Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Article " Inside the Software Testing Quagmire"

Great article looking at testing from CIO magazine!

Have a look - it's a good read - Inside the Software Testing Quagmire

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tester maturity

Someone asked me the other day 'What makes a mature tester'? Which set me thinking, as these things do.

Maturity in cheese or wine means age - if kept in the right conditions. A mature cheese or wire is differentiated by a certain quality of smell, taste or appearance that is hard to achieve in any other way. A deepening, a richness, a complex subtlety amalgamating into a coherent whole. This is valued. Sometimes, the dulled mess is only valued because maturity takes time to achieve, and because rareness and maturity are linked. The process of maturing can change, with maturity or inappropriate conditions, into one of spoiling.

For testers, as with cheese, I believe that length of experience is less important than the conditions in which that experience is gained. Maturity is not just experience, but, perhaps, expertise tempered by perspective. I do hope it's not a certain smell.

Maturity in testers might be characterised by a coherent vision, based on a deep and diverse set of experiences and sources. Perhaps there is a process of over-maturing, perhaps a hardening or vinegary sharpness about some testers. Unlike cheese or wine, however, testers can reverse this process.

There are plenty of ways of gaining expertise and developing perspective - the most important for me, so far, have been to do with practice and communication: working in a wide range of businesses; engaging in discussions with other testers, designers, coders and users; showing people why and how I've made a particular decision. There's a difference, of course, between what _makes_ a mature tester, and what _marks_ a mature tester. Training doesn't make a mature tester. Certification doesn't mark a mature tester. There's no vintage certification on testers, or use-by date on their ideas.

Am I a 'mature' tester? Do I want to be? I'd rather be a tester who reverses the process occasionally, and goes back to the fundamental, rapid and joyful changes of immaturity. Hence this half-baked post; I'm going to learn about blogging, and see where I get. I have a handful of other things I'm learning about this year, too - perhaps one will grow to some sort of maturity, but I hope I'll learn from them all.



Found this quiz online (been googling alot :-))
It is focused on CSTE Technique, have a look - i enjoyed it

Maura Shortridge made some sample quizzes online for each knowledge domain in CSTE. Visit as "student" with password "cste". She made up the questions from the study guide, and she was sure that 99% of questions are having correct answers.
Here are the URL's to the other quizzes she've made so far - the login ID would be the same for all (student/cste):
Quality assurance versus Quality control:

Signing off 4now

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Interesting Article On Agile Testing


New to blogging and think it is a good idea.
Found this article on Agile Testing which i found interesting.

Agile Testing Article

Hope you all find it as interesting as me.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Anybody out there applying TPI and CMMi ?


being involved in a project to improve the practices in a testing organisation according to TPI and CMMi in parallel I would like to share experience.

Actually we are busy to bring test maturity to stage 5 (controlled) and reach CMMi Level 2 (managed) including VER and VAL of Level 3. There is an interesting treatise about this by van Schijndel/Robben TPI, CMMi and Testing at

Of course the mapping parts and offset parts are somewhat difficult to identify in detail (depending of the organisation as well).

Is there anybody who has done a similar challenge?

BTW: The new blog for testers is a very fine idea.
Thank you.

Short Intro

Hi all!
As my parents always told me to introduce yourself politely to other people, I would like to use my first post to do so.
I'm Erik Boelen, working as a Test Manager/Test Consultant for the company CTG in Belgium.
This is my sixth year in the testing world, and still learning a lot every day over and over again. Therefore, I decided to subscribe to this blog, as its intention is to share experiences, knowledge, ideas and who knows, maybe even dreams about testing!!
Concerning Eurostar, I've had the honour to be a speaker once, in 2003, with the subject 'The Agile Way to Success'. This year, I sent in another proposal and really hope to be selected again.
For me, Eurostar was a learning and fun experience, to put it very simply. I met people from all over Europe who have different opinions about testing and how to deal with it. This resulted in very interesting discussions during the day and very funny outcomes during the "evening sessions".
My personal interest goes out to Agile Testing. Currently, I'm responsible for this area within my company and hope to receive and share some interesting ideas about the subject through this blog.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Welcome to the offical EuroSTAR blog


Thank you for taking the time to investigate this, the new EuroSTAR blog dedicated to the European software testing community and in particular, those testers that have or intend to attend EuroSTAR in the future.

