STARWEST 2009: The Irrational Tester

James Lyndsay, Workroom Productions, Ltd.

As a tester or test manager, you probably have wondered just how important reasoning and rational thinking actually are in many management decisions. It seems that many decisions are influenced by far more-or far less-than thoughtful analysis. Surprise! Testers make decisions every day that are just as irrational as those made by the managers about whom they complain. James Lyndsay presents his view of tester bias—why we so often labor under the illusion of control, how we lock onto the behaviors we're looking for, and how two testers can use the same evidence to support opposing positions. Using demonstrations and entertaining real-life stories, James helps you understand how biases can affect our everyday testing activities. Gain a new perspective on why timeboxes work and why independence really matters. See how to recognize and label common irrational behaviors in a testing context and use de-biasing strategies as subtle nudges to stay on track. Join James on his tester's journey into irrationality and discover how we can all be more aware of our decisions, less accepting of our defaults, and ultimately become better testers.

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