Test Leadership Congress
June 28 2019, New York, USA
Test Leadership Congress
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Mike Talks - The Changing Role of Test Leadership
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  • Description
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About speaker

Mike Talks has worked in the IT industry for 22 years. Rather than having two decades of proficiency in Windows 95. that time has been one of constant evolution and rediscovery, none more so than the last 6 years. But he's learned to not be afraid. As David Bowie, the master of reinvention himself said, turn and face the strange. Ch-ch-changes.

He currently works in Wellington, New Zealand sliding between roles test managering, test coaching and shock-horror, actually testing.

About the talk

Topic: IT

Mike Talks joined Datacom in 2013 as a test manager. His unit was in the final stages of a 15 month waterfall project. To help get the project over the line it was all about managing the tests, and telling a team of eight what to focus on next.

Today Mike leads the same team, but the landscape has transformed significantly. Instead of one team on one project, there are multiple agile projects in flight, some of which with only a single tester in place.

With this his focus on “managing the tests” to “supporting the team”.

Find about the change he’s found in his role as test leader.

01:00 Introduction

03:34 How the roles in the test team used to be

11:32 Test manager focus: helping people to grow

14:40 Test manager focus: regular catch-ups

17:00 Test manager focus: get the team together.

19:35 Only 5% of the time we use for self-development.

23:43 The rise of automation

25:33 How other testers can influence your work?

31:29 A good workshop challenging

33:28 About working on a "fake project"

35:08 Some building tools you can use

39:39 Your role is to coach people to make a thought out decisions.

40:53 The future of leadership in testing.

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Thank you very much. 00:02 I'm pleased it took a while to get you to shut up. 00:07 You should laugh at that point. 00:12 I've just been agile testing days. 00:17 Which has been an interesting conference and often there's this great program at conferences? 00:20 But the thing that you often come away with more than the great workshops in the great talks is the one on one conversations. 00:26 On testing and all these things will be talking to each other. 00:34 I kind of assume 'cause. 00:37

I don't have super hearing it was about work-related stuff, 00:39 especially's Game of Thrones series season is over. 00:43 I think I think exciting happened last night? 00:47 What was the baseball games around a thing, 00:49 so it probably was work-related and. 00:52 Sharing your problems. 00:54 I'm excited to be here. 00:57 It's my first time in America and I went let's go for 2 test conferences. 00:59 Uh it has been a bit of an adventure coming here, 01:04 we're plane landed Indiana. 01:08

And then airports. 01:12 An Apple in New York and they came over the intercom and so we're having problem with the jet bridge, 01:12 were having problems with. 01:19 It's brand new IT should work but it's not working. 01:19 And then I left the Edison Hotel, 01:25 which is close that's where we're staying but don't stop me, please. 01:27 And I got to Broadway, 01:32 and I was holding my Phone. 01:33 And entering the map just span around and around and around. 01:35

I is it built on some kind of I don't know cursed rock or something walking up and down up and down and saying please. 01:41 Phone me and he says. 01:49 I'm phoning you it's going to voicemail. 01:50 And I'm like I don't know I restarted my Phone. 01:54 I toggled the airplane mode. 01:57 It looks like I'm going to have a very interesting and very last time in New York. 01:59 But putting that aside. 02:10

I'm here to talk to you about the changing role of test leadership 02:10 started in the industry, 02:16 in 1997. 02:21 I believe to start out as developed like many of us, 02:21 but with my science background people when we call it to design proving at my first 02:26 company here is the design proof we built it. 02:30 Interesting name, nobody's ever used that ever since. 02:33 But that's what we call testing. 02:37 No and you put the groundwork in your work, 02:40 your way up. 02:43

You become a senior tester eventually then a test 02:43 lead and if actually, you get and 2013, 02:51 you get the big role. 02:54 The test manager role just 02:54 everyone wants to scrap that role. 02:58 I would offer you test manager in the room who feel that kind of pain. 03:03 But. 03:07 All is not bad and that's part of what my talk today is as you can see right next to the name. 03:07 Test manager is the word, 03:18 and coach. 03:20 And that's probably the. 03:20

Too long didn't read or 2 not long didn't listen to a version of this talk. 03:24 You know how test management is evolving more and more into. 03:28 People coaching. 03:32 So let's look at my team when I inherited them. 03:32 I had this kind of hierarchy. 03:38 Anyone does it look familiar to everyone. 03:41 Yeah, I see you have a lot to unit test this because every time that something needs to be done is like well. 03:44

