Recent talks

I recently gave a couple of conference talks:

  • 2015 Yow! West conference: Joint presentation with Matt Davies on Microtesting
    • Do you want to write less tests for the same amount of confidence?

      Do you want to print out the testing pyramid on a dot matrix printer, take it outside and set fire to it?

      How confident are you that you can survive the refactoring apocalypse without breaking your tests?

      As consultants, we get to see how testing is performed across many different organisations and we have a chance to experiment with different testing strategies across multiple projects. Through this experience, we have developed a pragmatic process for setting an initial testing strategy that is as simple as possible and iterating on that strategy over time to evolve it based on how it performs. We have also settled on a style of testing that has proved to be very effective at reducing testing effort while maintaining (or even improving) confidence from our tests.

      This talk will focus on some of our learnings and we will cover the different types of testing and how they interact, breaking apart the usual practice of testing all applications in the same way, the mysterious relationship between speed and confidence, how we were able to throw away the testing pyramid and a number of techniques that have worked well for us when testing our applications.

    • Slides published to GitHub
    • There will be a video, I’ll link to it from the GitHub when it’s published
  • 2015 ANZ Coders virtual conference: Presentation on Applying useful testing patterns using TestStack.Dossier
    • The Object Mother, Test Data Builder, Anonymous Variable/Value, equivalence class and constrained non-determinism patterns/concepts can help you make your tests more readable/meaningful, more terse and more maintainable when used in the right way.

      This talk will explain why and where the aforementioned patterns are useful and the advantages they can bring and show examples in code using a library I recently released called TestStack.Dossier.

    • Slides published to GitHub
    • Video

2 Replies to “Recent talks”

  1. Hey Rob,

    I had the good fortune of sitting in your session at DDD Melbourne, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I was kind of troll-y on Twitter though, as JT rightfully called me out on – so I wanted to apologise for that.

    One part of the whole segment that I thought could be tightened up was the “this is where we think things should be” – a single slide that brings the main points of the philosophy you’re trying to promote – minimalist, enough to bring an acceptable level of confidence, more of the fast stuff that tests your business logic and less of the 100% coverage, use the right tools that give you more power, less hand-rolled scenarios without context, and less mocking – whatever reduces the fragility of your tests.

    Honestly, I don’t test enough – the biggest key to all this for me is discipline – taking the methodology and sticking to it. Not being lazy, and not placing yourself into a place where so much effort is spent that you end up rejecting it.

    It almost makes me want to start blogging again just to talk about things like the developer mindset – maintainable vs getting it done, Agility when it comes to writing code, and supporting code – compared to just managing a project.

    I know I’m possibly going to spend a bit of time on your blog, I’ve looked at BDD before but never progressed down that rabbit whole, and I really liked the section of the talk on the Object Mother pattern and creating valuable test objects with an evidence trail of thoughtfulness, rather than a hand-rolled object that just exists without context of decisions.

    Anyway, point is, I wanted to apologise if my tweets were taken as being too much of a troll effort, which essentially they were – I do think most of the talk is common sense, and something that has been part of the core of the “when to test/how to test” discussion that has been around for a long time – but I forget that in an audience not everyone has that background or has been paying attention, and I neglected to tweet about the nuggets of value to me that were in the talk.


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