Context is king when it comes to how we test software

Explore Assurity 13 August 2013 Adam Howard

As I write this, I am sitting – basking rather – in the unseasonal winter sun in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. The sky and sea are twinkling at each other and one feeling strikes me more than anything else – hunger. Let me explain.

I’d arrived in Sydney on Sunday evening and, despite my bravado, I felt like a small town boy alone in a big city. The customs official suspected me of smuggling, my taxi driver didn’t speak English and the hotel concierge sent me on a wild goose chase when I sought his help to recon the conference venue.

As ever though, a new day brought a fresh start and a powerful combination of eagerness and jetlag led me to be the conspicuous first guest to sign in for Tasting Let’s Test, a one-day teaser for the Context Driven Testing (CDT) conferences held for the past two years in Sweden, but which next year comes to Australia.

With the venue nestled on the charmingly named Cockle Bay Wharf, surrounded by the alluring scents of breakfast borne on a gentle harbour breeze from countless cafés and the hiss and clack of the conference’s dedicated barista tuning his life-support machine, the event was aptly named.

It wasn’t just the taste buds that were stimulated though. A wealth of knowledge and experienced testers had followed me through the doors and were gearing up to engage in this unique hands-on and interactive conference.

After the obligatory instruction to “Tweet everything!”, Rob Sabourin (@RobertASabourin) kicked things off with a great talk about ‘value sync’ – the idea that only by really connecting with our stakeholders (who are more varied and populous than we often realise) can we truly understand the context in which ‘value’ exists for a product.

The real hunger I carry with me now though is to see these disparate communities become one.

Assurity gave me this opportunity and encouraged me to explore and discover new ideas. Now we must take them on board, embrace the knowledge and experience within the context-driven community and their willingness to share ideas and to actively confer with and learn from one another.

Our mission is to challenge conventional thinking around software development and testing and that is precisely what the context-driven community is doing. By engaging and uniting with this community and its spirit and ideals, we at Assurity can challenge our own status quo and extend and enhance our notions of how we can test smarter, better and faster.

I’ve tasted Let’s Test and I am hungry for more.

Follow Adam on Twitter at @adammhoward