EuroSTAR Proposals at a glance – what to expect this year?

This week I finished the proposal review for the EuroSTAR conference. I think it is a nice task, since as a reviewer you are not only helping the program board with selecting the best proposals. What I like about the reviewing is that you get an insight in what topics seem to be hot and alive among the community. This year’s program chair Isabel Evans set the theme; working well. She explains on the website to look for talks that describe experiences of Working Well under several broad headings.

Isabel states:” The software, technology, products and services that we design, build and test: whatever they are, we want to deliver them working well. And to meet that purpose, we need to think about how we work well; our practices, our people, and our challenges.”

I am not sure whether this year’s theme influenced the type of proposals, but I noticed a tendency towards generic topic this year.

A lot of the proposals I reviewed were on embedding the testing within the Agile development cycle. I read proposals on how testers can contribute during the refinement and include user experience in their strategy. This aligns with my personal experience that testing discipline seems to merge more and more with agile development. We like to contribute to a fast and efficient creation of solutions that have customer value and build in quality.

Sometimes that requires the tester to focus on the organisation, but it also requires a more technical approach. Luckily there were also some proposals on CI/CD and Automation. I liked the proposals that will show participants to adopt new technology and tools like AI to improve their testing. I read about api testing, Test data and Non-functional testing as well. No doubt we’ll have some of those on the program in Prague next November.

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Gamification of the DevOpsImprovement challenge

Yesterday we piloted the new DevOpsImprovement game.

Many DevOps teams (and that includes the PO) are struggling with balancing between Development work, operational tasks and improvements. Depending on the organisational context and the team members, there often is a focus on one of the three types of work. In the Dev, Ops & Improvement game teams experience the benefit of improving your way of working and balancing between short term and long-term benefits.  In the game teams experience that often the way to being proactive and innovative is by reducing the time spent on operational task by sufficient improvements like automation, CI/CD and developing team skills. The goal of this interactive card game is to have a maximum of business value in a sustainable way without ignoring operational responsibilities and creating technical dept.

During the agile guild meeting at Valori we held the first trial run. We made some improvements and will present the game at the NN Agile day, later this month. The participants were enthusiastic: ” it gives examples on how certain improvements can benefit the organisation”, “the events are really recognisable, we have them as well”, “it triggers discussion between teams” and “since it can be done in an hour, I can easily do it during retrospective or e.g. at a lunch session”.

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The Dark Side of Test Automation – Interactive Session at the TestExpo 2019

23 May, CopenHagen, Denmark: Capgemini will host the TestExpo 2019. During this full day event Tester will gather and imagine how it would be to work with unrestricted quality assurance, that Test & QA was the highest priority in our organisations and that we and access to unlimited resources. The imagination gets free rein when we, at the CinemaxX theater, take another step to facilitate the development of the test world.

But amidst all this unlimited thoughts and highly positive atmosphere, Jan Jaap Cannegieter (squerist) and I will look at the dark side of test automation. In our session we will explain the five most common misunderstandings when it comes to test automation. The different misunderstandings will then be explained using examples and experiences. This will be followed by an online readiness test: is your project or organisation ready for test automation? And what can we learn from those who have these requirements in place?But there is an alternative for the dark side as well. We will describe what it takes to introduce test automation in the right way.

See our session description and all other awesome speakers on the conference website: TestExpo2019

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State of Testing Survey


Following in the tradition of the past 6 years with the State of Testing™ survey, conducted by PractiTest’s QA Intelligence Blog in collaboration with TeaTime with Testers, we are happy to announce the launch of the 2019 State of Testing Survey!

Fill in the survey and help the community to get insights of trends and developments.

You can download the report from last year if you like to see what it looks like: State of Testing report 2019

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2018 Year Overview

With the end of the year approaching I couldn’t resist looking back. It has been a full year for me with plenty of assignments,  conferences and challenges. I met a lot of nice people within Valori and outside, with whom I could share my doubts, failures and success. That I could exchange ideas and that inspired me. Thanks if you were one of them!.

How do you summarise a year.  I made a small infographic to visualize the whole.


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Keynote line up for Agile TD USA announced

Have a preview on the keynote line-up in Chicago. More info can be found on the Agile Testing Days USA webpage. 

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Meet the Program Chairs of Agile Testing Days USA

I am thrilled to be a part of the Agile Testing Days USA Program committee. The ATD USA will be held 23-27 Juni 2019 in Chicago. Together with Janet Gregory, Pete Walen, Ash Coleman, Matt Heußer, Faiza Yousuf, Raj Subramanian and Mike Talks we get to select the proposals. I have been reviewing some of them, and amongst them are some nice gems. This will be a great conference.


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Amazing Tutorial on Agile Test Management

Yesterday Jan Jaap Cannegieter and I gave an amazing tutorial at the Agile testing days. In our full day tutorial we discussed the role of the test manager and how to add value in an agile environment.

We discovered that a test manager is operation at two interfaces. One is being that of a quality ambassador that shows the business and stakeholders how testing is done and how its progressing . On the other interface the test manager is enabling the team(s) to build quality into their deliverables. During this full day tutorial we deep dived on both aspects. We discussed the agile test strategy and investigated what activities we test managers undertake, what activities we find important and what is valued most by our stakeholder. You wouldn’t be surprised if we told you that there is a gap between both. Next we practiced with defining agile test plans at MVP and sprint level. And assessed other roles that test managers can adopt. We closed the full circle by concluding that extra activities might be added to our initial brainstorm results. The topic is truly alive. Not only did we have a full rum (we had an all-time conference record with the amount of attendees), during the day we had a lot of lively discussions and answered a lot of questions from the participants. We loved the participation of all in the room and believe we all had a good day.

