STP Conference Day 2

The morning started off with a Keynote from Robert Sabourin called “What is so Different about Testing in Scrum.”  I wouldn’t say the title of the talk really fit the talk itself but it was a good kick-off for the day.  If you have seen him speak before, then you know he is high energy and enthusiastic. 

His talk essentially gave a brief overview of Scrum and then walked through some case studies of teams he has worked with that were adopting Scrum and what some of their challenges and proposed solutions were.  It wasn’t surprising to hear that the challenges were centered on either lack of product ownership and/or testing team challenges.  I was hoping he would actually dive into some of the key differences in testing in Scrum like the title of the talk mentioned but he really didn’t go there.  No one seems to go there…again, another topic for another time. 


I went to 4 different talks.  Two of these talks were topics around agile testing.  I was disappointed by both of these talks in that they really didn’t get into any meat on the topics.  It was all high level principles with no actual techniques or take-aways on what to do and how to do it. 


One talk was on metrics.  The speaker was good and had good content for the most part.  However, I would argue that several of the metrics that were discussed really don’t provide any value to an organization.  For example, she mentioned tracking requirements stability as a metric.  Let’s say you do this and you discover that 40% of your requirements change.  So what.  What is that metric going to do for your team or organization?  Requirements always change.  Period.  We all know that…we should all be prepared for it.  Spending a significant amount of time (and therefore money) tracking how many requirements change doesn’t really help you to handle those changing requirements.  Why not invest that time and money into something that will help your team work effectively in the changing requirement world?


I ended the day with a talk by Matt Heusser called “Software Testing from the Ground Up.”  The published excerpt on the talk didn’t seem to match the talk itself.  I did enjoy some of the comparisons he made between testers and other professions, though. 


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