You know, I want to both full let's just throw another tester at this, 03:49 you know, Oh, it's bigger and bigger. 03:52 Will do just get it? 03:54 It's easier doing these tests can get can do it won't go down that roast and. 03:55 Discuss why that's a bit of a fallacy. 04:00 You have an intermediate test as you have seen in Chester, 04:02 and somewhere at the Top. 04:05 Wrong button somewhere at the Top you have you know the big chief the test manager. 04:08

You know, and he's or she is in charge of setting the direction of what you're going to test making the really, 04:14 really big decisions. 04:22 And. 04:22 We. 04:22 I would never call us at you when I took over the team and we had this big delivery. 04:26 We have a morning I like to think of it as a Hill Street Blues kind of. 04:32 An great morning briefing, yeah, 04:37 and it was about what problems we found yesterday as testing just as testers. 04:39

What test we're going to focus on what aspects of the system and any outstanding defects that we really have? 04:45 Had issues with so it was kind of agile like but listen to what I'm asking for updates on that you know it's like. 04:51 What task are you focusing on? 04:58 Defect fixing I am managing. 05:00 Not the team. 05:04 But the tests. 05:04 Task manager. 05:07 That was the way things were when we had a big waterfall and we needed to spend. 05:12

I think it always seems like no matter how big the project. 05:17 We always seem to end up with 6 weeks to do it. 05:20 Right that's estimation one. 05:27 I want you to know when I want you to give us an estimation you can guarantee. 05:27 It will come out probably for 6 weeks. 05:33 I'm 05:36 6 weeks and it's Week 3 before you get the first software drop. 05:38 So yeah, pretty much like I said, 05:45 standing in front of my whole horde of adoring masses, 05:47 pointing to things. 05:51

And I did I had this White Board of things that we'd markup every day if you know. 05:51 So we knew we were getting closer and closer. 05:58 FISA. 06:01 And my GCS involved things like creating a plan. 06:01 Focusing efforts reporting progress reporting issues pretty much as I said. 06:06 And then at the end of my first year. 06:13 Along came natural, yeah, we decided we weren't going to do it like this because it was kind of. 06:16

It was kind of annoying the hell out of us, 06:22 we had a yearly release. 06:25 An probably about 9 months into. 06:26 That yearly release. 06:28 The custom would realize this was there 1 release for the year. 06:28 And you get don't call it scopes create when scoping explosion. 06:33 Seems much closer to what it is, 06:38 you know you know this is our release. 06:40 We've got to get this in and you just. 06:42 Can we get more test displays? 06:44 So. 06:47

How we broke up the work was completely different but also it led to a different dynamic in the team? 06:47 So this would be our team would look at that blue 07:00 person there. 07:04 Would be their early access so we probably have war 07:06 TVS&TPS. 07:10 We need to develop it to do stuff. 07:10 They don't weigh much as I don't like them at times. 07:15 And they can be a bit annoying, 07:18 but you do need them. 07:19 And so 2 developers are testing there and that's probably a bit yeah. 07:20

Probably was actually 7 but it looks better like that. 07:26 An alongside then there would be another team similar kind of dynamic this one. 07:30 This one supposing we managed to talk to the customer into. 07:35 And having 2 testers so we must have had a lot of legacies. 07:38 Functionality on that one. 07:42 Another team was just one tester and. 07:44 His Mommy. 07:48 Doing well. 07:48

And to be honest under agile people didn't really know what to do with not just test matches anyone who was seen yet. 08:00 Uh the first solution was let's book. 08:07 Uh. 08:11 A project manager leads the developer and lets them 08:11 Fundament talking about each one of these teams. 08:18 Yeah. 08:22 And then the customers what didn't really like that 'cause. 08:22 We're carrying people as an overhead and you know for sure. 08:26 That's not great, so eventually. 08:30

It leads to all of our disciplines to have to redefine what our role was. 08:33 To these individuals in this team. 08:38 So yeah, so we all got that about 6 months in it's like. 08:44 Yeah, the customer doesn't want to pay for you anymore. 08:48 Yeah. 08:52 So you kinda like. 08:52 This is my experience. 08:55 Waiting for the call, Hey, 09:05 we need to test the manager. 09:07 The cold never really came. 09:09 And as I said, this whole on so many things didn't really work so we tried. 09:13 Some new things. 09:20

