Isabel Evans

Company: freelance practitioner

Role in Company: consultant and writer

Country: United Kingdom

Presentation Takeaways

1. Reflect on the present: Identify and clarify your issues with tools and automation
2. Take away a method: Apply UX methods to help you evaluate / select tools / automation
3. Help build the future: Identify what tools and automation could provide to your projects.

Speaker Biography

Independent quality and testing consultant Isabel Evans has more than thirty years of IT experience in the financial, communications, and software sectors. Her work focuses on quality management, software testing and user experience (UX), She encourages IT teams and customers to work together via flexible processes designed and tailored by the teams that use them. As well as her consultancy and project work, she is currently researching into the UX of testing tools for the tester, as a part-time, mature, postgraduate student at the University of Malta. Isabel authored Achieving Software Quality Through Teamwork and chapters in Agile Testing: How to Succeed in an eXtreme Testing Environment; The Testing Practitioner; and Foundations of Software Testing. A popular speaker and story-teller at software conferences worldwide, Isabel is a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society, and has been a member of software industry improvement working groups for over 20 years. In November 2017, she was presented with the EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award for services to the industry. She has a website: She has two blogs: and Her linked in page is at She tweets occasionally as @IsabelE_Test.

Presentation Description

When I learnt to drive a car, back in the 20th century, I also learnt how to check, clean and change spark plugs, mend the fan belt with a stocking, and indicate speed and direction changes with arm and hand signals. Now, I don’t expect to do any of those things. I just drive the car. I don’t have to look under the bonnet. I don’t have to use hand signals.
That’s how test tools and automation could be. Just drive and concentrate on the journey of delivering software continuously. Concentrate on engineering the solutions and not the automation. To be effective engineers, delivering software continuously, we need the support of a powerful toolset that we understand. Is that what we have? Or do we still have shelfware sitting around expensively doing nothing, because we don’t know how to clean the sparkplugs? Can we get rid of the shelfware? Can we remove the difficulties and make using test automation like driving a modern car?
I have started researching testers’ experiences of their tool set and automation, to identify what issues exist, and whether it is possible to improve the behaviour of the tools.
The purpose of this workshop is to share my ideas and progress, to gather information from you to feed into my research, and to introduce you to a way of assessing the user/tester experience (UX/TX) of test tools.
We’ll learn from each other, with discussion, debate, and conversation. We’ll discuss how UX could be applied to the design and the acquisition of testing tools. We’ll share our experiences (good and bad) using test management or test execution tools. We’ll think about what technical skills our teams have, or lack, that affect how they use tools. We’ll try to identify what would make a smooth test automation drive.