STANZ 2009 was a fabulous event and I am so sorry it is over. It is great to be able to get so involved with some of the best minds in our industry. Karen N Johnson gave a number of presentations and a workshop in New Zealand. It was a pleasure to meet her and discuss various techniques and approaches.
One session of Karen’s that I sat in on was “Test Pairing” – how you can combine your testing to get the maximum benefits. It opened with an excellent discussion on the various types of testing that are available to us as testers. Karen challenged us to think about these test types and others…and it was a challenge. She has compiled a very comprehensive list. The thing that I like about it is that the definitions AND examples are the sort of information that you want to have available when you are talking testing to non-testers, and new testers, and testers who you don’t know. They provide an excellent reference point for common understanding. Karen laced her talk with hints and tips that made it truely invaluable. I’ve found at least 2 new tools and reference sites for my work! (perlclip and www.cookie.com). Karen also discussed a lot of the test types that are often forgotten or prioritised lower in the test effort. The use of exercises and open discussions from the floor was fabulous as it meant we were able to learn rather than just listen! I got so many hints and tips from this session that I would need 2 blogs to list them all! If you want them, let me know.
Karen’s key note address was about story telling. Which when you think about it, is what we do…and Karen drew that analogy very very well. Her presentation was a delight…a real change of pace. Slides with a picture and a single word! The audience’s world was rocked!!! Karen has become involved in various story telling groups and is working on the art of story telling and then has translated it into the testing world. Given that it is our role to provide information, it would behove us to do it in the best possible manner. Karen gave us hints and tips and pointers on how to make the most of our communication – given that is the primary role of testing – I thought it was great to have more information. It was a really enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable presentation!
Karen also participated in the panel session in New Zealand and nearly reduced us all to tears. One of the delegates asked “what was the best piece of advice that you have ever been given” to the panel. Karen responded with a heart warming story about her mentor, learning, the value of sharing and the place of knowledge in our world. It was great! None of the other panel members wanted to follow after that one! She aced it!
Posted by Sharon Robson