We read heavily and as you might. 09:23 I guess one thing that we talked a little bit about was the Spotify Model Yeah. 09:26 And what we eventually did was is very like that, 09:32 but it. 09:36 We kind of went through it, 09:36 the hard way. 09:39 Yeah. 09:39 We did just say we're going to copy Spotify. 09:39 But. 09:44 We realized that our focus. 09:47 For me, it is a task manager to stop being really the tests. 09:50 And it started to be the team. 09:55

So my relationship with those individuals became more important. 09:59 And what those individuals were doing. 10:03 And that was hard. 10:07 But with that actually was really, 10:07 hard here because you're used to having. 10:11 This idea, if you're responsible for the test delivered by or individuals. 10:15 It feels uncomfortable to say so you know. 10:23 So I stepped back now, 10:29 I don't need to check the work or anything. 10:30 Yeah, it was hard. 10:35

As that changes it becomes a lot more about looking at the people who were doing this work on your behalf. 10:40 And building its level of trust. 10:47 I think that's how I think it's incredibly hard. 10:52 I think I've stood here. 10:55 Looking back and I like to think. 10:57 I absolutely trust my team, 10:59 but I've worked with him for 6 years now. 11:01 Yeah, 5 years ago that some of them had quirks and some of them had. 11:03 On 9 things about them. 11:08 Uh. 11:11

And as much as I wanted to trust them. 11:11 I also want to check that work just to make sure. 11:15 So letting go that control was big 11:19 parts of the journey. 11:22 Anyway way of doing things my focus became more. 11:26 Working with individuals. 11:32 And helping each individual to grow. 11:35 Things like Talking to them about the problems they experienced so they would bring problems to me instead of me looking for the. 11:38 Problems. 11:45 I'm a tester I like to look for problems myself. 11:45

But also talking to them about what training they want to do, 11:53 but also doing the people management more of the people management. 11:56 We have an annual review process that uses a 360 review are you familiar with those kinds of things. 11:59 So I'll ask. 12:05 Have a series of questions. 12:05 Which. 12:10 I'll go and ask the people that work with them and get feedback on how they work. 12:10 And that's always, always useful. 12:17

Ann. 12:20 90% of the time it's really illuminating positively, 12:22 and I try and make the experience is really positive. 12:25 What's interesting as we've come to trust each other into this plant an interdisciplinary way. 12:29 The stuff that isn't praised isn't bad now. 12:37 Often it's like. 12:42 Ann. 12:44 This is being recorded for posterity, 12:46 so I need to change the names so Bob is awesome. 12:48 Bob is Bob isn't. 12:51 Awesome tester. 12:51 They really know that. 12:58 Their technical testing well. 13:01

They understand what we do for automated testing. 13:05 We want to see them start writing some of these automated testers. 13:07 And believe me some of the developers that started to say that. 13:11 Who are very protective that the automation code? 13:14 That was a major thing for Dennis Yeah, 13:18 so I'm saying to him. 13:20 We want you to work on this next year. 13:21 But it's really positive that you even in this ballpark, 13:23 where people are saying We want you to do this. 13:26

Another member of my team Shawnee. 13:29 I think in fact, like your name. 13:33 Uh likewise it's like we want CSR leading more, 13:35 she's fantastic when she leads yeah. 13:39 And things like that kind of. 13:41 Feedback that we all want Lillie this doesn't, 13:47 it and that kind of level of encouragement is really 13:49 important. 13:52 And I enjoy doing the three 60s with my team. 13:52 I don't feel that they tend to be onerous. 13:56

But you're also a key thing is that you don't just do a 360 at the end of the year that you do it. 13:59 Throughout the years that you constantly sit down with them. 14:05 Uh. 14:09 We've tried to make our catch up more and more informal so we do actually in a coffee shop. 14:09 Rollington likes to think he's very good at coffee. 14:17 So, in the basement of the lobby level of our building there are the racks 2 cafes to choose from. 14:20 once a month. 14:28

We just meet up over coffee or hot chocolate or I think somebody has a Ginger tea occasionally. 14:31 But it's to make it relax because it's not a formal kind of I can't be right? 14:38 Can I really be? 14:44 Normal with a Tinkerbell bulk. 14:44 No, I don't think so, 14:49 but you know, kind of Oh, 14:51 you said Wooooooo, Yeah, but trying to leave the paperwork behind and just say. 14:52 I think so, yeah, what's the challenges? 14:58 What challenges are you encountering. 15:01 Is it going well? 15:04

