Countdown – one week to KWST!

Just over one week to go until KWST – a thought leadership peer CONFERence like no other downunder. For those that may want to follow the twitter feedback, the #tag is #KWST2.

The theme is Ethical Challenges for Testers and the conference starts 15/16 June 2012.

There will be 20 test leaders from throughout New Zealand and Australia and really promises to be a special event – so stay posted!

Much thanks for this conference must go to James Bach for his time and willingness to help found KWST and for Software Education for bringing James out to New Zealand and for providing a place for software testing thought leadership to grow!



KWST#2 leadership conference is back!

Reposted from

The second KWST or Kiwi Workshop on Software Testing  with be held on the 15th and 16th of June 2012, Wellington, New Zealand. KWST is modelled on the LAWST style peer conferences and is the only test leadership summit in New Zealand. There are a number of things that make this conference unique:-

  • It is an invite only conference – we are looking for industry thought leaders and hence why you will find few, if any, invites from body shop organisations. While they may have some talented testers, these companies tend to pay lip service to thought leadership
  • James Bach will again be back as content owner and helping grow the core of professional test leadership in New Zealand
  • Some of the brightest, insightful test thinkers down under will be there
  • Unlike any other conference held here, this is a CONFERence where ALL participants participate!
  • The theme is Ethical challenges faced by testers which is relevant considering the overuse of body shop testing companies and certification within the testing industry

The twitter hash tag will be KWST2 and we will be tweeting all of the great thoughts and ideas that will flow from this conference. See and for details of last years event.



The Invasion of the Bodyshoppers – Part II

Here is a list of ideas on overcoming the influence of the bodyshoppers

  • Understand your commitments and ethics – usually bodyshoppers pimp out their *testers* for the sake of profit not skill
  • Look at the reputation of the tester – I mean the real reputation. Look beyond what some so called bodyshop test practice manager thinks. A real reputation means how the tester is viewed by the community and fellow testers
  • Following on from that, what contribution does the tester make to the testing community? Do they blog or do they attend events? On a smaller (but just as important) scale, do they mentor fellow testers?
  • Don’t feel the need to conform to *standards* – ISTQB, ITIL – whatever – most organisations ask for them but don’t really do anything with them making these standards irrelevant. The best standard is your own skill and reputation
  • Confront the bodyshop consultant that begins to use terms such as best practice – there is no such thing! The bodyshop is spews best practice to make like they have the *answer*. Our job as real testers is to challenge such nonsense
  • Bodyshops will say that they support the industry but sponsor nothing events that generate – nothing.  Look for events that are actually worthwhile (KWST in New Zealand or CAST or Rapid Software Intensive in the US for example)
  • Challenge those that see testing as a set process to follow – i.e. join the dots testing – that is the worst kind and must be fought vigorously!
  • If in a bodyshop, leave when you can – come to the light
  • Resist joining the bodyshoppers – consider going out on your own

These are some ideas for now – what other ideas do you have that can help overcome the bodyshoppers?

Invasion of the Bodyshoppers – Part I

They are everywhere.




You can tell them – they are zombies who fill out template laden strategies, plans, and test scripts. They treat testing primarily as a repetitive activity. They usually conform to some sort of standard and most have a certificate to the show to the overseers. It is an invasion – the parasites have overtaken the hosts of once thinking, engaging testers and transform them into…




Beware projects and test teams. Beware of the companies that farm out zombies and call them testers. They have squeezed out of all that which was once good. While they appear as testers, they are devoid of all creativity and thinking. The bodyshoppers are infiltrating the market.


However, there is hope! There is a chance!


There are pockets of testers who are engage and are engaging for I have met them. And it is in these pockets that good work is being done for the craft. They battle for recognition and fight back against those body shop companies who believe that testing is nothing more than picking a technique, applying a standard, using only documents to test against, follow a process and throwing a innumerable company of test shoppers against a project. These companies sell their services to wind in the unwary and uninitiated and talk as if they know testing.

Beware they don’t.

They are selling a commodity, a zombie tester who may do average work, count meaningless metrics, complete mindless reports and documents and declare mission accomplished at the end of the project. They are everywhere.


To those testers who realise they are being fooled. To those managers who see that they are being conned – rise up, strike back and seek out the living amongst the dead. Seek out and engage thinking testers who look outside of the box. Find the pockets of resistance and we shall overcome this invasion.

(An example of fighting back and doing great work can be found here )

[Coming soon – Part II – How to overcome the Invasion of the Bodyshoppers]

The circle is now complete…

As of about two weeks ago, I went out on my own…

An independent

A boutique tester (to borrow from Matt Heusser)

A trainer

A consultant

And thus no longer tied to the policies of another organisation or what someone else may view as important/relevant/worthwhile, we have started our own venture – (currently under construction). This is what we do…

  • Training – I deliver a 2x day course that focuses on testing approaches and thinking about what/how/when to test/check a product. I am available to deliver training globally. Contact me on brian(dot)osman(at)osmanit(dot)com for details.
  • Consultancy – I will consult with you at the tester level, management level, strategy level
  • Writing – now that I am an independent, there should be more time for blog posts, twitter etc. In other words, staying in touch and sharing with the testing community

New path, new adventure and I’m excited to see where this road will lead!