Meet the Speaker UKSTAR 2018 | Rick Tracy

Next up in our ‘Meet the Speaker’ Series for UKSTAR 2018 is Rick Tracy.


Rick Tracy is a “software engineer” at Rabobank, which basically means he does what he needs to to ensure they deliver a quality product to their stakeholders.

To Rick testing has always been about exploring, and so he applies that to this somewhat ambiguous role and is always on the lookout for new and improved ways of testing. Rick is constantly experimenting with new creative ways to do his job, and he believes one of the best ways to find that is through discussing new ideas with other professionals. As such, he hopes his presentations are as much a learning experience for him as they are for you.


You can find more from Rick on his blog:

Rick will present as part of a storytelling session. Rick will present his story ‘Testing Tests and Where to Test Them‘ at UKSTAR 2018 in London.


1. What is your favourite testing book/blog? Why is this your favourite?

I had this book called Adventurous Travel, with about 46 random, crazy, and outright outlandish journey ideas. Reading through it changed every aspect of my life. I started modifying the concepts found in the travels to other parts of life, such as communication, career, and general philosophy. Breaking the mold became not only something fun to do but vital to growth.

I decided to do several of the journeys and then see what I could apply to everything else. This was about the same time as I was looking for new testing tactics, and the two coalesced into a new way of working for me. I started looking for the loose threads, the open doors, the path not traveled. And my testing improved immeasurably. I looked at things in a new light, questioned things I otherwise took for granted, learned more than before and was truly interested in even the smallest item.

This kind of thinking keeps me energized and active in the testing community, and I encourage everyone to try something like that, shake things up, and see what falls out.


2. How do you keep up to date with the software testing industry?

Primarily through conferences and the communities built up over time. People are and remain the best source of information and experience, no matter how good the writer is. Someone’s enthusiasm, frustration, and plain curiosity can trigger learning like nothing else. So if they’re interested, why shouldn’t I be?


3. What is the biggest misconception about testing that you’ve heard?

“Testing is for cynical pessimists.”

I hate that idea. Testing saved me from cynicism. I’ve always felt the world was broken, like things weren’t quite right or as they should be. At the same time, I’ve always been an optimist, looking for the next opportunity in any storm. So when I discovered testing, and confirmed that the world WAS indeed broken, it was one of the best feelings in the world. Now that I knew I wasn’t crazy, I could accept the world with all its flaws and look to improve it instead.


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