Tuesday 23 November 2010

My first day at Expo:QA

Last week I attended Expo:QA, a software testing conference in Madrid. The people behind Expo:QA did a great job organising the event and looking after everyone. They even provided beer and wine during the lunch break! The Spanish food (tapas) was fantastic too.
It was great to meet and chat with testers from around Europe and I found the sessions and key notes interesting.
The first key note presented by Arnold Aumasson was about the testing industry as a whole, its history and future growth. I’ve drawn a little cartoon to describe some of the points (but don’t quote me on it!).

The next keynote was from Dot Graham where she talked about test automation. My favourite bit was if someone is showing off about their test automation, ask them to run the automation right here, right now. If they come up with excuses (e.g. The tester who has to run it isn’t around, or we don’t have enough licenses, or the scripts are not available, etc) then their test automation isn’t up to much.
Next I listened to a session by Derk-Jan de Grood. To kick off his presentation, he said he sells testing. I think that’s great. More testers should be selling testing. He talked about selecting test design techniques depending on the risks.
Geoff Thompson was next. He talked about why in development we are still making mistakes. His overall message ‘testers are the silver bullet’ was well presented and explained.
After a fabulous Spanish lunch (with sea food paella) I attended a keynote by Alan Brown. He talked about improving the visibility of the development process. He was able to give a real example and I was amazed how transparent their development and testing was.
Virginia Chalegre was up next. She talked about accessibility testing on web sites for the visually handicapped. I found her presentation very interesting. Unfortunately, most web sites have a long way to go. One thing that stood out for me was if a web site is accessible then it naturally becomes testable too (this is certainly the case when it comes to test automation). At the end she showed us how to say ‘question’ in sign language. As I think a major role for testers is to ask questions, I made a note to remember the sign.

The last session was presented by Graham Moran around tool evaluation and implementation. I took lots of notes on this one so I think I’m going to have to vote this session as the best of the day!
During the evening, ExpoQA organised a social in a famous Madrid park, El Retiro. Drinks were flowing and I managed to speak to a number of people from Spain, France and Italy! I was impressed with how well they all spoke English.
Later on, I had a sit down meal with other testers. Here’s a cartoon of the people I sat with. A gold star if you can work out how many languages were spoken at the table!

After the meal we watched an excellent Flamenco show – a fantastic way to finish the day :o)

For more details of the presentations, you can check the expoQA site.

Monday 15 November 2010

Beautiful testing

[NOTE] This cartoon was printed in the Testing Planet

Wednesday 10 November 2010


I’ve been a fan of Banksy for a while now. He’s a street artist who draws brilliantly funny graffiti. You can check out some of his work here.
Banksy recently did a film about making money in the art world. Guess what? Anyone can make loads of money out of not very good art work. So, with that in mind, I thought I could make (and sell) some testing ark work too.
And here it is (see screen shot below). What do you reckon? I call the piece “Oxymoron”. It is estimated to be worth around 3,000 US dollars. Of course, this is just an image. The original art work has been printed using a black and white printer.
This great piece of testing art can be yours. Just send me an email with your bid and the highest bid wins. Simple. (Bidding closes tomorrow evening).

On second thoughts, you’re better off giving your money to charity.

…And you’re in luck! This Christmas, STC are raising money for the charity Oxfam through a great eBook entitled “A tester is for life, not just for Christmas”. Testers can contribute to the e-book as well as giving money to charity. Read all about it here.

Friday 5 November 2010

The Cartoon tester talks about testing

I'm off to expo:QA'10 very soon! The s/w testing conference is in Madrid which is very special to me as I lived there for around 8 years during the 80s/90s. I can't wait to visit the place and listen to people talk about testing in my native language (as well as the chance to eat real food, you can't beat churros con chocolate).

Here's a cartoon I made for the conference...

Thursday 4 November 2010

Is that a bug in a s/w testing site?

First things first. If you like my cartoons and want to find out more about me and what makes me tick, The Software Testing Club have just posted An interview with Andy Glover. Let me know what you think :o)

If you don’t get the “irony” of this cartoon you should definitely read this book: “Perfect Software and other illusions about testing”. It comes highly recommended (I’ve read it twice and I will read it again soon).

BTW… this cartoon was originally inspired by Rosie, the creator of Software Testing Club… don’t know why she would come up with a cartoon like this!! :o)

Tuesday 2 November 2010


I'm going to be at EuroSTAR this year, YEAH! EuroSTAR's monthly newsletter has today's cartoon on it. Hope you like it :o)

More details here of what I'll be up to while at the conference.

Let me know if you'll be there and we can meet up.

Monday 1 November 2010


When testing, always know why you're testing.