Upcoming Software Testing Events for Summer 2014 Include CAST, ChinaTest

The Summer is usually a leisurely paced time of year — Business Communication Duplicate modelyou’ve got your days at the beach, road trips and fun in the sun. The software testing conference scene is no different, really, but there are a few major notable shows to take note of as we get deep into the summer heat:


  • International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA): Taking place next week, ISSTA is the leading research symposium on software testing and analysis, bringing together academics, industrial researchers, and practitioners to exchange new ideas, problems, and experience on how to analyze and test software systems.
  • ChinaTest 2014: James Bach and some other big names in software testing are at this major Chinese show this month.


  • SoCraTes 2014: The show is all about the sustainable creation of useful software in a responsible way. In short, everyone who is concerned with coding, testing, code quality, software craftsmanship would want to be at this one — so that means testers! Check out this one in Germany.
  • Conference of the Association for Software Testing (CAST) 2014: CAST’s 9th Annual software testing conference in New York City is one of the most well-known amongst testers, and for good reason: it perennially features major testing players including James Bach, Matthew Heusser, Michael Bolton and Fiona Charles, and is interactive in format with debates and panels taking center stage, along with content built by testers for testers. uTest will also be covering the event from NYC in August, along with some choice interviews, so stay tuned to Social and the Blog!

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Q&A: Context-Driven Testing Champions Talk Trends, Preview Let’s Test Oz

Henrik Andersson and David Greenlees are two well-known contributors to the context-driven testing community and together co-founded the Let’s Test conferences, which celebrate the context-driven school of thought. Let’s Test Oz is slated for September 15-17 just outside Sydney, Australia, and uTest has secured an exclusive 10% discount off new registrations. Be sure to email testers@utest.com for this special discount code if you plan on attending.

In this interview, we talk with Henrik and David on trends in the context-driven community, and get a sense of what testers can expect at Let’s Test Oz.


uTest: Like James Bach, you’re both members of the ‘context-driven’ testing community. What drove each of you to context-driven testing?

HA: Actually, James did. I had close to no awareness of the context-driven testing (CDT) community before I hosted James’ RST class in Sweden in spring of 2007. During my discussions with James, I found that we shared lots of fundamental views on testing, and he insisted that I should meet more people in the CDT community.

James told me about the CAST conference that took place in the States, and that just before this, there would be a small peer conference called WHET 4 that his brother Jon hosted. A few days later, I got an invitation from Jon Bach to attend. At this workshop, where we spent a weekend discussion on Boundary Testing, I met testers like Cem Kaner, Ross Collard, Scott Barber, Rob Sabourin, Michael Bolton, Dough Hoffman, Keith Stobie, Tim Coulter, Dawn Haynes, Paul Holland, Karen Johnson, Sam Kalman, David Gilbert, Mike Kelly, and, of course, Jon and James Bach. From then on I was hooked!

DG: Difficult question to answer without writing a novel! I wrote about my testing journey some time back, however, that doesn’t really touch on my drivers toward the CDT community. If I was to pinpoint one thing, it would be the book Lessons Learned in Software Testing (Bach, Kaner, Pettichord). This was my first introduction to the community and to what I believe is a better way to test…in fact…the only way to test.

What keeps me here is the fantastic people I come across each and every day. We challenge each other, we’re passionate, and we’re not afraid to put our opinions out there for the world to hear and critique. This all adds to the betterment of our craft, which is our ultimate goal. I’m a firm believer that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to testing, and when you add that to my natural tendency to explore rather than confirm, I find that the CDT community is a great fit for me.

uTest: And speaking of James Bach, he’s one of the keynote speakers at Let’s Test Oz in the Fall. Can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind the show, and why you felt it was time for context-driven conferences in Europe and Australia?

HA: Let’s Test is all about building, growing and strengthening the CDT community. We have successfully arranged Let’s Test three years in a row in Europe, but the attendees are coming from all over the world. The idea behind Let’s Test is to create a meeting place for testers to learn, share experiences, grow, meet other testers, do some real testing, and, of course, to have a whole lot of fun.

When David Greenlees and Ann-Marie Charrett told me about what they were looking to achieve, I immediately felt that it was in line with Let’s Test, and believe Let’s Test can be a great vehicle to grow the CDT community in Australia.

