Wave 1

You Can't Spell Agile Testing without ET

Session Leaders: Lanette Creamer, Matt Barcomb


1) 60min: lecture with 1 or 2 small group activities


2) 120min: workshop with more hands-on concrete application

Audience Level: Novice/Practitioner

Session Style: Presentation(60min) or Workshop (120min)

Do you ever get a creeping feeling there is more to agile development than test automation and clean code? Have you wondered about broader quality considerations beyond the stories cards? Have you tried to use structured exploratory testing to better inform quality issues, but struggled with how it works in an agile context? If so, then what you need is a refreshing aromatic blend of exploratory and agile approaches!

Matt Barcomb and Lanette Creamer share their ideas, experiences and approaches on how agile teams can visualize quality both at and beyond the story level as well as share the results of testing outcomes with stakeholders. Learn what exploratory charters are and how to make them adaptive test ideas. Discover how agile teams can integrate exploratory testing techniques in an iterative incremental way, syncing to changes in the product dynamically. Finally, take away techniques for involving the whole team in setting priorities for holistic quality initiatives.

Session Leader Backgrounds:

Matt Barcomb is passionate about building collaborative cross-functional teams, the out-of-doors, puns and providing holistic sustainable solutions to organizations trying to improve. Matt started programming as a wee lad and eventually wound up getting paid for it. It took him nearly 10 years before he realized that the "people problem" was the biggest issue facing most software development. Since then he has spent his time and energy trying to find interesting ways of making the business-software universe a better place to work, play and do business. Matt currently resides in Cleveland and is employed with LeanDog where he keeps especially busy with organizational transformations, and shares his insights on his blog http://blog.risingtideharbor.com/.

Lanette Creamer likes testing software even more than Diet Coke and cats. After working for a decade at Adobe, including leading coordinated testing across products on the Creative Suites, Lanette jumped into consulting, working independently as Spark Quality LLC. Throughout her career, Lanette has evangelized advancement of real-time human thought above process solutions in software quality. Testing should be customized, using a context appropriate balance of automation, and tool assisted creative black box techniques to get effective coverage. Deeply passionate about collaboration, she believes it is a powerful solution when facing complex technical challenges. Lanette is an active participant in the testing community, and a writer in her well known TestyRedhead blog, on Twitter, and occasionally in industry magazines and technical papers.

Session History:

This session will have been given at Agile & Beyond in a 45 minute "survey" format, at STAR East in 60 minute lecture format and Agile Dev Practices West as a half-day workshop.


Submitted by

Session Leader Name(s): Lanette CreamerMatt Barcomb

Stage: Accepted

Feedback Score

14 votes

Idea Details

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Similar Ideas [ 3 ]


  1. Status Changed from Active to Accepted
  2. The idea was posted


  1. Comment
    ( Moderator )

    Exploratory testing in an agile context would be a great addition to the conference. Lanette and Matt would make this a fun opportunity for participants to learn by doing.

  2. Comment
    Carlton Nettleton
    ( Moderator )

    I give this a 6 on a scale of 10 (10 being perfect)

    I like that we have experienced speakers giving us a talk they feel passionate about. I like the speakers can do this as a short session or a longer session.

    What would make it perfect is if the presenters decided how much time they want - is it 60 minute or 2 hours? Until I know how much time they want, I can't see if their session meets their objectives:(

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Matt Barcomb ( Idea Submitter )

      Sorry, this was unclear and I think I've cleared it up :) It was not a *range* of time, but either 60 or 120 minutes...both with activities, but the 60 minute slot would be smaller activities and more "lecture-style" while the 120 minute would be more interactive "workshop-style".

      Thanks again for the feedback!

  3. Comment

    I was giving an agile practices training session and using a diagram I often use I noted that it was missing exploratory testing. This is a missing piece practice in many agile teams. I would love if the session included practical advice with making ET stick. How do you manage test sessions? I have used ET sessions with WIP limits for the iteration and it worked really well - I would love to learn how others plan and execute ET. I would also like to learn about ET information radiators such as "low tech testing dashboards. Bring it on!

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