Are you happy where you are? 15:04 Particularly because sometimes we have people. 15:08 Now I'll sign with different customers and sometimes with different teams within my own company, 15:12 it's really important to have that. 15:17 That time to catch up with somebody who isn't your your your actual wine manager, 15:19 but is responsible for looking after you on an individual level. 15:25 And there's also been examples, 15:29 where people have gone through. 15:31 A difficult life thing. 15:33

Will call them that yeah, 15:37 and it's really useful to have somebody that can touch base with them and can talk to other levels of management so this is important. 15:38 I once we need to support this person we've invested a lot of money and then there, 15:46 you know. 15:51 Money and time and several friends. 15:51 Yeah. 15:53 And the going through a bit of a rough Patch that rough Patch has a finite length. 15:53

But we want to make sure that they're supported so that we don't lose them because. 15:59 Fantastic we have you know we've invested at least 6 years. 16:03 To grow people to this level. 16:09 And I think a key part of the importance of that of how it's worked as I've seen 16:12 at that time. 3 members of my team go from being. 16:18 Intermediate slash juniors to senior testers and we've seen that level of growth. 16:23

By the way so it's also important to mention occasionally something happens, 16:31 and it's difficult and we Sometimes the coffee shops, 16:35 not always the great solution will sometimes have coffee. 16:39 Realizes bigger problem and he's like actually, we're going to book the formal meeting room so that we can do this. 16:43 And quiet not with people going over all around it can be more confidential, 16:49 but stop by being informal. 16:55 Another key part of this is. 16:59

Our monthly get together, so as a team we have a get-together. 17:04 It's interesting to see how these sometimes you get the whole team together. 17:09 All they want to talk about is how what each other is doing and they will cross-examine each other. 17:14 Yeah, about it, exactly what I hope you are all doing at lunch you seem to be yeah. 17:21 His what's going on this project 'cause remember each member of the team is on a different project. 17:27

Or working on setting similar technologies. 17:33 And with similar-ish challenges and one person starts opening up people get all we had this and this is how we did things. 17:36 We've had this conversation's and the team as a whole becomes Great Brains Trust. 17:44 I'm hoping you getting from this technical conference that similar not just the people that standing here. 17:50 It's your peers plugging into your peers. 17:57

Is an incredible way to kind of improve your skills? 18:00 Breath of the team Seattle team ticks. 18:05 Anne will talk a little bit more about that later on, 18:09 but sometimes I'll have this little exercise prepared. 18:12 And I'll come down. 18:15 And will stop stop stop off the Little Round Table, 18:18 how people have been going. 18:21 And the dynamic is so good. 18:23 That I don't interrupt. 18:27 So we've gotten exercises like you know the exercise can wait. 18:27

Yeah, the team we're solving each other's problems. 18:32 Yeah. 18:34 I just need to facilitate this and make sure you make sure that it doesn't get too rowdy or. 18:34 And do you remember that there's a secrecy agreement in place with your team that you shouldn't be talking too much about this. 18:41 Ann. 18:48 That's been important, 18:48 but also when in the last 2 years we've. 18:51 We've got agreement from higher management as well to put aside one hour a week. 18:54

Where are testing just explores automation? 19:00 Because there's been more and more of a drive a full. 19:04 To see. 19:07 Let's get more involved in automation. 19:07 And for them to be less of a disparity between manual testers and the developers that look after automation. 19:12 So we want to get some more hands-on yeah. 19:19 And I won't pretend set up here and pretend that we manage everything about our automation, 19:24 but it helps us to work in better collaboration. 19:29

With what the developers have built and there are certain areas now within the framework that we know. 19:32 Understand better what's going on and we understand better. 19:40 Have to even read the dashboard of the morning stature as well, 19:43 which helps us a lot. 19:47 But to start with it was a varying skill and now we've managed an account of the light level. 19:49 All over the place. 19:55 We also went 19:57 and give everything 95%. 20:01

I know there's this cliche that Americans like to give everything 100. 20:05 And 10%. 20:11 But you get the extra 10% 20:11 from 20:14 that usually means like you're working 44 hours instead of 40 doesn't it. 20:16 An but yeah, this idea that there is 5%. 20:22 Of our working month. 20:27 Which equates to just one day? 20:30 That we do not deliver on. 20:32 Anyone has any idea what we do with that day. 20:38 Relax, who said relax seriously. 20:42 Not quite 20:49 Line yeah. 20:52