Last year, we did a one-day tasting of Let’s Test in Sydney, and this year, we did one in the Netherlands. In November, we will be hosting one in Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of the small tastings of Let’s Test is for testers to get a glance at the Let’s Test experience, at a really low cost. If you cant come to the real Let’s Test, this is a great alternative to check out what it is all about.

DG: From the Australian point of view, it’s fair to say that the CDT community is very small. We refer to the area as ‘Downunder’ — this is our way of saying Australia and New Zealand. I felt it was time to change that, and one way to help the CDT community thrive is to hold a CDT conference.

For quite a few years now, I’ve felt that Downunder needed a different style of software testing conference, one where conferring is the ultimate goal, and so I emailed Henrik, and he was extremely positive and encouraging…so here we are.

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Throwback Thursday: 80’s Tech at its Best

The 80’s brought with it an incredible range of technology that for better or worse shaped the age we live in now. For this TBT, we’ll be having a quick look at some of the more surreal/novel items that came from the land of neon and synth.


The Private Eye, brought to us by Reflections Technology, allowed the wearer to view a 1-inch LED screen with image quality comparable to a 12-inch display. Released in 1989, the Private Eye head-mounted display was used by hobbyists and researchers alike, going on to become the subject of an augmented reality experiment in 1993. To think that this type of wearable technology has only been tapped into fully within the past 3 years is pretty mind-blowing.


The Stereo Sound Vest provides the wearer with a $65 portable speaker solution to provide a ‘safer’ listening option without the use of headphones. With zip-off sleeves, it’s a wonder this wasn’t all the rage.

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uTest Non-profit Partner Brings 150 Software Testing Jobs to the Bronx

extralargeIT job training non-profit Per Scholas plans to bring 150 new software testing jobs to the Bronx, New York, this Fall when it opens a large software testing center there.

According to a DNAinfo.com news story:

Per Scholas, which is based in The Bronx, and the IT consulting company Doran Jones plan to open the roughly $1 million, three-story, 90,000-square-foot software testing center at 804 E. 138th St., near Willow Avenue.

All of the entry-level jobs will be sourced from Per Scholas graduates, and the boom of 150 new jobs is widely expected to open a lot of doors not usually available in the urban Bronx neighborhood. Keith Klain, co-CEO of Doran Jones, hopes to see the center eventually grow to 500 employees.

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iOS 8 Crowding Out Fitness Apps?

This week, Apple released the latest beta of iOS 8 to developers for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Among other additions, the fleshing out of the new Health App means bigHealthbook changes for developers.

Health, Apple’s centralized health and fitness hub app, in the initial iOS 8 preview was more of a shell, designed to take in data from third-party providers. In the Beta 3 release, however, it can now track both steps and calories on its own. Additionally, you can measure your caffeine intake as well as monitor a lengthy list of nutritional categories.

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Video Courses at uTest University for Testers on the Go

Are you more of a visual learner? Perhaps you just don’t have the time to sift through vast chapters of knowledge as a busy tester? Video-based courses at uTest University may just be videowhat you’re looking for. The uTest University library is full of video courses for when you’re on the go, featuring topics including:

  • Accessibility
  • Test Automation (including Selenium basics)
  • Capturing logs on iOS/Android devices
  • Introductions to iOS and Android testing
  • Essentials for well-written bug reports
  • Penetration testing
  • Common testing mistakes to avoid

Take a look at all of the Video courses at uTest University today.

uTu is free for all members of the uTest Community. We are constantly adding to our course catalog to keep you educated on the latest topics and trends. If you are an expert in UX, load & performance, security, or mobile testing, you can share your expertise with the community by authoring a uTu course. Contact the team at university@utest.com for more information.

STARWEST 2014 Announced for October in Anaheim

250x250_STATICSoftware testers from all over the world will be descending upon the home of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and more this Fall — it was just announced that STARWEST (Software Testing Analysis & Review West) 2014 will be held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., from October 12-17.

STARWEST is billed as the premier event for software testers and quality assurance professionals—covering all your testing needs with 100+ learning and networking opportunities. Applause will be a sponsor of this year’s show once again, so be sure to join us in California for six days of testing fun, networking, courses and seminars. Also be sure to check out the rest of the 2014 testing events on the slate over at the uTest Events Calendar.