Please see the slides we used below. We included some photos of the workshop results.

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Le dernier jour et je ne sais toujours pas – The Last Day and I Still Don’t Know

The EuroSTAR conference is getting close. I will be hosting an interactive session on Do 15 November, 3:15 pm. In style with the conference theme this session is called: le dernier jour et je ne sais toujours pas – The Last Day and I Still Don’t KnowDuring the session you will be able to ask any question that remained unanswered during the conference. Since I do not hold all the knowledge myself I asked help from:

  • Egbert Bouman
  • Declan O’Riordan
  • Joel Montvelisky
  • Rob Sabourin

If we do not have the answer you might know! During this informal interactive session, you can share your thoughts or help your fellow participants by recapturing those sessions that they missed. So, if you want an answer to that one lingering question, sort your thoughts and get a wrap-up on the conference. Don’t leave yet; this is the session to attend.

We hope to see you in the room !

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SQMag published our article on Testing And Quality in SAFe

Proud to share the latest copy of SQmag with you.

SQ mag is dedicated to creative software developers, testers and visionaries. For their 5th edition the editorial team put together amazing interviews with powerful leaders of software testing industry, interesting articles, and much more.

Mette Bruhn Pedersen and I contributed with our article about embedding Quality in Scaling Agile Environments. This article has previously been published by Bits&Chips magazine, but we trust our message will now reach an even wider audience.

You can download SQ magazine for free at the publisher website.
You can read our article here: Testing And Quality in SAFe

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Interview CI/CD during QA&Testing Conference

During the QA&Testing Conference Mae Albes took me aside to ask me a few questions. In the interview she asks me about the tutorial I gave on CI/CD. Conclusion: it takes some effort to make CI/CD truly work and there is a wide spread in where organisations stand with their CI/CD implementation. You can see the video below:

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Tester’s considerations when moving towards successful CI/CD

Today I opened the QA&Testing Conference with a Tutorial on Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD). In this interactive session we had a look at what it takes to make it a success. This is much more than just building the pipeline. In a new case assignment we deep dived in the test approach needed to build quality in every step op de CI/CD process. You can find the slides and the included workshop results below:


Workshop description: Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) empowers organisations to bring their solution in production fast and frequent. This interactive session will share the benefits of this concept and introduce eight conditions that need to be met in order to make CI/CD a success. After this brief introduction, we will make small groups and explore these conditions, exchange experiences and you will get an understanding what needs to be improved in your organisation. Talk to your peers and learn where they stand. Of course each of the groups will share their learnings, so we all go home with an understanding of how you can benefit from CI/CD and what needs to be done to make it work.Finally we will see what test strategy we would advise if our company would decide to move towards CI/CD and this cover we consider much more than just automate our tests…


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Testing and Quality in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe 4.6 version)


Last night Mette and I presented the closing keynote of the TestNet Fall Event. In our keynote we shared our ideas on how the embed Quality and Testing in Scaled Agile Environments. Ever since we are working on this topic we find that a lot of information is available. The SAFe 4.6 release has more focus on quality than the previous versions had, but from our expertise we add some extra measures that quality professionals can take to add value. It’s a call for action for the community. We should be proactively emphasising the need to embed quality thinking not just at the team level, but also at higher levels in the organisation. In our keynote we gave some suggestions. I believe we gave a great keynote that resonated with the audience.  If you want more information we suggest to contact us or read on of out publications:

Please find the slides below:

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Keynote: Testing and Quality in the SAFe framework

Less than a week to go!

On 10 October Mette Bruhn-Pedersen and I will give a keynote presentation on the testnet conference. Proud to be giving a keynote on this great event and enthusiastic about sharing the stage with Mette.  In our keynote we will discuss how testers can contribute with their knowledge and expertise in a scaled agile organisation.

We will use the Scaled Agile Framework for Lean Enterprises (SAFe) challenges how testers, Q&A and test managers, and test specialists work together with the entire organisation. Although the framework is described in more details than other comparable frameworks it is not very elaborate on how testing and quality practices fit in. This raises new challenges for testers, Q&A and test managers, test architects, test specialists and people in similar roles together with the entire organisation. We will describe what guidance SAFe actually provides and suggest additional ways test and QA professionals can contribute with their special knowledge and expertise.

Key Takeaways of the keynote:

  • Test and QA professionals can add value at all organisational levels in ways that are not described in SAFe.
  • Defining a quality strategy is key to handle typical issues with test and QA activities spanning multiple teams and even multiple Release Trains.
  • Getting quality and testing anchored on Portfolio Level ensures that quality can be built-in from top to bottom.

The keynote is accompanied by an article and eBook that were previously published by Bits&chips Magazine and EuroSTAR. You can find them here:

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Over Coffee, Qualifiers and Disqualifiers

Today I was approached by a colleague of mine. He had heard in a presentation that he attended that I had done some work on the Coffee taste (or flavor) wheel. He thought it to be an interesting idea and wanted to know some details. We took a nice coffee and I explained the set-up to him:

In coffee land (but also in whiskey land) they use a taste (or flavor) wheel to describe tastes that you can look for while sampling the coffee. See the illustration for an example made by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. The taste wheel serves as a kind of checklist, but also helps to give names to the flavors. It provides a language that is commonly understood among the tasters. The coffee taste wheel displays both the disqualifiers (bad tastes like burned, to bitter, etc.) and the nice flavors (the qualifiers) of the coffee.
We can use this idea to make or own testers-taste-wheel, include it in our test strategy and find our own language to make the business understand how we rate the system under test.

More information can be found here:

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