My Latest Article (part 1 of 2) – Tea Time with Testers

I’m happy to announce that my latest article “Are You Smarter than a Test Manager”, has been published this week in the testing magazine, “Tea Time with Testers”.

This will be a two part series, with part two coming next month.  The first month contains some information on test management, and interviews with some of the well known names in testing.

Check out the article at the link for the magazine below:

http://www.teatimewithtesters.com/

Your feedback and input is appreciated!  Let me know what you think!

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How Aligned Is Your Test Organization?

Disagreement-b1The testing profession has been around for many years – and we live in a world where change is constant.  Technologies are moving at the speed of light, new approaches are being introduced for planning, developing, and testing products.

In the rush to keep up, have we lost the control over the alignment in the team?  How many of us are unsure of the perfect answer to some of the questions and hot topic discussions today?  Are there areas where your group is not in alignment?  The answer is probably yes. Being a testing practitioner requires understanding the many schools of testing and who is supporting those schools.  It is important for testing professionals to understand the common topics where organizations are not in sync.

I am compiling expanded examples for two upcoming conferences I am speaking for in October.  As I prepare for these presentations, I am compiling hundreds of responses I received in a testing survey I took in early 2013.  Some of the area folks felt their teams were not aligned were:

  • Metrics – which are core to supporting test managers and the team?  Are they useful?  Misleading?
  • Test Certifications verses self-disciplined training (blogs, articles, consulting, etc.)
  • What is the role of the testing team in the decision to move a release to production?
  • Automation verses Manual testing – various sub-topics
  • Top 3 ways to show the value of the testing organization to the rest of the company

I NEED YOUR HELP!! => I would like your inputs, this week, ASAP, on other areas where you see teams are not aligned – and they may be split in their beliefs.  I appreciate any comments and postings you provide here, and I thank each of you in advance!

Are You Smarter Than a Test Manager?

Does this title make you sing the theme to the popular TV game show “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” It probably does.

I wanted to inform all my readers that I have been selected to teach a course at the next Software Test Professionals conference (STPCon which is in Phoenix, Arizona in October).

If you’re in the testing field, or if software testing interests you, I encourage you to check out this conference.  This will be my third time speaking with them, and included with this all day tutorial, I will be speaking on two other topics at the conference.  Their link is:  STPCon Conference Site

Check out my tutorial course at the following link:

Are You Smarter Than a Test Manager – Mike Lyles Tutorial

My goal with this specific course is to pull together a room full of professionals in the testing world which will discuss the common areas where organizations are not in alignment.  Driving change and understanding will always revolve around first making sure the team driving that change is aligned.  Therefore, we will have a very productive and interactive session, and collaborate our thoughts, documents, and results so that everyone can take these ideas back to their respective teams and build creative and innovative solutions to the problems we face today.

Thanks to all of my supporters and blog followers!  Stay tuned for more to come!

Staying Relevant in the Testing World

I have been so fortunate to be a speaker at two conferences in the last two weeks.  I was in Chicago at QUEST2013 to speak on “Building a Successful Test Center of Excellence” on April 16-18, and at the time of this writing, I am in San Diego at STPCon (A Software Test Professionals conference), where I am speaking on multiple topics:

  • A Day In the Life of a Test Manager
  • Pre-Conference Workshop segment: “Test Metrics: A Case Study
  • Gambling with your Test Estimates
  • Building A Successful Test Center of Excellence

I have been able to connect to some of the luminaries in the testing community these past two weeks, and to be part of their circles, communicate new ideas, share our thoughts on testing and the future of testing, and to think beyond the boundaries of imagination for what we can accomplish together…..well that is simply mind blasting!

So, to all the readers who are coming to this site – this may be your first time.  You may have just heard me stand up and present to you for an hour or two.  If so, hopefully you were impressed – not with my abilities at public speaking, my wit, my communication skills – but hopefully with the keen obviousness of the passion I have to help others grow and my ability to share, with everyone that I meet, something that they can take with them and use.

If you have attended my conference presentations, I would love to hear feedback and inputs.  If you have not, keep looking… I may be coming to your town next!

In closing, I made a commitment to my conference attendees – and that was for two things on my blog by the first of next week:

  1. Links & Materials: A blog posting for sites and reading materials which can help every test professional grow and increase their knowledge in the real world.  I plan to have this posting up so that you can have a one-stop location (my site!) to get you started on your vast travels through the world of testing.
  2. A Day In the Life of a Test Manager:  I spent almost four months compiling data, interviewing test professionals and well known names in the field, creating a 50 question survey (that was taken by 275 people), compiling notes from blogs, linkedIn discussions, and other avenues, and created a presentation which was shared with the testing community on Tuesday, April 23.  My presentation was 1 hour 15 mins, therefore, the immense amount of data that I had compiled for this research was much more than could be shared in that short amount of time.  I shared highlights and touched on what is in the complete paper, and I plan to post a link on my site which will provide everyone the ability to get their hands on the detailed book of information that was gathered.

