42: Paul Gerrard: Shift Left – A New Model for Testing

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A New Model Testing

With more and more companies making the move to shift-left in their development processes, the thinking skills that many testers possess need to be unlocked and shared across the whole organization.

Paul's new model can get us all thinking about testing as early as possible in the development life cycle. Discover how we can apply the tester’s mindset to the ever-changing development landscape that includes thing like the Internet of Things and Big Data.

About Paul Gerrard


Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, programmer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and publisher. He has conducted consulting assignments in all aspects of software testing and quality assurance, specializing in test assurance. He has presented keynote talks and tutorials at testing conferences across Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and occasionally won awards for them.

He was the founding chair of the British Computer Society Information Systems Examination Board (BCS ISEB) of the Software Testing certification board.

Educated at the universities of Oxford and Imperial College London, he is a Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited and is the host of the UK Test Management Forum.

He wrote “Risk-Based E-Business Testing” with Neil Thompson in 2002 and the “Business Story Pocketbook” with Susan Windsor in 2012. He wrote “The Tester's Pocketbook” in 2009.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • The New Model of Testing was born out of the frustration of how testing is discussed and understood.
  • Testing is fundamental – the same for everybody.
  • There is deep disagreement on how testing should be performed.
  • There are some fundamental things that all testers can agree on and the Testers Pocketbook contains the core disciples that all testers should be familiar with.
  • If there are some core activities that all testers can agree on, then what are the core thinking processes that all testers go through?
  • Testers are over possessive of what we call “software testing”
  • The truth is Developers, BA, Operation guys all these people to varying degrees
  • We need to move away from testing is owned by testers because it’s kind of a dead-end to thinking about testing in that way.
  • Testing is not a role – it’s an activity with a deliverable.
  • There is not enough discussion on what we (testers) do in common with all the other members on our teams.
  • There are two modes of thinking in our test approach – exploration and testing – that have distinctly different goals.
  • We use models to challenge our sources through example to improve our sources and our models.
  • We use the exploration process to derive a model or more usually, set of models, from the source(s) of knowledge.
  • Modeling the data is how our brains make sense of it.
  • Much, much more!


Connect with Paul Gerrard

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