Tag Archives: #sigist

BCS SIGiST Mentoring Program

BCS SIGiSTI have just joined the BCS SIGiST Mentoring Programfor the coming year, as a mentor of new speakers.

The mentoring program, established by the current BCS SIGiST Programme Secretary, Isabel Evans, is designed to mentor new speakers through the whole conference / seminar speaking ‘process‘. This will take the mentee right from the early steps of developing an abstract, through talk design and preparation, and all the way to speaking on the day.

I am sure that many people would like to share their testing experiences, but might be put off by not knowing; where to start, how to go about submitting, getting a talk together, and then standing up on the day in front of your peers. This can sound quite daunting (apologies if I am making it so), and that is where the mentors are here to help. We are all experienced conference speakers so have a wealth and depth of knowledge to draw from in order to; advise, guide and assist testers who are just starting their speaking journey.

I am in illustrious company, the other mentors being; Dorothy Graham, Mieke Gevers and Julian Harty.

BCS SIGiST New Speaker Mentors

BCS SIGiST New Speaker Mentors

The successful candidates will be speaking at the BCS SIGiST on December 7th this year. I am definitely looking forward to the event and I hope that you are, either as new speaker and mentee, or just as a member of the audience along to give your support 🙂

If you would like to know more, then as a candidate, check out the mentoring program here, or as a potential mentor, please get in touch with the BCS SIGiST Program Secretary here.

BCS SIGIST Winter Seminar

BCS SIGiSTI will be presenting a session entitled ‘Becoming A Program Test Manager’ in London, on the 2nd December 2015, at the Winter meeting of the BCS SIGIST.

The session will be based on the half-day tutorial Techniques for Successful Program Test Management. A full session abstract can be found in The Tester.

If you are coming along then the Early Bird Discount ends on 4th November, more details can be found here.

Techniques for Successful Program Test Management



Shouty Test Manager

After working successfully as a test manager for a while, the next step forward is into program test management.  Many think this is just some super test manager, or in a lot of cases, a ‘shouty’ test manager. In fact it isn’t. It is a transition into an oversight role where others do the testing, and you are setting the direction, giving guidance, and having oversight.

This is quite a step up and suddenly requires a set of skills that successful test management does not develop.

It is quite common for program test managers to look after a number of testing projects and testing teams. The scale has changed, and you have begun to operate at the organisational level, working with other members of the program management team.

In this workshop we will look at the new range of required skills; Leadership, Accountability and Responsibility, Oversight and Awareness, Stakeholder Management, Communication, Influencing and Negotiation. We will work though some useful models so that you can take away a kitbag of tools and techniques to use back in the office.

We will also look at how to stay relevant to the testing operation, and retain value-add for your role whilst now working at the organisational level, and delivering through others. And even if you aren’t working as a program test manager yet, the skills and techniques we look at in this session will be invaluable today, to start using, developing and refining.


PowerPoint Show  TMS Workshop (28mb)    PowerPoint Show  BCS SIGiST Keynote (12mb)

Presented at:

1. TMS London, Apr 2015. (Workshop)
2. BCS SIGiST, London, Dec 2015. (Keynote)

Programming for Testers


We hear a lot these days about how testers should learn to code, become more technical, and have more development orientated skills. Unless you came into software testing as a ‘burnt out’ developer, it is unlikely that you have coding skills, or a deep understanding of the technical ins and outs of your current systems landscape.

What can you do about it? Is programming hard? How can you learn to code, gain the benefits and still master your current workload, which keeps on relentlessly increasing?

This workshop will show you how easy it actually is, as a tester, to learn how to program. The hard part, as always, is how to start. We will start with 3 simple steps and get you up and running with Python. You will write the simplest “Hello World” program. However, we will not stop there. We will then explore the ‘next steps’, and give you the confidence to write more complex programs.

Sound great, but when you are back in the office, sitting in front of a blank screen, doing this on your own will suddenly get much harder. To combat that we will arm you with some of the most useful on-line information available. Someone, somewhere on the planet, has already found the answer to your problem, and most likely created a YouTube video showing you how!

As a Tester you know that just writing code is not enough. It has to be shown to work. So not only will we write some code, we will ‘Test’ it as well. To make this even more enjoyable, together we will write programs to control a simple USB Robotic Arm, connected to a Raspberry Pi computer, on which we will run and ‘Test’ our code. We Testers can have fun too!

We will conclude by drawing up a personal development plan for how you can continue to develop your Programming skills, and how you can deploy them back in the office.

To participate it is highly recommended that you bring along a laptop with Wi-Fi that you can; download to, install software on, and edit the path variable. (If you can’t download and install software, i.e. your machine is a secure build, you will still be able to write code in text files that may be transferred to another machine for compilation and running.)

Each journey starts with a single step. Let me help you take your first programming steps today.


