Stuff to Take In

Got a moment? Want to absorb ideas? Here are blog posts, articles, videos and papers.

Photo by Jan Kahánek / Unsplash

I have masses of materials; just a fraction is currently linked here. The rest is all where it has been for ages. As we go, I'll bring it here.

Blog / Articles

Here are three recent things to read:

For more, here's this site's collection of articles.

I'll bring over the older articles soon, but for now here's my blog.

I'll update this later with nicer features and a proper list.


Here's a few – one to give you a feel for my preferred 2-minute style of teaching short, one online hands-on exploration as part of Ministry of Test's Exploration Week, and an on-stage talk, with stuff to play with, from Agile On The Beach 2018.

Workroom Productions - Private Site Access
Experience Report Live: Exploratory Testing a Product with James Lyndsay
Watch as James Lyndsay takes on Challenge 3 of the exploratory week live, the Exploratory Testing a Product challenge. He ops to test the Python Interpreter. ...

I'll build this out with a dedicated page and featured videos. I'm making many more videos to support my online workshops.


It's been a while since a wrote a paper. Here, though, are a few which caught people's attention.

You can still find my collection of papers on the old site. I'm working to keep the links to these pdfs the same, as they've been cited in others' work.

These are long papers, and .pdfs, so not particularly engaging to casual readers. I'll build this out with a dedicated page and featured papers. I may revist these papers in short chunks, writing about how my ideas have changed since writing them.

Outlines and Abstracts

Every talk starts with an idea. To get an audience for that idea, you need something to take to a conference organiser. I've done big talks and tiny talks, long-form hands-on tutorials and events. I review papers for EuroSTAR, ATD, MoT (and so can you). I even run workshops on how to do talks and write outlines and abstracts. I'll post the stuff I send to conferences here; some old, some new. You'll see how I work, and I'll get – perhaps – a sense of what works for who.

For now, here's a short page of talk outlines.

Below this point, you'll see my experiments with ghost templates and lists.


Here are some recent articles. For a more complete list, go to the full list of articles.

Guiding Hands-off AI using Hands-on TDD

All sorts of stuff around our upcoming workshop at Agile Testing Days.

How I'm writing

Enabling experiences, exploration and change, rather than publication or narrative.

Handholds Framework

A Mnemonic Heuristic! After so many years!

Building a Bart

Building an avatar generator, as a tester.

New Year Wishes

I've been using StableDifusion to make New Year's cards. I used StableDiffusionWeb, which is currently free and requires no login. If you want to make some of your own, you should. You'll need a 'prompt'; a text description to guide the way

Publishing a Directory with Flask

How to serve python coverage metrics as an html page within

Working with Answers to Open Questions

Complicated answers are harder to work with. Here's how I cope.

Question Chaining

How I chain questions together, building, refining and sometimes wrecking) a model

Question Transformation 2 - Refocus

Refocus your Questions to match your purpose

Writing Tools

My handwrting and paper filing system gets worse, and most of what I write beyond jotting now goes via a keyboard. An MX Keys [] , generally. Here's my current set of tools, and their purposes: OmmWriter [] – for

April stuff at Workroom Productions

Stuff on exploratory testing, new exercises, offers, peer conferences, and more

Exploration without Tools is Weak and Slow

An overdue rant: The days of hand-cranked exploration are done.

Teaching Exploratory Testing with Code

Concentrate on data rather than tooling and syntax

LEWT: The London Exploratory Workshop in Testing

Rules of LEWT

Acid Test

Peer conference. Not safe. Exciting though, and full of lessons.

Making the RasterReveal Exercise

Building an exercise involves much wrangling and working around unexpected behaviours.

Teeny Tiny Test Harness

console.assert is my go-to teeny tiny test harness for JavaScript

Exploring without Requirements

Requirements are helpful rather than crucial

Testing Reveals Requirements

The closer you look, the better you see.

Exploring the BlackBox Puzzles

BlackBox Puzzles help you explore the ways that you build and test models.


For a more-detailed list, go to the videos page

MoT Exploratory Testing Week 2021

I use Python to find surprises (for me) in the Python interpreter.

Wicked Problems

Testing contains several "Wicked" problems, whose resolutions are unclear until they are found.

Outlines and Abstracts

For a more-detailed list, go to the outlines page

Hands-on, Tooled-up Testing

A full day workshop on exploring systems with data

Keynote eXtreme

A keynote with a random title. And nobody – including the speaker – knows who speaker will be.

Questions, Questions

This interactive workshop will help you ask the right testing questions, of the right people, at the right time.

Teaching Exploratory Testing with Code

Concentrate on data rather than tooling and syntax

Wrangling, Debugging and Testing

Do we spend months getting our systems to a point where we can test? We do. Here's why, and what we can do about it.

Wrangling, Debugging and Testing (conference talk abstract)

It would be good to recognise that many testers spend most of their time not testing (in the sense of finding new useful info), but making their SUTs work at all.


For a more-detailed list, go to the papers page

Exploratory Testing Notes

Very rough notes from me as a younger consultant


To see collections of exercises, go to the exercises page

Exercise: Becoming Coverage

A game to play with colleagues to understand coverage more deeply.

Exercise: Other People's Code

Consider your own code through the lens of other people's code.

Raster Reveal

Reveal pictures to see what is in them, as an exercise in exploration.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.