South development loan an A lot of our of waterfall test is hated. 20:52 Uh. 21:02 Going into agile originally 'cause, 21:02 he says. 21:06 Yeah, we always had this 6 weeks of absolute hell. 21:06 by the way, I just realized we had this 6 weeks of absolute hell, 21:11 but afterward would be supporting the customer. 21:15 And their initial trials, yeah. 21:19 And it got really quiet so I could pick up a book and kind of thumb through stuff and I could learn stuff and it was relaxed. 21:21

Without y'all it's like Sprint after Sprint of terror like Oh, 21:28 we delivered on this print as another Sprint quick. 21:32 Let's try and deliver everything from that like this regular thing so having a day a month say. 21:36 Do you know what? 21:43 I'm going to work on some I want to. 21:43 I want to expand what I can do. 21:46 With really important. 21:48 And it has been really, 21:48 important because. 21:51 In the last 6. 21:54 Yes. 21:54 Yes. 21:57 And we've had to do things we've never done before. 21:57

When we learn lots are project products in 2013. 22:02 And the customer was adamant you know. 22:07 This will work. 22:10 Or a laptop. 22:10 No one will use it on no one's going to use it on a Phone. 22:13 No one is going to use it on the tablets. 22:17 Those things are just cliches, 22:19 Yeah, but somewhere along the line. 22:22 2015 I said that it wasn't that long it was like no no actually. 22:25 People are using it on mobile 1st. 22:31

We should this should be designed to work on a mobile 1st and foremost, 22:34 yeah. 22:37 And although we knew how to do cross-browser testing working on. 22:37 Testing mobile devices with new. 22:44 We've had, we work with the system that. 22:47 Increasingly, more highly available as you test that we have to work that out. 22:51 Uh our systems now tend to be delivered by ansible so they can be started up and stopped. 22:57 How do you test that? 23:04

Uh how do you test Accessibility which has become more and more of a thing? 23:06 We've we've had to play around with things and as say the wordplay around but that's exactly what you do on a 5%. 23:11 You play you try and work things out. 23:18 You try and. 23:21 Get a handle on things. 23:21 And it sounds like a waste but that's 5% 23:23 is invested in the future. 23:26

Otherwise, what happens is you know eventually you have to fire all your team and hire somebody else with new skills because. 23:30 You've got people who can only work with Windows 95 or something because you've never allowed. 23:36 Level up and get with the program. 23:43 I mentioned as well as I said 23:49 With the rise of automation an? 23:54 We've negotiated this hour's really useful wait. 23:56 In everything that I do. 24:02

And everything that I try and encourage the team to do this idea of playing around. 24:05 Not just to read but to build to try things. 24:10 I think that. 24:14 No nowhere the course for Maine has been as influential. 24:14 As of right so. 24:21 They were supposed to Plumb column, 24:21 I've not with rapid software testing. 24:25 I mean that's change back at the bottom as everyone here done rapid software test they? 24:28 Can you put your hands up? 24:35 Yeah. 24:36 Yeah, so James or Michael. 24:38

A very rarely in NZ a discourse so heavily aligns with how we've ended up working. 24:40 I always try and make sure at least a couple of our team, 24:46 have gone. 24:50 'Cause it's been really, 24:50 useful. 24:53 If you've done the course or if you've ever ever ever done, 24:59 an exercise with James back, 25:02 yeah. 25:03 He. 25:03 Is partial? 25:03 It can be very pushy, 25:07 but he also believes a lot in creating a safer environment in his workshops. 25:10 Yeah. 25:16 So he wants people to feel a bit. 25:16

Tense and awkward in the way that, unfortunately, 25:20 it can be very tense and awkward for us is test leaders. 25:22 To see how people do? 25:26 And I found it very useful to look through some of the exercises. 25:28 We did with him and to create my own. 25:33 To create my exercises that replicate some elements of what we do in software testing. 25:37 An example well I'll show you some. 25:43 Later on, I put something on my website. 25:47

I have a number guessing game, 25:50 which is based on the 1980s. 25:53 if you ever built a computer program, 25:56 the first time in the 80s. 25:58 The first thing you would do was uh. 26:00 Random number generator? 26:03 Yeah. 26:03 Any guess the number here it tells you too high to low or just right there. 26:03 Now, being a very experienced tester. 26:10 I've created I think it's about 13 builds of that where there's just a little defect in it. 26:13