Impress  .odp format      pdf  Presentation      pdf  PFT Paper Gold Star

Webinar EuroSTAR Webinar     PowerPoint Show  Webinar Slide Show    You_Tube  YouTube Video

Code examples:

Python  Exercise 1      Python  Ex. 2      Python  Ex. 3      Python  Ex. 3.5

Python  Arm Template      Python  Arm Hint Template

(Please note: Due to the limitations of this Server, .py extension files can not be served direct. After opening, whilst saving the file, remove the .txt E.g. Exercise1.py.txt is saved as Exercise1.py)

PearlTrees2  PearlTrees Collection
(This is an on-line collection of web links referenced in the presentation)

Presented at:

1. Belgium Testing Days, Bruges, Mar 2014. (Workshop)
2. TMF Summit, London, Apr. 2014.  (½ Day Workshop)
3. Czech Test, Prague, Jun. 2014. (Tutorial)
4. Agile Testing Days, Potsdam, Nov. 2014. (Workshop)
5. EuroSTAR, Dublin. Nov. 2014.  (Workshop)  Gold Star
6. BCS SIGiST, London, Dec. 2014.  (½ Day Workshop)
7. EuroSTAR Webinar, Sep. 2015.

A blog post telling the story of the workshops can be read here http://badgerscroft.com/home/a-year-in-the-life-of-programming-for-testers/.


This session was developed jointly with my good friend Phillip Isles.  We co-presented all of the workshops, except for the Czech Test Tutorial.
Phill and I co-wrote the Programming For Testers paper which was nominated for EuroSTAR 2014 best paper. Gold Star

The Testers Toolbox – Seven Powerful Cognitive Techniques

aka 7 Things You Might Not Know – (But May Find Really Useful)


This workshop will take you on a magical journey through some very useful but mostly unknown tools for perception and comprehension which will aid you in your daily testing life.

Building on the Graham’s previous work in the field, and his the enthusiasm for the subject, this workshop will you on a 90-minute journey of mind opening discovery, looking at 7 key but often overlooked tools.

Stroop effect

Stroop effect

The tools, and their techniques are easy, fun to learn, and very powerful to use. And they will help you in mastering testing in the industry’s currently very demanding transition from that of a structured V-model history to a leaner, more agile and exploratory approach.

The seven techniques that will be covered in the workshop are:

Gall-Peters Projection – a different but more accurate way to look at the world
Popper’s Theory of Testability – a powerful tool to scope testing
Mind Control – finally proof that your mind is not you own!
The Stroop Effect – a powerful mechanisms that can control your behaviour
The Necker Cube – what you see is not what I see!
The Spinning Dancer – the whole may look different to the detail
e-prime – how to communicate experience rather than judgement

The workshop will explain each technique through demonstration and interaction, followed by a discussion of the power of the technique and an insight into its most effective use.

The session will be highly interactive, directly involving the delegates in all of the exercises to give them a first-hand experience of each technique that they will be able to take back to their workplace.


PowerPoint NeckerCubeSmall      pdf

Presented at:

1. UK TMF, London, Apr 2010 (Workshop)
2. BCS SIGiST, London, Sep 2010 (Workshop)
3. EuroSTAR, Copenhagen, Dec 2010 (Workshop)


The UK TMF workshop was co-hosted with Isabel Evans – Find out more about Isabel here.

How to Suspend Testing and Still Succeed – A True Story


This presentation covers a case study from a large testing program for a member bank which was part of the UK Faster Payments Infrastructure.

Graham will tell the story of a testing programme that was destined to fail, but ultimately succeeded.

He will give practical details of what went wrong, explain why testing had to be suspended, and discuss how with no real hope of recovery the team managed to set and meet their resumption requirements, and ultimately complete their testing on time.

He will explain the background to the project, the testing strategy that was devised and the programme organisational control structure.

He will also tell the story of what happened during test execution. Identify where things started to go wrong, how this was identified, and what measures were taken to ensure a successful resolution.

He will go into the detail of the challenges that the testing team, and the program were daily presented with when testing was suspended. And tell how innovation, ingenuity and perseverance, against all the odds,  won the day.

This is a real ‘war story’, from the testing front line, with valuable hard won experience, and is told in the very real hope that will benefit all who hear it.



Presented at:

1. Expo:QA 09, Madrid, Sep 2009
2. BCS SIGiST, London, Sep 2010
3. Belgium Test Days, Brussels, Feb 2011
4. Czech Test, Prague, Jun 2014

A Hitch-hikers Guide to the Software Testing Galaxy


As Douglas Adams wrote in his book The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how mind-bogglingly big it is.”

Well, the galaxy of software testing isn’t quite that big, but it is large, getting larger every day, and can be very confusing to begin with.  So how do we navigate safely through the software testing galaxy and keep up with its expansion?