We hope that this initiative will create an online meeting point for European software testing professionals where you can share your individual EuroSTAR experiences, thoughts and importantly ideas for the future. Also, we aim to facilitate continous interaction between those of you that met at EuroSTAR so that you may continue your discussions, debates or even differences of opinion long after the curtain has fallen over the final EuroSTAR session of that year.

Our aim at EuroSTAR is to create the conference you want to attend, to have the speakers you want to hear and the companies you want to speak with. With this in mind, please feel free to let us know what we can do to improve in order to make EuroSTAR an even better experience for the entire European software testing community.

Read through some of the posts below to see what other's have to say about their own EuroSTAR experiences.

Please remember to email us at so that We can invite you to become a member of the offical EuroSTAR blog. We look forward to hearing from you!

Happy blogging,

The EuroSTAR Team

What's it really like?

My EuroStar conference experience started back in 1998 in a cold and snowy Munich. Since then I have been fortunate enough to attend all but the one held in Barcelona, either as an attendee or speaker. So I suppose the conference holds special memories for me having been attending them for so long. It’s always encouraging to see how many people still come back year after year for more, but also the way it can attract people who have never been to the conference before.

There is always the opportunity to either make new acquaintances in the industry or meet up with existing contacts, which is always an important part of the event. However, it is equally valuable as an informative and challenging conference. It’s the type of place where you can learn from people’s successes and also maybe their honesty of failures. There are practical ideas you can take back to your workplace on a variety of topics, or new ideas to be learned about from other practitioners or “experts” in the field. But don’t take my word for it, make sure you put the date in the diary now so you can be sure to experience the conference first hand.

This year I will be more involved in EuroStar as I’m taking on different roles as one of the UK country Co-ordinator’s (so if you have any questions drop me an email) and also part of the program committee.

I look forward to seeing you in Manchester.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Days gone by, Days to come...

I'd like to encourage you to get involved in EuroSTAR 2006, and beyond. In my case, after being involved for 4 fun years I'm ready to enjoy many more years of the conference.

For 2006 I have no idea how I'll be involved yet, although I need to decide whether to submit a proposal or not fairly soon as the submission deadline is close. However I expect I'll be at the conference one way or another :-)

I'm looking forward to the event, which promises to offer:

  • the chance to meet lots of friends, new and old, from across Europe and further afield
  • some great sessions for everyone
  • the opportunity to meet up after hours for the 'important' discussions that don't always fit directly in the flow of the main event e.g. because of time constraints
From my experiences of EuroSTAR, and various other events, I expect EuroSTAR will continue to offer attendees the chance to develop themselves while helping others, and the industry, to improve.

I hope to see you at this and future events

Julian Harty

PS: In case you are interested, here is a summary of my involvement so far. I hope it encourages you to get involved as well.

I was first introduced to EuroSTAR by Steve Allott in 2001 when I replaced a speaker who had to cancel. Despite the short, cold dark days in Sweden I really enjoyed the event, the first time I'd presented to a large International audience.

In 2003, in Amsterdam, I met some old friends and again had the great opportunity to speak at the event again, this time on security testing.

In 2004, I was shocked to receive a phone call from Erkki Poyhonen, the programme chair, who asked me whether I was willing to give a keynote - with some trepidation I accepted, and although I was initially worried about presenting to over 300 people, the warmth and support of the audience allowed me to deliver a fun presentation. The feedback from this session encouraged Lee Copeland in the USA, who organises the STAREast and STARWest conferences to invite me over to give a keynote to an even larger audience at STAREast 2005.

For 2005 Martin Pol asked me to join the programme committee - something that sounded time-consuming and without much reward, but a challenge, so I accepted. However I found I really enjoyed reviewing the 450+ submissions, communicating with about 50 of the speakers, organising the track chairs for the conference, etc. I hope I met quite a few of you during the actual conference, although to be honest I found I had little time to attend the presentations this time, as there were various jobs that had to be sorted out for the track sessions, etc.

Of the presentations I did attend, Thorkil Sonne's special session on autism was magnetising, showing how a 'disability' could be turned into a special, marketable skill. He has personally developed a viable, responsible business which is an inspiration to many who learn about it. I hope others will be able to follow his lead in future. As he is giving a keynote at EuroSTAR 2006 you'll have the chance to hear of the great work he's performed :-)

In the end, I realised how much I'd benefited from being involved in the programme committee, by being able to learn from the 100's of people who had contributed to the event.

Thank you!