Welcome to the first of the 2019 Meet the Speaker Series! Each week as part of the series we will introduce one of the UKSTAR 2019 speakers. Each blog post will share a little about their talk at UKSTAR 2019 and we’ll delve into their personality with some tricky questions.
If you haven’t already seen the programme, check it out HERE! UKSTAR 2019 promises a wide variety of talk on the most relevant testing topics.
To kick off our Meet the Speaker series, we are delighted to introduce Bas Dijkstra!
Bas is an independent professional who takes pride in helping teams and organisations improve their testing efforts through smart application of tools. He is also a trainer on various subjects related to testing and automation.
Bas lives in the Netherlands with his wife and two sons and when he is not working he likes to run or to read a good book (particularly British detective novels).
He will be presenting not one, but TWO sessions at UKSTAR 2019. His first session is going to be a super exciting Keynote ‘Why Do We Automate? followed by a Deep Dive Building Robust Automation Frameworks! We are super excited to have Bas at UKSTAR 2019!
What inspired you to develop this topic as talks?
I see so many people, teams and entire organisations getting started with or already being heavily involved in test automation. In itself, that’s a good thing, of course: tools can be very handy when you’re trying to perform your testing activities more efficiently. However, too often, I see automation starting to become a goal of its own, either explicitly by people enforcing thresholds on automation coverage (‘we need at least 95% code coverage with our unit tests’, or ‘integration and end-to-end automation has to be created before this feature can be considered done’) or more implicitly, when people become so obsessed by getting the automation to ‘go green’ or enthusiastically (frantically) trying to come up with more automation. When this happens, what you get is automation for automation’s sake, instead of automation that truly serves as a means to support testing (which I think it should be).
People sometimes forget that automation comes with a cost in and of itself! I think it’s a good idea to take a step back from time to time and ask ourselves whether all the effort that we’re putting into the creation and maintenance of our automation is really worth it.
One tip for anyone starting out in software testing
Train yourself in figuring out underlying patterns and principles.
Tools, platforms, architectures, frameworks and even entire programming languages come and go, but patterns and principles have remained roughly the same for decades now. If you understand those, picking up a new tool or language gets much, much easier.
If you were on a deserted island and could only bring one item with you, which would it be and why?
Taking my wife and/or children is probably cheating, right? Then the island wouldn’t be deserted anymore… I would probably take a book with me, either the Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Kingsbridge trilogy.
I’ve read and reread both of them a number of times now, and they keep fascinating me, which pretty much guarantees they would keep me entertained on that deserted island as well!
What is the future of software testing?
We all are the future of software testing! Testing isn’t going to go away for a long time. Sure, some of the boring and repetitive stuff might be automated away soon, with or without the help of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (that’s deliberately between quotes by the way), but I’d be happy if that would be the case. That would finally free up more time to work on the interesting bits! There is so much value that testers add (or can add) that cannot be performed by machines. We’ll need to learn how to work with them, not fight against them.
Would you like to see Bas talk live? Check out our ticket options for UKSTAR 2019.