Published and forthcoming articles
I have written four articles that have been published in Testing Experience magazine.
The first article was in the December 2008 edition and discussed the limitations of the V Model. I explain why it is not a true testing model and is merely a variant of the Waterfall lifecycle model. I believe that the V Model can be dangerous in the hands of testers who don't understand its failings and my article suggested alternatives ways of fitting testing into the development lifecycle.
The second, in March 2009, was about the relationship between offshore development and usability. It explained the problems posed by offshoring, and outsourcing in general, and suggested practical ways for test managers to make the situation better.
The third article for Testing Experience appeared in the June 2009 edition. It discussed business logic security testing, an aspect of security testing that I don't think receives enough attention, i.e. testing applications for weaknesses in the internal design that fraudsters could exploit. This article also appeared in the October 2009 issue of Security Acts magazine.
The most recent article for Testing Experience discussed the effect of formal testing standards on testers' behaviour. Do standards inhibit the development of testers and encourage a defensive attitude which leads to testers sticking to the letter of standards? Is it useful to talk about "best practice", and is "standards" the right word, or should they be regarded as guidelines?
I also discussed the specific problems caused by the IEEE 829 documentation standard and explain why testers should produce only the documenation that is genuinely required for the project, rather than producing documentation "for the auditors". As a former IT auditor this is a topic that interests me. This article was published in the December 2009 issue.
I have also written two articles for T.E.S.T magazine. One was a cover story for the September 2009 edition on the troubled relationship between the user experience profession and software engineering. Practitioners of neither profession have been able to work constructively with the other and have been plagued by ignorance and misunderstanding of how the other side works. The article argues that the Agile movement is a promising opportunity to bridge the gap.
The second article was a lead opinion piece that was published on the front page oftheir website in September 2009 about how testers should be considered as developers. I argue that developers who code have traditionally looked down on those who can't, and that testers have been regarded as lowly member of the development team, if they were truly members of the team at all. I welcome the chance that Agile is giving testers to learn exciting new technical skills, but express concern that such technical testers may be respected for coding skills rather than their skills as testing professionals. If testers are to be genuinely valued and respected then they must be regarded as developers too - just like the coders.
I have had three article published in the Testing Planet magazine, in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The first was entitled "traditional techniques & motivating staff". This piece was something of a polemic about how traditional techniques and rigid processes can demotivate staff.
The next article in Testing Planet was about E-prime and testing, "quality isn't something, it provides something". E-prime is a stylised form of English designed to clarify our thinking. The articles discusses how our use of language affects the way that we think, an important topic for testers.
My most recent article in Testing Planet argued that testers should exercise leadership in development projects, "teachers, children, testers and leaders".
I also wrote an article in 2011 for the Tea time with Testers e-magazine; "why do people happily accept poor quality?". I tried to offer an explanation based on kakonomics of why organisations can find it difficult to move from a culture that tolerates, and even implicitly promotes, low quality.
It is always interesting to get feedback on articles that I have written. I've heard from people all over the world after writing these articles. Please get in touch if you have any queries or observations or would like to discuss any of these topics further.