Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Sat, 02 Aug 2003

If elected...

I've been nominated for a seat on the board of the Agile Alliance. That brings back memories of the time I ran for student council in middle school. (Non-US readers: "middle school" is for the early teenage years.) A nerd is someone who could not possibly be elected to student council in any US school outside the Bronx High School of Science - a true nerd is someone so clueless that he doesn't even realize how hopeless it is to try. Let's just say I didn't get enough votes.

Nevertheless, as I thought about the nomination I was surprised by my reaction. At the end of a summer of Altruistic Organizational Deeds that left me feeling I never want to do anything like that again, I find myself... wanting to do something like that again. The "why do I want to serve" part of the position statement below is heartfelt.

Linda Rising asked me to answer three questions. Here goes.

* Who am I?

I've been a programmer, tester, and line manager since 1981. I've been a software testing consultant since 1992. During the 90's, my colleagues and I articulated a style of testing that shares desires with Agile development: a desire to respond well to inevitable change, a desire to see working software soon, a preference for conversation over documentation, and so on. Perhaps because of that, I was invited to the Snowbird workshop that led to the Agile Manifesto and, later, this non-profit Alliance. See www.exampler.com/testing-com for more, especially www.exampler.com/old-blog.

* What have I done for you lately?

There's been a lot of interest in testing over the past year or so. Much of that is because "test-infected" programmers have been extending their enthusiasm to more than unit tests, but I've also contributed to the buzz. I've cohosted a series of workshops on agile testing (February 2002, August 2002, January 2003, and June 2003). Their goal was to bring together members of the Agile community and Agile-sympathetic testers. They worked well to get many of the right people talking to each other. I also cohost the Agile Testing mailing list and give many talks on Agile methods to testers.


* Why do I want to serve?

After I visited an XP shop, I wrote some friends: "I am optimistic. I've often grumbled about the, uh, loss of youthful innocence in software, the loss of the sense of possibility, of expansiveness, of craft as an ideal. Agile methods mark, to me, an attempt to recapture that, tempered by experience."

That XP shop isn't around any more. Bad economy. So there's one fewer joyful place to work in the world. But maybe, just maybe, if someone at that shop had met the right person at a conference, they would have gotten the right lead. Or if The Economist or the Harvard Business Review or Forbes had published an article on Agile methods at just the right time, someone with budget and a project would have said, "Hey, I remember there's a local company that does that stuff..."

This Agile Alliance is a tool for making those things happen. Since I care about seeing them happen, I ought to put some work into it. That's why I want to serve.

## Posted at 12:58 in category /agile [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




Agile Testing Directions
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Testers on agile projects

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Working your way out of the automated GUI testing tarpit
  1. Three ways of writing the same test
  2. A test should deduce its setup path
  3. Convert the suite one failure at a time
  4. You should be able to get to any page in one step
  5. Extract fast tests about single pages
  6. Link checking without clicking on links
  7. Workflow tests remain GUI tests
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Design-Driven Test-Driven Design
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Hooking up the real GUI


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