And when I do training with 'cause I also one of my roles as well at data come to do training with people. 26:19 Who may be in our service desk another once you get better observation once you get consider a career in software testing? 26:26 And there's a whole load of exercise. 26:33 I work with this game where we say Hey. 26:36 Play this play the game tell me what's wrong. 26:39 And it's I found it with some people it's a lot harder than you think. 26:42 But. 26:48

So this just pretend that you could have seen this phase, 26:48 but then you can see. 26:51 Going through I go through my RST notes every 2 years and just kind of go through the actual handwritten notes. 26:53 And. 27:00 This sentence feedback that he gave to me, 27:00 which I found useful and I returned to every so often because. 27:03 I still say although I'm improving in these areas. 27:07 It's still a challenge for Maine to be perfect so. 27:10

An example of this was. 27:13 good testers work on their strength balanced team with skills. 27:18 You don't have when I woke with other tests. 27:21 I always look for a test as the compliment each other. 27:24 When we look to place two testers together on the team we look for 2 testers that have got different. 27:27 Types of skills to each other. 27:32 Uh. 27:34 People can't be smart if they feel stupid. 27:37 That's important when you're building an exercise if you're building an exercise. 27:39

And it makes people feel stupid, 27:44 they will never learn anything. 27:46 And sometimes I've gotta make sure I don't try to be too clever for my good. 27:49 Uh. 27:54 I always hate these exercises. 27:54 Particularly if you ever did, 27:57 the one where you are in an aircraft you're broken down in the. 27:59 List of 20 things. 28:02 And you have to order them, 28:02 according to which ones you have taken which one did you leave behind? 28:05

There is an exercise like that at the end of it, 28:10 you work as a team you create a list. 28:13 And then someone says Well, 28:16 you've done it all wrong because this is the actual list and then I was like feel well. 28:17 Why did you make the TV exercise? 28:21 A good exercise allows you to apply the skills that you've got and that I was a coach will sit with you and. 28:23 Go. 28:30 That's good because that's your style. 28:30

Yeah, don't try and make other people do my style, 28:34 but try and do. 28:37 Trying to work out how they solve problems and then go hear some things that you could do. 28:37 To kind of expand. 28:43 The way that you do problem-solving or the way that you approach so for instance over. 28:43 Yesterday I ran a test strategy. 28:52 Workshop agile testing days. 28:55 And then I provided quite a lengthy document for people to look at and. 28:55 Almost always just subtracting solutions are good. 29:04

But we all fall into the blind spot of we test it functionally. 29:08 And then we kind of forget about things like the document is riddled with you know, 29:14 there's going to be. 29:19 High availability here and security is really important, 29:19 but they never actually mentioned what the security is yeah. 29:23 So we as a test this tends to be drawn to. 29:27

Functional testing. 1st and foremost, 29:30 but we have to remember sometimes that an appraisal of a system is more than just. 29:33 What it does but Is it up enough you know? 29:38 Is it usable? 29:41 Whoever whoever whoever did the. 29:45 Thing on my Phone today, 29:48 where the map just spun around yeah, 29:50 it worked. 29:52 Eventually, when I got a network signal. 29:52

While it was spinning around, 29:56 it might have found the location, 29:58 A big thing that James is said to Maine was that I was quite weak on was very good at giving solutions but. 30:05 I often would make assumptions that people would make assumptions. 30:13 Uh I wasn't very good at declaring my assumption sorry and if there was a constraint. 30:19 Yeah. 30:24 I would just go OK, 30:24 yeah, I'll accept that. 30:25

And it's something I still struggle with you know if you give me a constraint again, 30:27 OK, so that's something I can't manage. 30:32 I'm good with that, so let's look at the things I can manage yeah. 30:33 I try to be quite pragmatic. 30:37 But every so often, you do need to kick at constraints if it's constraints or someone is just being really difficult. 30:38

And that was really good feedback so every time you know, 30:45 I've cut and pasted that thing I've written it in several places. 30:48 Every time I work on a new project. 30:52 I look at that and say am I accepting too many constraints. 30:54 Now each of us is different each of us has that. 30:59 Achilles heel, the thing that we don't quite do well. 31:03 That's why you need a coach. 31:05 That's why having a coach is important to work with you and. 31:07

