My Blog

I’ve been writing about subjects related to testing, quality and software development for the last few years. You can read my blog posts here (the most recent posts are at the top of the page).

I’ve recently posted two new blogs looking at rapid delivery: Need for Speed was originally written for TechBeacon and explores the relationship between velocity and quality, whilst Testing: Paths of Resistance looks at the effect of rapid delivery on the testing mindset.

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Need for Speed?

Testing: paths of resistance
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What do I mean by ‘Quality’?

By design
Investing in testing low weight

Investing in testing

On success, confidence and overcoming doubts
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Confirmation and Exploration: two testing cultures

Confirmation Culture (and how to challenge and change)


P is not a dirty word

Three Dimensions of Quality

Three Dimensions (and many factors) which can affect a person’s perception of a product.

Don’t mention the P******

Some ‘P’ words which have become unpopular in some quarters. Are they really dirty words?

Testing the water


Testing the Water

No matter how big the net, there is always a chance that something nasty can slip through.

Lessons from the Tinkerman

The temptation to tinker with something which is working well  may be overpowering.

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V is for Valuable

What we are sometimes trying to create is perhaps a Minimum Valuable Product

Hitting the mark with test reporting

Timing and depth are important factors in reporting on testing

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Perception Matters

When it comes to quality, perception matters

Shifting the furniture

Perhaps we can provide a more inclusive kind of quality.

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Evaluating Risk

Questions to help promote discussion and analysis of product risk.

Musing on Mentoring

Mentoring can be a powerful mechanism for learning

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Thinking Quality In

If responsibility for quality lies with everybody then we need to think quality in.

Customer empathy – five simple tips

A few suggestions for helping you understand your customers and their needs.

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(More) reasons to be cheerful

The relationship between customers and technology has been brought into sharp focus. We have an opportunity to demonstrate the value of testing in providing crucial information.

Reasons to be cheerful

The world of software development is rapidly evolving, and the place of testing in this world is adapting too, but this is an exciting time to be involved.

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Under threat?

What are the factors, perceptions and attitudes which might threaten testers by reducing demand for their services?

Prophecies of Doom

Instead of feeling nervous about the future of testing, I believe we must assess the changing landscape and define our place within it.

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Chapeau to a testing community

A reflection on my experiences with the online testing community so far.

Where we once went wrong

Considering the risk of changes with the same rigour as new products.

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One Track Mind

Our thinking can become muddled if we are under pressure. Our thoughts become focused on a single path, even if that path doesn’t get us to where we need to be.

Does it really work?

We have become familiar with the terms functional and non-functional in relation to testing. I suggest that they are terms which we might be better off without.

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How was it for you?

When we work on something intended to meet the needs of others, we can ask questions to determine how successful we have been .

Filtering Information

If our job is to communicate information through our reports then we need to be selective about what information we present.

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The Mechanics

Looking at the mechanics of reporting and the broad question of HOW you communicate information effectively.

Your Audience

If we consider the customer in everything that we do, providing information is no different.

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Assisting with Inquiries: Intro

Introducing a series looking at how testers can play a significant role in getting the information that is needed to the people who need it.

Star Flaws: The Empire Strikes Out

In a darkened room, somewhere aboard the Death Star, a group of workers are gathered. They are the Death Star’s Imperial Testers.

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Why Say QA?

Testers who call what they do ‘QA’ are reinforcing a misapprehension.

The Scrabble Standard

A new standard for Scrabble. Can this bring about more certain outcomes?

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Are you sure?

An expectation is sometimes placed on testers – that we can not only reduce uncertainty, but eliminate it.

Specialists and the wonderful world of job titles

To specialise or not to specialise – that is the question

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Humility (and how to avoid becoming an expert)

Rather than vainly chasing the title of ‘expert’, we might be better served by demonstrating humility.

That Sinking Feeling – are we ready to ship?

How much involvement should testers have in making the decision about whether a product is ready?

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The Misinformation Game

Good testers have many admirable qualities, but prophecy is not typically amongst them.

Bananas (or how to see more than a bunch of requirements)

Testing is not simply about coverage of requirements.

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Designed to Test

Perhaps we could start a new debate on testers understanding design.

Certification: Driven to distraction

Congratulations on your ISEB certification! Just don’t test like that.

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70:20:10 How Testers Learn

Experience is the basis for most of our learning. This won’t be a surprise to anyone who has spent time testing.

Empathy – a lesson from history

Human feelings and emotion create empathy. How can we close the empathy gap in IT?

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The more I learn, the less I know

Recognising “known unknowns” allows me to identify where I need to bring in the expertise of others.

The End

Look out for more blogs soon!