Chris Clements

Company: PwC

Role in Company: Delivery/QA Lead

Country: United Kingdom

Presentation Takeaways

1. Testing at its core, is a very human centric experience
2. Testers should aim to remain in the problem space, not the solution space, as much as possible
3. Try everything in testing, widen your experience, expand your horizons. It all leads to becoming a more rounded tester

Speaker Biography

I have been a tester for more than 19 years in various roles from the junior tester who was good at making the tea, right through to Director of QA and everything in between. That has entailed automation and hands-on exploratory testing. The roles have been varied but I have been a failover tester, UI tester, API tester, performance tester, backend tester, front-end tester, sideways, trapdoor tester and everything in between :-). In addition, I have set up cultures within test teams to embrace innovation and challenging yourself more. I have enlightened the local testers and wannabe testers through the Northern Ireland Testers MeetUp scene (of which I am a co-founder and co-organizer) and university scene, to the joys and pitfalls of testing and the testing culture. I am currently a QA & Delivery Lead within PwC within the Digital space and was was recently the Head of Testing for Bitnet and was responsible for the testing approach to Blockchain functionality. In addition, I previously spoke at the ASTQB Conference in San Francisco 2014 on the challenges of testing within an agile environment.

Presentation Description

Testing has changed over the years.

Speaking through the lens of my career to date, this talk will explain the journey I have taken that has encompassed different stages of testing and what it meant at that time. Explaining through stories how my view of testing changed as my career progressed and how I have developed into ‘an empathetic tester’.

This talk will further seek to explain why empathetic testing is critical to the testing craft flourishing, in an age where the world has become increasingly complex. Users aren’t buying products to break them; they are buying them to solve a problem for themselves in their daily lives. That is making feature testing and specialised testing in general, increasingly obsolete. Testing should be focused on a human centred mindset, quite simply ‘behaviour never lies’ and viewing things from the user’s perspective helps to enable understanding, tapping into the emotions of the user, their trust, their feelings, their outlook.

We change perspective every day, thus embracing empathy. If we view the world from the user’s perspective, that’s being empathetic to their outlook. That requires imagination and therefore understanding. To empathise with the user and building that into the testing approach.

I will also endeavour to explain how this empathetic form of testing HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE. It has just never been utilised due to ‘shiny toys’ such as automation, tooling, testing through the lifecycle, etc.

Embracing the empathetic tester within us will take us back to our roots