Help to develop your skills and also point out you know this is now you just need to watch. 31:10 This is something you do fantastic, 31:16 so don't worry about that. 31:18 Of course, if you don't get feedback. 31:19 You worry bout everything rather worry about everything you think you just superb yeah. 31:21 Yeah. 31:26 Yeah, pretty much like I said a good workshop. 31:31 Has to complex real-world problems at its heart? 31:35

Allows attendees to apply their ideas that are not just not copy and pasting you. 31:39 Because we don't want people copying and pasting just what we do. 31:44 And you get feedback on items to help integrate. 31:48 Ah link didn't test his own slide deck. 32:02 That one slipped through me, 32:07 I copied and pasted it and meant to remove it. 32:08 Right from the other slide. 32:11 I am so sorry in a little bit embarrassed. 32:13

Pretty much light like I said, 32:22 You know the thing I relive James is to be challenging and to push. 32:24 I will often say. 32:28 I'm not here if you know, 32:33 James back, he always wears a hat as well, 32:34 and sometimes I will do I will put something on? 32:37 Badger or a hat on and it's like when I've got my hat on I'm playing your project manager and if you want. 32:41 Tell me a site that I take the. 32:47 Take that off yeah, it's 'cause its role play. 32:50

And I think it's really important to challenge because we are poor in quite difficult situations at times. 32:55 But this importance of the safety net. 33:01 I know not everyone's experience with James been the same but when I worked with him. 33:04 He's always said you know you have the option to say you know to stop this is just. 33:12 I need help. 33:17 You know the How to be a millionaire you know the lifeline thing. 33:17 That's the end game show 10 by the way. 33:25

Pretty much like I said working or fake projects like the game. 33:28 There's an automation project. 33:33 We've been working on we control the codes that we do the automation engineer way that brings it. 33:36 So we've got the fake completely fake project. 33:44 We build a test framework. 33:46 We've built the software next to it. 33:48 And what I've done is I've built 5 versions of the software and only one of them. 33:50

So it allows us to test whatever software automation, 33:57 we build and also get used to reading logs here. 34:00 So what's wrong with this build let's just look read through the logs? 34:03 What test failed? 34:08 What did it? 34:08 Actually, exercise. 34:09 You can't do that with production code because it's always important when it when it's gone just something that's there. 34:09

Pure learning, said I get used to reading logs seeing things fail, 34:16 thinking about how test even the naming of testing can help Maine. 34:20 we have a project, 34:25 I have a project this one is always fun and I roll out Christmas about saving 2 astronauts. 34:27 How do you look at something that looks very watchful and advocate for testing within it? 34:33

we did it for fun in 2014. 34:40 but we rivet revisited it more now because we look at it won't go and although it doesn't say DevOps. 34:43 It's essentially had you fit testing into DevOps Yeah. 34:50 How do you make things go faster? 34:53 How do you advocate for a level of quality? 34:55 And Project Glenda, which is what I was running yesterday, 34:58 which is all about dating app. 35:01 Some tools that I've built over the time that kind of help people think out. 35:04 How they do things? 35:10

Blink testing Is really if you actually look on my website 'cause now got GitHub site? 35:10 It's a series of cards. 35:19 That if you go through all the cards and look at a strategy. 35:22 If you find the card that makes you go. 35:26 That means you probably missed something it's very difficult to find holes in their strategy. 35:28 About 3 years ago, I was looking at an app of one of our competitors and I read all the one-star reviews? 35:35

They got addicted to Reading, 35:43 one-star reviews? 35:45 Anyone ever read one-star reviews Maps. 35:45 You know you do not want a one-star review on your out. 35:51 An and I built up about the 1st 20 and that's just kept coming out with ones that I'd like. 35:55 Ann. 36:03 The test plan dashboard was another really good resource. 36:03 And that's just again. 36:09 Trying to pull on a page where all the things that were going to try and do with this test. 36:09

Because I struggle to get my project managers to read anything I write. 36:15 It's like, you wrote this that. 36:23 Fantastic 30, Page Test strategy. 36:25 But I don't have time to read that. 36:27 The national teams that are even more. 36:29 That's one reason why we use more and more my Maps it's Aaron. 36:32 Or I don't know if you know of him. 36:36 He's been huge advocate them in New Zealand yeah. 36:38

And very his ideas about that have become very infectious and then these are just visual tools. 36:41 But. 36:48 Supposedly this you know each Sprint you test as you come up with ideas of what you want to test. 36:48 For particular stories. 36:54 And if you try and set. 36:54 Down the developer it's like you have nailed there. 36:59 Bare hands into the desk and there you know they're talking to me about testing. 37:04 I don't want to go through this. 37:08