We’ve also secured an extra incentive for uTesters heading out to California in October. If you plan on attending STARWEST, please contact us at testers@utest.com to receive a special discount code for $200 off a new registration.

Four Reasons Pessimists Don’t Make the Best Testers

Is the glass half empty or half full? Depending on how you answer that question, you may be a pessimist (Although in Boston, it’s just called realism…tsome-people-call-me-a-realist-some-call-me-a-pessimist_o_720627he Red Sox are 39-50 and aren’t going anywhere!).

When it comes to testing, it’s easy to paint pessimism as something that should come naturally to a tester. After all, isn’t it a tester’s job to find things wrong in an application, foresee problems, and break stuff…bringing out the worst in an app? One would think so, but our testers debated this topic heavily in the uTest Forums, and came up with several ideas resoundingly against the notion of the “pessimistic tester.”

Pessimism is toxic on testing teams

“Pessimists tend to see the worst. If someone sees the worst in everything, especially in what they do, who would want that on a team?” – Marek L., uTester

And this doesn’t just go for testing: Who wants to work with a Debbie Downer? Sure, there may have been a devastating hurricane that took 100 lives in another country, but if you’re reminded of it every time the sun is shining, it could make for a long eternity on your testing team.

Pessimism takes away the tester work ethic

“Any tester, even the eternal optimist, should know that no software product is bug-free. And since pessimists are…well…pessimistic, they’ll probably also be pessimistic about being able to find bugs, too.” – Lucas S., uTester

It may not be the only task of a tester, but it’s arguably the most important: Testers are hired to find bugs. If testers out of the gate have a pessimistic point of view, it could hinder their ability to think clearly and do the major task they were hired to do. And that’s a problem in a world of software that’s hardly close to being perfect.

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10 Quotes for Software Testers…Since the Last Time

So we had to dig back deep into the archives to see when the last time was that we featured some testing quotes worthy of hanging up on the ol’ refrigerator. To our horror, it was over three years ago, so we decided it was time again for another roundup. Without further ado:

Testing means learning. Learning requires faith in one’s ignorance combined with the confidence that it can be extinguished.”James Bach

“Testing is organized skepticism.”— James Bach (A double dose of Bach!)

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

“There are only two things that seem to be even close to universally true when it comes to testing – things are constantly changing, and if you put three testers in a room with a testing term or topic to discuss, no more than two of them will ever agree at the same time.”Scott Barber

“A ‘passing’ test doesn’t mean ‘no problem.’ It means no problem *observed*. This time. With these inputs. So far. On my machine.”Michael Bolton

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Meet the uTesters: Linda Peterson

Linda Peterson hails from the state of Connecticut in the United States, and is a Gold-rated tester and TTL with uTest. A long-time testlinda-per on Paid Projects with the community, she’s been with uTest for over 3 ½ years.

uTest: Android or iOS?

Linda: Android, because it has a bigger screen and keyboard, which is easier to type on when you have large fingers, or for those of us who did not grow up typing on small keyboards.

uTest: What drew you into testing initially? What’s kept you at it?

Linda: People have always told me that I was good at finding little things wrong with a website (i.e. spelling and grammar) as well as seeing the big picture. Someone had heard about uTest and thought it would be a good fit for me, and I have not looked back since. I love trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, trying to figure out ‘why it is working as it is…what are the consistent steps to make it do this,’ as well as helping other testers improve their bugs, making it easier for the customer to fix the problem. Having retired from my own programming business, the paid projects side of uTest is a nice fit to fill in time and to try and keep the mind as sharp as possible, as well as learn some new stuff.

uTest: What is the one tool you use as a tester that you couldn’t live without?

Linda: Jing, because I can:

  1. Create a screenshot or video
  2. Mark up the screenshots: Text, different colors, arrows and boxes which are great for pointing out to TTLs and customers where problems are
  3. Save images to our computer or send a screencast URL to someone one or include in bug reports (if the video is too large)
  4. Review the history to find a bug that you used the screencast on

uTest: What’s your favorite part of being in the uTest community?

Linda: The diversity of where the testers are from in the world.

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