Day 2 had a different (positive) vibe and in part I think it was due to the solid first time experience reports by Katrina Edgar, Mike Ward and Mike Talks. All three gave reports that really highlighted some of the ethical challenges we face as testers in our day-to-day world.
Some of the thoughts as tweeted on day 2 were…
- Testing based on rituals is NOT testing – [the blind adherence to a test tool or process or syllabus is NOT testing. Testing is a brain engaged activity]
- Testers are there to report the truth, not the convenient truth – [Testing is about presenting the facts as they stand and not manipulating them to suit an agenda (for an example of the *truth* being misused see http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/states-health-payroll-change-was-adopted-untested/story-e6frgakx-1225888223958]
- If challenging, is your reputation strong enough to withstand any ethical fall out?
- As a tester have to look through the eyes of the people who matter. Those with whom we have a contract.
During discussion, the topic of agency came up and the point of who do we serve as testers (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_agency )? This discussion brought a renewed energy into the room with Geoff Horne leading this. The question that was asked was…
Who do we serve?
We are engaged by an individual, and by the organisation behind the individual
Which is true to a point and from the perspective of the engagement between tester and *client*. However, I see the question from the perspective of the tester which is…
I serve myself first before any institution, as I’m responsible for my own ethics
In other words, as a tester, I am responsible for the ethics I hold and I carry. I am responsible for making sure that my house is in order first before the needs of the organisation are considered. At this point, the extension of what I consider ethical is extended to who I serve literally (or in Geoff’s case, from the perspective of the engagement) which are the people I work for/with and the organisation at large. The discussion of agency and other ethics topics can be summed up quite nicely by a tweet by @NZTestSheep (aka Mike Talks)..
The great thing about an event like #KWST2 is how it challenges our models and maps, and we’re still processing it days afterwards
KWST takes a lot of organising and it is the detail that count such as…
- A good venue (space, lighting etc)
- Internet connection ( VERY helpful)
- Appropriate twitter tag
- The RIGHT people to invite [This year revealed some really good thinkers and it will be exciting to be working with them at future KWST conferences]
- It can spawn off-shoots (like David Greenlee’s OZWST)
- Facilitation is king – it takes practice, a firm hand and the ability to know when to let the conversation flow
- Preparation before hand FROM everyone (and reminding everyone know that they are potential *speakers*)
Thank you for all those that attended KWST (see http://hellotestworld.com/ and http://martialtester.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/kwst2-what-a-ride/ and http://martialtester.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/kwst2-happy-snaps/ )
Thank you James Bach for your time in helping build a credible, professional, thinking community of testers down under and thank you software Education for your support in hosting KWST#2!
***EDIT: Much thanks must also go to Oliver Erlewein, Richard Robinson and Aaron Hodder for their drive and passion in prompting thinking, engaged testing especially here in Wellington, New Zealand. ***