But my mind map of here are the things that we are planning steps and is good 'cause you can. 37:10 Just after standup it can take sometimes no more than about 2 minutes. 37:16 And they often it gets that thing. 37:21 The thing you're trying to do with any documents isn't said. 37:23 Wonderful about writing documents. 37:26 It's for somebody to say, 37:26 but what about. 37:30

That thing that you know in this big thing from our developers tends to be, 37:32 but what about X because we're also changing this and it's like I have no idea. 37:37 And now I do. 37:41 That means the risks of just gone down, 37:41 which is important. 37:44 So what we do in our exercise is just scouting ahead. 37:48 We start we were messing around with facial recognition before it became a thing. 37:55 I'm very I'm doing this because. 38:01

One of my chain mechanic I'm going again and I'm a sheep, 38:04 rope at gold, yeah, so her son. 38:09 Has? 38:11 On our phone, if I showed you know, 38:11 he looks at it. 38:14 Unlocks is fine? 38:16 Yeah. 38:16 He found a shiny is found out. 38:16 That dropped his face also unlocks the barn. 38:21 And there's been a bubble in this journey that's all about that. 38:26 So was that tested you know it's like you put your trust in this advanced thing, 38:32 but stuff like that is really. 38:38

Is it really cold because of course? 38:40 I've looked at an old picture of myself and one is that my song and then realized I didn't know that was Maine. 38:42 Many many years and many, 38:48 many pounds ago. 38:50 Ann. 38:54 We were talking yesterday, 38:54 agile testing those how do you take? 38:57 The spirit of a conference bank Ann had many talks about this 'cause again. 39:00 Yeah, 5 minutes, yeah. 39:06 Most. 39:06 Yeah, thanks again. 39:11

And one of the biggest things is essentially the thing that runs through everything that I've been telling you. 39:11 We just make space you make her space. 39:18 To not tackle things on the big level, 39:22 but small level. 39:24 To play around together, 39:24 too. 39:27 To explore things together to explore things one pastor time. 39:27 I know we made some James back, 39:34 but to me also. 39:36 Working with at least Chrisman Janet Gregory has been really important. 39:38

I find that books have been really helpful to me on this subject. 39:42 And I key thing when we wrote this book in 2014, 39:46 when I was going through some. 39:49 Changes in my role as well. 39:51 There was this whole discuss discussion about is the term agile test managers in oxen, 39:53 Oxymoron. 39:59 And a letter said discussion or you know your role is not to tell people what to do your role is to coach people. 40:01

To make a thought out decisions and that's essentially what my role now as a leader within my company is more about. 40:08 And the more I think about this. 40:18 The more I'm OK with this. 40:20 Because I was terrible at predicting things on graphs. 40:23 And taking things off and making colorful things. 40:27 No, I'm happy with this. 40:32 This is where I want to be and this is where I think. 40:34 We are heading. 40:37 Not as marriages of test that tests but as managers of people. 40:40

So the feature of leadership in testing is teaching not telling. 40:46 That learning starts with us. 40:54 That we create safe places to explore. 40:58 Those are the 3 really powerful things. 41:02 So it's our duty to take actually at the conference. 41:05 Over the weekend was writing down the Tinkerbell Coaching Manifesto. 41:09 Because I got this someone got this book for Maine. 41:15 And I'm always thinking about it more. 41:19 I felt that as a coach is not Peter Pan and it's not. 41:21

The here and it's certainly not captaining Hulk. 41:25 We kind of represent but maybe think about. 41:27 For 5 reasons. 41:32 First of all. 41:32 When we're dealing with people it's important to be quiet and to let them talk 1st. 41:35 To give them space to speak. 41:41 Secondly to encourage the whole team to fly. 41:43 We provide the Magic powers to make that happen. 41:47 But obviously no drugs. 41:50 At 41:55 when we were quiet. 03:00 We need to drink poison for them. 41:58

Think about it, there's a lot of dumb things, 42:01 she's not perfect, but she always tries to make things right. 42:03 And it's important that we side with our testers and we champion, 42:06 though. 42:10 4 even when they don't believe in you? 42:12 It's important that you believe in them. 42:14 And 5, no deals with stinky Pirates. 42:18 Thank you. 42:22

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