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Showing posts from 2016

Sanction Keith Klain

I have asked the Association for Software Testing to make a statement regarding the relationship of AST with their former Board officer Keith Klain in regard to the lawsuit for fraud filed against Klain by his former employer Doran Jones.

The lawsuit alleges that Klain did a number of reprehensible things. What should concern the AST and the software testing community in particular is that Klain is alleged to have been a party to sabotaging and undermining the training in software testing given to disadvantaged people by Per Scholas in New York City.

Klain filed a "LETTER addressed to Judge Analisa Torres from A. Goldenberg dated July 20, 2016 re: Request for a Pre-Motion Conference Regarding Anticipated Motion to Dismiss".  Of concern to the software testing community is that this letter in no way disputes or denies Klain's behavior alleged in the law suit; this letter merely attempts to make the case that Klain's abominable behavior should not meet the letter of the…

Open letter to "CDT Test Automation" reviewers


Tim Western
Alan Page
Keith Klain
Ben Simo
Paul Holland
Alan Richardson
Christin Wiedemann
Albert Gareev
Noah Sussman
Joseph Quaratella

Apropos of my criticism of "Context Driven Approach to Automation in Testing" (I reviewed version 1.04), I ask you to join me in condemning publicly both the tone and the substance of that paper.

If you do support the paper, I ask you to do so publicly.

And regardless of your view, I request that you ask the authors of the paper bearing your names to remove that paper from public view as well as to remove the copy that Keith Klain hosts here.  For the reasons I pointed out, this paper is an impediment to reasonable discussion and it has no place in the modern discourse about test automation.

Open letter to the Association for Software Testing

To the Association for Software Testing:

Considering the discussion in the software testing community with regard to my blog post "Test is a Ghetto", I ask the Board of the AST  to release a statement regarding the relationship of the AST with Keith Klain and Per Scholas, particularly in regard to the lawsuit for fraud filed by Doran Jones (PDF download link) .

The AST has a Code of Ethics  and I also ask the AST Board to release a public statement on whether the AST would consider creating an Ethics Committee similar to, or as a part of the recently created Committee on Standards and Professional Practices.

The yearly election for the Board of the AST happens in just a few weeks, and I hope that the candidates for the Board and the voting members of the Association for Software Testing will consider these requests with the gravity they deserve.

Test is a Ghetto

If you read software testing news aimed at the general public, you might be of the opinion that software testing is done by, and *properly* done by:
Autistic people with minimal training.
Impoverished Aboriginals with minimal training

Impoverished inner city people with minimal training
People in developing countries with minimal training
The key of course is "minimal training". There is a class of software testers who have minimal programming skills, or system administration skills, or database skills, or any technical computer skills at all. These testers do honorable work and can be valuable members of a software development team. They have been my colleagues; I have helped hire them; and I have trained them in test automation. And I still do that sort of work myself sometimes, although others are better at it than I am.
However, their lack of technical skills mean that they tend to have lower status, lower income, and are often considered fungible, easily swapped out as …

Reviewing "Context Driven Approach to Automation in Testing"

I recently had occasion to read the "Context Driven Approach to Automation in Testing". As a professional software tester with extensive experience in test automation at the user interface (both UI and API) for the last decade or more for organizations such as Thoughtworks, Wikipedia, Salesforce, and others, I found it a nostalgic mixture of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), propaganda, ignorance and obfuscation. 

It was weirdly nostalgic for me: take away the obfuscatory modern propaganda terminology and it could be an artifact directly out of the test automation landscape circa 1998 when vendors, in the absence of any competition, foisted broken tools like WinRunner and SilkTest on gullible customers, when Open Source was exotic, when the World Wide Web was novel. Times have changed since 1998, but the CDT approach to test automation has not changed with it. I'd like to point out the deficiencies in this document as a warning to people who might be tempted to take it se…

Who I am and where I am June 2016

From time to time I find it helpful to mention where I am and how I got here. I have been pretty quiet since 2010 but I used to say a lot of stuff in public.

For the past year I have worked for, formerly the Salesforce Foundation, the independent entity that administers the philanthropic programs of My team creates free open source software for the benefit of non-profit organizations.  I create and maintain automated browser tests in Ruby, using Jeff "Cheezy" Morgan's page_object gem.  I'm a big fan.

My job title is "Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Quality Assurance".  I have no objection to the term "Quality Assurance", that term accurately describes the work I do. I am known for having said "QA Is Not Evil".

Before I spent three years with the Wikimedia Foundation , working with Željko Filipin  mostly, on a similar browser test automation project , but much larger.

I worked for Socialtext…

Remarks on Wikimedia Foundation recent events

If you pay attention to Wikipedia culture and the WMF, you may know that the Executive Director of the WMF, Lila Tretikov, has resigned amid some controversy.

It is an extraordinary story, especially since, given the nature of Wikipedia culture, so much information about events is publicly available. I'll point you to Molly White's "Wikimedia timeline of recent events" as an excellent synopsis of Ms. Tretikov's tenure as ED.  The thing that strikes me most about that timeline is the number of people who left, and the long tenure of each person who departed. On the same subject, Terry Chay's note published on Quora also addresses this.

My own tenure at WMF was just over three years, from 2012 to 2015. In that time Željko Filipin  and I built an exceptionally good browser test automation framework, which at the time I left WMF was in use in about twenty different WMF code repositories. My time at WMF was roughly evenly split between Ms. Tretikov as ED and und…