EuroSTAR community pages to this topic also:

I’ll explain how the adoption to tool aided tests is influenced by:

  • Economics,
  • Different systems and development methods,
  • Continuous Delivery,
  • A shift to production,
  • The test tool market and
  • Generations of testers

As I conclude:

“I do not aim to state that automatic testing can replace manual testing completely. Manual testing is another ball game than running automatic checks, but everything indicates that tool aided testing is on the rise. I have noticed that current generation of testers is often reluctant to automation, whereas the new generation of testers perceives automation as a standard practice. They will thus contribute to a greater adoption of automated testing. Even testers that are trying to stay away from technical testing will sooner or later be confronted with tooling and test automation. It’s inevitable, so better be prepared.”

You can read the full column on the EuroSTAR community pages.

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The 3 phases of Test Automation

Bits&Chips 05 2014.jpg

This week all subscribers of Bits & Chips magazine received the issue pictured above. For this issue I wrote a column about the 3 phases in Test Automation. The article describes how to deal with the organizational aspects of introducing TA in your company. This article is closely related to the presentation I’ll be giving on the Test Automation day in Rotterdam. With kind permission of the editor of B&C I publish the full text below:

Drie fases in testautomatisering

Binnenkort wordt in Rotterdam voor de vierde keer de Test Automation Day (TAD) gehouden. Doel is om testautomatisering te promoten en kennis uit te wisselen over de in- en uitvoering ervan. Ook nu mag ik weer mijn visie komen geven. Ik vind het leuk dat mijn verhaal elk jaar groeit; de ontwikkeling loopt gelijk op met mijn eigen leercurve.

Traditioneel was automatisering iets voor een kleine groep technische testers. De bulk waagde zich liever niet aan tooling anders dan voor de procesondersteuning. Functioneel testen prima, maar dan het liefst handmatig via de GUI aan de hand van vooropgestelde testgevallen in Word of Excel. Als ik automatisering op de agenda zette, proefde ik veel koudwatervrees. Vaak voor niets, want na een korte maturity assessment was de conclusie vaak: ‘Uw organisatie is er nog niet klaar voor.’ Ik verdenk veel testers ervan dat ze dit eigenlijk wel prettig vonden. Zo konden ze de techniek buiten de deur houden en blijven doen waar ze goed in waren: handmatig testen, processen inrichten en door middel van verbetertrajecten de ontbrekende randvoorwaarden invullen.

Tegenwoordig komen we hier niet meer mee weg. Testautomatisering is geen optie, het is noodzaak. Betere tooling en samenwerking met ontwikkelaars maakt dat de drempel veel minder hoog is. Op mijn eerste TAD vertelde ik over een klantencase waarbij ik een negatief advies heb gegeven. Hoewel ik daar in dit specifieke geval nog steeds achter sta, had ik graag willen adviseren: ‘Ga aan de slag, begin met leren.’ Wel kwam ik hiermee in een nieuwe fase. Eentje waarbij de businesscase centraal staat.

Als de testers en ontwikkelaars ervan overtuigd zijn dat het beter is om de tests voor een groot deel automatisch uit te voeren, betekent dat nog niet dat we alle handen op elkaar hebben. Managers redeneren vanuit de businesscase. Hen kunnen we overtuigen door ons in te leven in hun denkwereld en uit te leggen, het liefst kwantitatief, hoe de investering bijdraagt aan de businessdoelen. Ondanks dat dit negen van de tien keer snellere, betere en goedkopere software is, vergt het enige creativiteit en rekenwerk om een sluitend verhaal op te stellen. Vorige jaar presenteerde ik op de TAD een checklist die inzichtelijk maakt welke extra kosten we moeten maken als we randvoorwaarden niet hebben ingevuld (je kunt de checklist downloaden onderaan mijn eerdere post over dit onderwerp)

Inmiddels ben ik weer een stapje verder. Randvoorwaarden moeten nog steeds ingevuld, businesscases nog steeds opgesteld, maar mijn focus ligt nu op de organisatie. Hoe gaat die om met toolkeuzes als verschillende projecten werken aan automatische testsets? Enerzijds willen we de projecten autonoom laten bepalen wat voor hen het beste is; anderzijds zijn er veel kosten verbonden aan wildgroei binnen het toollandschap. Hoe kunnen we centraal kennis borgen en voorkomen dat elk team het wiel opnieuw uitvindt, zonder innovaties te smoren?

Bij een van mijn klanten heb ik gezien hoe testautomatisering een hefboom kan zijn voor verdere professionalisering. Hiermee draaien we het oude adagium om: we wachten niet met de invoering van testautomatisering totdat we voldoende volwassen zijn, maar we maken flinke groeispurten doordat we gaan automatiseren. Ineens is er een noodzaak om regressietests vast te leggen. De vraag welke tests we als eerste automatiseren, triggert een discussie met de business over risico’s. Omdat we tests vaak gaan herhalen, ontstaat de vraag wie ze beheert. De staande organisatie krijgt hierbij een centrale rol, omdat zij de geautomatiseerde tests na oplevering tot in lengte van dagen zal runnen. Zij mag dus ineens eisen en wensen uitspreken richting de projectorganisatie, en dat blijkt best een omslag. Rollen en verantwoordelijkheden worden voor het eerst uitgesproken en ik zie dat duidelijk wordt welke doelen we met elkaar nastreven.

Testautomatisering is nog nooit zo interessant geweest. Ik kijk uit naar de conferentie op 19 juni.



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Business finally understood testing

Test progress reporting can be cumbersome. There is a complex story to be told, but it needs to be done in such a way that the business and project stakeholders get the message. Sequential planning techniques such as critical path analysis won’t work in agile, but stakeholders keep asking for an indication of the progress so far, the work that remains, the bottlenecks and dependencies.

Within my current project we solved this problem by introducing a visual progress report, the subway map. Subway map reports are derived from the London tube map and contain the following elements: 1) Stations: Activities are represented as a station; they have a description of the benefit for the stakeholder upon completion. 3) Date lines provide status information (the train is expected on time, or not) 3) Bridges: Where two or more lines merge, you can define have a quality gate. They provide extra control on the progress (and of course to celebrate success)

I gave this presentation at the EXPO:QA in Madrid. It contains examples, a step plan how to make a subway map in Powerpoint.  Within my organization it has been adopted quickly by various projects, due to its simplicity and clearness. Business finally understood testing.

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EXPO:QA Madrid keynote on mobile testing

I gave a keynote this morning on mobile testing. In this post I share some information that aligns with the story. You’ll find a video of a similar talk I gave for euroSTAR and the mindmap I used.

Summary: Testing Mobile requires technical tests that align with both the business goals, and the design considerations made by development team. Due to the small size of app projects, tester can fulfill an important role in keeping overview, guiding the business and of course executing the right tests. This presentation will explain what can be tested on an app and adds the relation with the initial goals and design

Mindmap: I made a mind map to go along with the story. You can find it below (click on it for an enlarged view). If you want the more extensive version with the deeper branches expanded, do not hesitate to contact me.

Valori's Mobile Development and Testing Mindmap May 2014

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