This presentation will take the audience through the software testing galaxy, in the style of the Guide, describing the major testing constellations of; methods, skills, processes, tools, and measurement and giving advice on best practice for each.  This will be presented as a 3D mind-map visualisation, an exciting way to view and zoom into mind-maps.

The book was written from the original radio series in the late 1970’s, became a television series, and recently a Hollywood blockbuster film.  The plot was interspersed, in a funny way, with Douglas Adams’s experiences of Computing and Management methodology of the time.  He was quite visionary, in that the Guide was a brilliant prediction of how useful internet search engines and mobile computing would become, and with the new range of lightweight and powerful mobile devices, combined with Google and Wikipedia we are fast approaching his vision. These insights have never been more relevant, current, and useful than in today’s fast changing world.

He was also very observant, and this presentation will draw out some very useful and humorous behavioural analogies for software testing, including; towels, Vogon poetry, digital watches and more, using video clips as powerful illustrations. 

The delegates will be able to take away;

1) an overview of the Software Testing Galaxy,
2) a recommendation for good practice & what to avoid, and also
3) learn some very useful behavioural analogies.


PowerPoint    includes You_Tube videos

Presented at:

1. BCS SGST, London – Sep 2009
2. UNICOM, Next Gen, London – Nov 2009 (Keynote)
3. czech test, Prague, Mar 2011 (Keynote)

What Influences Me In Software Testing – Workshop


I would like to share, in the form a workshop, the things that influence me in software testing.  The aim is to look at everything that currently influences me in the field of software testing, in the hope that it will also influence the audience.  There are a number of areas to look at:

Latest theories
Practical experience
Schools and approaches
Methods and techniques
Analogies and similarities
Books vs. blogs
The thinkers of our time
Popular culture
And lots of other things  .  .  .  .  .

With the aim that through a series of highly interactive activities, the workshop will build a mind map of influences for software testing, that can be shared and may be of use to others.

No advance preparation is required, other than to bring an open mind.  There is no prerequisite skill level.  All are welcome, but be prepared to contribute.


PowerPoint      MindMap   Mind map from TMF Summit

Presented at:

1. BCS SIGiST, London – June 2008
2. UK TMF Summit, London – Jan. 2009

Implementing An Organisation Wide Test Approach


Test Improvement Programs are great!  Testers want to do better testing.  Of that there is no argument.  We all want to do a better job.  If not for personal pride and satisfaction then because we want to improve, in order to get a better job and ultimately even earn more money.

And Test Improvement Programs will help us do that.  But only up to a point. Eventually, and sometimes sooner rather than later, you reach the point where to continue to improve the testing process you are going to have to change some practices, process and behaviours outside the testing team.

You need the business to set realistic timeframes.  Project managers to create realistic plans.  The development process to provide adequate and timely; requirements, design and build information.  Least of all you need better quality code, and when it isn’t you need it fixed in the order that your testing demands.  And so on.

You find yourself in the situation where you need to improve the other aspects of the development lifecycle to gain further benefits from your Test Improvement Program.

And to be successful, this level of organisational change can’t be imposed or mandated.  You are going to have to work with the other members of the development team to j0172632successfully bring about this change.

As the old joke goes,  “How many Change Managers does it take to change a light bulb?”  Answer, “None, the light bulb has got to want to change!”

This presentation uses two case studies, one from a medium sized multi-location software house and the other a large development organisation.

The presentation will contrast and compare the experience of defining and implementing an Organisation Wide Testing Approach, looking at; the key components of the Test Approach, the preparation and planning for implementation, and finally the relative successes of each.


PowerPoint      pdf

Presented at:

1. SSQC, London – Oct 2007
2. JTS 2008, Valencia – Apr 2008
3. BCS SGST, London – Jun 2008
4. TestNet, Utrecht – Sep 2008 (Keynote)

7 Key Measures For Software Testing


I recently came across the worst example of software test measurement that I had seen in over 20 years experience of IT!

Part of the problem comes from the fact that there isn’t a standard set of measures, so should we actually get upset when software testers measure the wrong thing, in the wrong way, and then report it badly? Actually no! Not until there is a standard definition for software test measurement and reporting.

So there is the challenge for this presentation. To present a standard set of measures, metrics and reports for software testing so that there can no longer be any excuse.

This presentation proposes 7 key measures across the software testing lifecycle, covering; Planning, Risk, Test Preparation, Test Execution and Defect analysis. The presentation will also identify effective ways to present the 7 key measures in the form of a practical model.


PowerPoint      Excel

Presented at:

1. ICS Test UK, London – Sep 2005
2. UKSMA, London – Oct 2005
3. BCS SIGiST, London Jul 2006     Gold Star  Best Presentation Award 2006