Agile Testing Days 2016 — Part I: Promotion Video

The Agile Testing Days proposal pages for 2016 asked for a ‘promotion video’ to, well, help promote  proposals. So I created one and I had fun making it.

You asked for it — you know who you are. Hope you enjoy watching. 😀
Without further ado there you go:

Stephan’s Labyrinth – Testing & The Internet of Things from Stephan Kämper on Vimeo.
Promo video for the Agile Testing Days 2016, Potsdam, Germany

Addendum: The proposal has been accepted and the full workshop announcement its available at the Agile Testing Days program.

Word of the Year 2015 — Kind of

In previous years (see I 2015,  2014 and 2013), I picked a word of the year. For 2016 I take the liberty to bend (break?) the rule (I see it more as a guideline) and select a term rather than a word.

And the term is:art-and-science

I see a close relation between software development in general, testing in particular and science & art. Additionally, with my background in astronomy, physics and oceanography, my thinking is biased by my education in science.

The Agile Testing Days 2015: Nuggets

The opening session of the Agile Testing Days 2015 was Western-themed and Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin asked the audience to watch for gold nuggets at the conference — particularly valuable information or other things we would take home. I (actually my alter ego Super Agile Person) was invited to present my suggests at the ending session. So these are the nuggets I found at the conference:

  1. I got a Calgary Stampede hat from Lisa and Janet. Thank you so much!calgary-stampede-hat_2It’s great, it fits and it even has inner values printed on the inside:
    1. Commitment to Community
    2. Integrity
    3. Pride of Place
    4. Western Hospitality

    The first two of them are particularly applicable in all communities.

  2. In their opening keynote Alex Schladebeck (violin) and Huib Schoots (trombone) connected music to testing and played music too. They even handed out a large number of kazoos to the audience to play along with them!
    I find the connection they drew fascinating, since other presentations I attended this year presented connections between testing and other activities. Two examples from FullStackFest are Ernie Miller‘s talk “How to Build a Skyscraper” and Lauren Scott‘s presentation “Shall I Compare Thee to a Line of Code?“.
    I’m thinking about other connections, but that’s another blog post.
  3. Many people use templates to write user stories or charters for exploratory testing sessions. A widely used user story template is this:
    As a <role>;
    I want <feature>,
    so that <benefit>

    While these templates can be very helpful to start, they are also somewhat limiting — and can lead to outcomes like ‘As the product owner I want feature X, so that feature X can be used’. This is not — repeat not — how the template is used well.
    While templates can be worthwhile to get started with using user stories (for example), they can become too constraining as a team becomes more proficient in using them.
    In that case, I suggest to use the term Free Style User Stories and Karen Greaves already helped me spreading the word:

    Thank you!
    This too, will be covered in a future blog post.

  4. Finding followers and starting a movement is possible for everyone. This was a popular topic in a number of sessions, Dr. Sue Black‘s keynote “If I Can Do It, So Can You” in particular.

Note, ‘nugget finding’ is not limited to conferences! What are the nuggets you found in the past week?

“Fast Feedback Using Ruby” the next chapter: Testing Rake Tasks

Towards the end of my workshop “Fast Feedback Loops & Fun with Ruby” at the London Tester Gathering 2015 (in June 2015), I asked the attendees about suggestions for new material to go into the book. The topic that was mentioned first was “Testing Rake tasks”, so that’s going to be the next chapter I will work on. Meanwhile, an older blog post Testing Rake Tasks may be worth reading (mind you, that post is about two years old now).

When the chapter is ready to be released (in July or August ’15), the price of the book will go up a little bit, but of course everyone who bought the book before, will get the “update” for free.

If you have already read “Fast Feedback Using Ruby”, I’d love to hear from you! Tell me what you think. What do you think is missing? What should be improved? Just send an e-mail to or contact me as @S_2K on Twitter.

Addendum (18. July 2015)

The chapter will be published in two parts. The first one “Testing Legacy Rake Tasks” should be available before August. The second part “Test Driven Development of Rake Tasks” is planned for August.

Again: The book price will go up in a few days, so if you like to get the next chapters at the current price, now is a good time to buy it at

Announcement: Workshop & ebook: “Fast Feedback Using Ruby”

At the “London Tester Gathering Workshops 2015” (also see #LTGWorkshops on Twitter) I offer a workshop “Fast Feedback Loops & Fun with Ruby”. For this, I wanted to give attendees a handout, to make applying the stuff covered easier and it was planned to be a list of brief recipes.
Suffice to say that the handout grew (and it’s entirely possible that this is ‘feature creep’ in action). In fact, it grew to the point that I decided to turn it into an ebook. The book is not done yet, there’s some copy editing to do.

Fast Feedback Using Ruby

In any case: There will be an ebook, and it will be available on LeanPub at If you’re interested, please leave a note on the book’s pages.


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