Please keep visiting the site.  I plan to dedicate a lot of time to getting these two posts up in the next week.  And I solicit your inputs and comments and request that you click the button to “Follow by Blog via Email“.  You have no idea how much interaction with each of you excites me.  It was my purpose in life to share with you things which can help both of us grow.  Let’s grow together!

Sincerely,

Mike

Test Manager Survey – Running Now Through Saturday, March 23

** NOTE ** DUE TO THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE I AM WRAPPING UP THE SURVEY ON SATURDAY, MARCH 23, TO ALLOW ME TO START COMPILING THE RESULTS AMD START MY PRESENTATION EARLY. IF YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN THE SURVEY YET PLEASE TAKE IT BEFORE END OF DAY ON SATURDAY, MARCH 23RD **

If you’re in the testing profession, especially if you’re a Test Manager, I am reaching out to everyone to get input for a survey that I have created to pull information related to Test Managers and the profession.

I am using this information to review within a presentation that I am preparing for the Software Test Professionals conference in San Diego, CA (STPCon) April 22-25, 2013.

Please go to the following link and take the survey – the questions are very simple and should only take a few mins to go through and respond. Also, please share the link with all that you know that could submit responses as well. Here’s the link!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/mike-lyles-test-manager-survey

Thank you so much in advance for your help!

What do YOU know about Test Managers?

Calling all testing professionals, practitioners, and enthusiasts!

I’m working on the material for my STPCon presentation “A Day In The Life of a Test Manager” in San Diego (April 22-25,2013) and I’m soliciting your inputs on specific areas you would like to discuss in the course. As I wrap up my own plans and ideas, I’d like to pull in specific input from this forum to add additional material to the presentation.

The following is the description of the presentation

Test Managers: the world is full of them. But do we really know what they do? Does your organization agree on the core roles and responsibilities? The answer is probably “No” for many organizations. This session will examine the day-to-day life of past and present test managers, case studies on their practices, review results of a survey taken among various test managers, and suggestions on which responsibilities need to be core in a successful quality organization.

I plan to have topics regarding Test Managers and Test management that are common among all organizations as debate items – specific discussions where half the room may feel one way and the other half feel another way.

Some questions that I am currently polling various groups on are:

  1. How would you describe the roles, responsibilities of a Test Manager? What are the skill sets that successful future Test Managers should possess?
  2. What are the challenges of the Test Manager Role in your view? Does the role vary a lot across industry or the core of the role remains same always? How important is People Management as a skill required for a Test Manager role? What weightage (%) would you give it in the role for a TM.
  3. Which are the major conflict zones in a testing organization , internally within themselves and externally with the other teams – PMO, Development , SCM, Release Management team, Maintenance team , Environment teams .

I appreciate any inputs you have or areas where, if you were an attendee to a conference presentation of this title, would want to see discussed.

Thanks in advance for your inputs and help!!  Please add your ideas, notes, suggestions, questions, comical remarks, or just simply your support as comments below!!!

NOTE: Come back in a few days – I will be posting a survey for which I will be putting together questions that both I (and each of YOU!!) have put together, for a survey on Test Managers, which will be used to share the results with conference attendees!

Ask The Tester – May 2013 – Taking Questions Now through 5/6/2013

Thanks to everyone that submitted questions for our article last month.  The interview with John Ruberto from Intuit was just published – you can see the updates at the following link: http://www.softwaretestpro.com/Item/5805/

However, it’s time for our next article… and I need your help.  If you’re a test practitioner, leader, or simply have testing related questions for my May 2013 candidate, please submit a comment to this blog.  If selected, your question will be published in our May 2013 article of ST&QA Magazine (you can view the latest online copy at www.softwaretestpro.com)  I will be taking questions here through the first of May.

I plan to pull together all questions through the next two weeks – so submit your comment / question as soon as possible and increase your chances of being part of our article!!  So let me tell you a little about Jari Laakso……

Jari Laakso
  • He’s a software tester from Finland, living and working in Romania since 2007.
  • He has not only tested software, but has a background in hardware (testing electric wheelchairs, robotics, and mobile devices).
  • He has a passion for solving and creating puzzles, which makes him an excellent test practitioner.
  • He’s a department manager for YOPESO, a 100 person outsourcing company with offices in Germany, Romania, Moldova, and Malaysia.
  • He’s an experienced trainer for testers & monitoring internal processes
  • Active member in the context-driven testing community
  • Member of the Romanian CDT community called “Tabara de Testare (TdT)
  • Member of the Finnish Association of Software Testing (FAST)

You can read more about Jari on his blog at http://jarilaakso.blogspot.com or follow him on Twitter @jarilaakso

Please submit your questions below as comments to this blog.  Please add the following so that we can include in the article:

  • Your Name
  • Title
  • Company / group
  • Geographical location

Jari will now take your questions!