Meet the Speaker | Gerie Owen

This weeks Meet the Speaker series is Blog takeover by Gerie Owen! Gerie is from USA and will be joining us on stage at UKSTAR 11-12 March in London… Read all about Gerie’s talk A Wearable Test Story: Testing the Human Experience 

Continue reading for Gerie’s takeover.

Hi, I’m Gerie Owen, QA Evangelist at QualiTest Group. I’ve worked in software testing in many roles including test lead, technical writer and conference presenter.  I enjoy mentoring and coaching teams and I choose my writing and presentation topics based on my professional and personal experiences. 

The Inspiration for Testing the Human Experience 

The inspiration for my presentation, A Wearables Story:  Testing the Human Experience is a bit unusual; it came from my Boston Marathon run in 2012.  It’s a story of a bib with an RFID chip, a sports watch and a runner and the failure and success that came from the runner’s interaction with each. 

Through this personal experience, I learned that wearables require a different level of testing than other IoT device. I began to understand a unique aspect of testing wearables: in and of themselves, these devices provide little value.  The value is derived from the interaction of the device and the human being.  This interaction between the device and the human and the value derived from that interaction is what I call the human experience.   

In my presentation, we will talk about how emotion and environment play a significant role in testing, and how it is essential to get close to the person who will be the user of the device. I’ll present a testing framework that uses personas user value stories and testing in the wild to test the human experience.  I hope you’ll join me.  

A Tip for New Testers 

The one tip I would give anyone starting out in software testing is recognize the importance of communication, collaboration and creativity.  Technologies will change and evolve, however; without these skills we, as testers won’t.   

As testers in today’s world of Agile and DevOps, we are challenged to champion quality in new and unique ways. We are challenged to develop innovative test approaches that focus on customer value. It is in using not only our technical expertise but more importantly, our creativity in bringing innovative techniques such as test optimization, BDD and others to our test practices that we can make our most valuable contribution.  

We determine both what to test and how to test and we test jointly with developers. We assess risk and communicate this to our teams and stakeholders through our stories. So then, our ability to innovate comes from not only our technical skills, but also from our skills in communication, collaboration and creativity.  

The Future of Testing 

One thing that I know for sure about the future of testing is that it will continue to change.  I believe that testing, as well as development, operations, product ownership and all functions in the SDLC, will become competencies more than professions.  Although we may approach this with trepidation, I believe it is not only challenging but exciting; it offers us professional opportunities in many directions beyond traditional testing.  As testers, we will be responsible for instilling a quality mindset among our teams and managing the quality process from feature design through production monitoring.  By developing a holistic approach to quality, we will have the flexibility to meet this challenge in many ways as well as expand our careers in the direction of our choice.  We might choose to build our technical skills so that we can pair with developers to shift left or pair with operations staff to shift right.  We can specialize in testing emerging technologies such as AI or IoT or we may focus on the customer through UX or Digital Transformation specialties.  The future of testing is what we, as testers, make it. 

On What to Bring to a Deserted Island 

A plane or a boat!  Too often, we as testers try to overthink issues and challenges, making them more complicated than they need to be.  We need to think outside of the box; why concentrate on making our traditional approaches work rather than moving on with innovative solutions?


Join Gerie at UKSTAR 2019 in London

Purchase Tickets Here

UKSTAR Software Testing Conference Team Offer

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