The talk was mostly non-technical , but interesting nonetheless. Jim has a book out with O”Reilly and this talk seems like part of a book tour.
He started off saying that contrary to what you might expect, increased testing results in more bugs. So you got to look at the data and not go with you feelings. How is this seeming contradiction explained? Well, if you have a very strong testing group and a lot of pressure on developers, the developers tend then to get fast but sloppy, believing that the testing group will find their errors. This is no the way to run a team.
Rather he believes testers should work with developers to come up with methods that minimize the occurrence of bugs.
Qestions form the audience on who management views this. Why do developers always seem to think management is benighted? Oh, if we have no bugs or fewer bugs, our managers will lay off testers. Yes, the benighted ones will. They’re probably the same people that cancel their home insurance when they go a year or two without a fire.
Diana said that one should think of the team as a team that works together. The balance is right so don’t mess with it. Agile people talk about self-organizing. This does maake it difficult to maintain competition among co-workers and team members. Yes, there are organizations where team members compete angainst other team members. Think of a sports team as an analogy.
Interesting concept called technical debt was discussed. This concept is due to Ward Cunningham. You know, you’re in a hurry, so you do something that is quick but you know is not the right way to do it. You say you’ll go back and fix it. The more you do this the more you have to go back and fix. Not that you should’t have any technical debt, but it’s something to watch.
A good talk, good pizza, a chance to touch base with the technical community.