Photo by Patrick Baum / Unsplash

Wrangling, Debugging and Testing

Workshops and Talks Jun 18, 2022 (Sep 28, 2023) Loading...

This is a talk about embarrassment. The embarrassment that happens when you’ve spent months on requirements and design, on coding and configuration, you’ve got plans, processes and people – and you’ve still got nothing working well-enough to test. This is a talk about the necessary, practical and unique work of wrangling and debugging – illustrated with nearly-true tales from years of systems integration testing.

Exploring wrangling (getting the system to work), we will dig into problems such as getting the plumbing right between system components, orchestrating authorisation for tools and testers, working with configuration data and managing interlocking shared environments. We will look into ways that testers can gain technical savvy and leverage political and expert champions to unlock problems.

Focussing on debugging (getting the system to work well-enough to start testing), we will look into situations where experts rely on trial and error, and when the earliest actions on the system reveal fundamental problems in performance, security, and usability. We will cover how to design bulk experiments to find working paths, how to build data for variety and volume, and how to bring organisationally-distant colleagues together to resolve trouble with cross-disciplinary insights.

Projects find discomfort in uncertainty – this talk will help you to anticipate problems and mitigate their effects.

Supporting Articles

Not Testing, but Drowning
Testers whose work is to get the system to work... do we help them to work better?
Wrangling: Not Testing but Drowning 2
It can take weeks of work to get to a testable system. Here’s why.
Debugging: Not Testing but Drowning 3
Your system is working, but it’s on fire. You reckon it’s down to your test config / environment, not a mistake in the code.

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