UK Test Management Forum – 27 October 2010


This is my write-up of the UK Test Management Forum meeting on 27 October 2010.  Sorry it’s been so long in coming but things have been pretty hectic of late.

As usual there were three tracks running in parallel with two talks apiece.

The first talk I went to was led by Gojko Adzic entitled “Continuous Validation, Living Documentation and other tales from the dark side”.  Gojko discussed the fact that we often use different names for the same thing or use the same word but mean something different each time.  He highlighted various examples of this and proposed some solutions which make the terms more meaningful for people.  Graham Thomas pointed out that although this process has happened before – most notably about 25 years ago in the structured software development world – we still need to keep reviewing our terminology.

Gojko is writing a book on this subject and has a website to run alongside the book.  See http://specificationbyexample.com for more details.

We had great discussions within the session.  I think we could all see that there is a need to address the confusion that we create by our use of terminology in the industry.   As Gojko pointed out legacy technical names do confuse people and create barriers which can hold people back from embracing change and adopting new processes.

The second talk I went to was entitled “The testing challenges associated with distributed processing” and was by Mike Bartley from TVS.  Mike was talking about the challenges we face with the rise of multi-core processors.  Whilst we can write parallel-savvy code, if the hardware and software platform on which the code is running is not using a distributed architecture there will be few – if any – benefits from the parallel code.

Mike talked about two common paradigms for distributed computing: message passing (which can lead to Race conditions) and shared memory.

Mike recommended reading J.B. Pedersen’s Classification of Parallel Programming Errors book (seems to be out of print and unavailable on Amazon).

He recommended that we adopt diverse static analysis techniques and think about design patterns and policies in our tests.  From a tools perspective we should consider which tools we can use at an architectural level to gain most beneft.

As always I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and felt I benefitted from the talks.  Things that I will take away from the talk include thinking more about the language I use to describe the testing that I am carrying out and thinking more about static analysis as a technique for checking out our distributed code.

Many thanks Paul Gerrard and Susan Windsor from Gerrard Consulting for hosting the event.  After the main forum talks we had a discussion about the future of the Test Management Forum and more information about the things we talked about and the decisions that have subsequently been made can be found at http://www.uktmf.com.

The Prezi and PowerPoint slides from the two talks I attended are also available from http://www.uktmf.com.

Comments welcome!

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2 Responses to “UK Test Management Forum – 27 October 2010”

  1. Tweets that mention UK Test Management Forum – 27 October 2010 « Stephen Hill's Blog -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rob Lambert, Stephen Hill. Stephen Hill said: #in #testing #softwaretesting #qa I've just published my write up of UK Test Management Forum – 27 October 2010: http://wp.me/pRZ0L-13 […]

  2. Darren McMillan Says:

    Stephen, thanks for sharing this. Looks like it was an excellent event. I really hope I’ll be able to find some way to get down to the next one.

    Keep the write up’s coming of these events, I enjoy reading about them.

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