STARCANADA 2018 Concurrent Session : Testing in the Dark: Improving Quality when You Don't Know the Product


Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 10:15am to 11:15am

Testing in the Dark: Improving Quality when You Don't Know the Product

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Stakeholders drop software on our desks and expect us to test it without any requirements, design, or product knowledge whatsoever. About the only clear thing is the absurd and unrealistic deadline. We are expected to bend over backward, spread magic pixie dust, and heroically test quality into a product we have never heard of before. But testing in the dark is not impossible, and as Rob Sabourin shows, it can even be a very valuable and fun experience. Learn strategies to emerge from a murky fog into clear, meaningful quality insights and leverage unlikely sources about what stakeholders care about and what users really need the software to do. Rob will introduce you to methods of reconnaissance-style, charter-driven, and session-based exploratory testing and help you provide meaningful estimates to stakeholders with minimal hard information about the software under test. He also will share recent experiences of testing in the dark on chaotic and turbulent projects and how he turned his product ignorance into a testing superpower. Join Rob’s quest to find important bugs fast while testing in the dark—and you, too, will see the light.


Rob Sabourin has more than thirty-three years of management experience leading teams of software development professionals. A highly-respected member of the software engineering community, Rob has managed, trained, mentored, and coached hundreds of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing, management, and internationalization. Rob authored I am a Bug!, the popular software testing children's book; works as an adjunct professor of software engineering at McGill University; and serves as the principal consultant (and president/janitor) of AmiBug.Com, Inc. Contact Rob at [email protected].