October 31, 2005

Leaving Consulting

It's time to put my copies of the Secrets of Consulting and Flawless Consulting back on the shelf. I've left ThoughtWorks and have accepted employment as a test architect at a software company with offices in Houston and Austin. After over four years as a consultant, I'm going back to regular employment. I'll be working out of both our Texas offices.

Next month, I'm teaching a Watir tutorial at STAR West with Chris McMahon, a collegue at ThoughtWorks. I expect this to be the last time I'll be teaching it. Over the past three years hundreds of testers and developers have taken the class, learning how basic scripting techniques can be used for effective test automation. I hope that others will continue to teach this class. All the materials are open-sourced, online and available for download. I continue to get requests to teach it.

If you plan to teach it, please list your class on our calendar. And if you are interested in this material, well, check the calendar to see who might be offering the class.

Going forward, I will only be accepting speaking invitations in Austin or Houston. In fact, on Nov 16, I'm appearing on a panel at the Innotech Conference in Austin. I also hope to speaker and user group meetings in both cities in the next year.

I will, however, be continuing my involvement with open-source testing tools, including Watir and Selenium. I will also continue my writing. I'll be updating my website shortly to remove offers of consulting and training.

Posted by bret at 08:42 AM | Comments (3)

October 05, 2005

Recommended Sessions at PNSQC

This is a note for people attending PNSQC next week. Most of the sessions at PNSQC are very good. However, I've had a chance to work with three of the presenters and would like to encouraging you to attend their sessions.

Kathy Iberle is presenting a paper on Wednesday morning that describes a formal technique for iterative testing of a complex systems composed of applications and components from separate teams. I've done something like this informally -- as i presume have others as well -- but i'd never read a write up of the approach before. In fact, I thought this was so valueable that i agreed to help Kathy write the paper. Regrettably, I won't be able to present it with her. Kathy works at HP in the Portland area.

On Wednesday afternoon, Chris McMahon is presenting a paper that catalogs free testing tools included in FreeBSD. He's asking people to bring laptops to his presentation -- and a wireless card or ethernet cable. He's bringing in a router with wired and wireless connections and will invite attendees to join an ad-hoc network to demonstrate the network testing capabilities of FreeBSD. Based in Colorado, Chris works with me at ThoughtWorks. He says:

For my presentation, I intend to build an ad-hoc LAN and run some of the network analysis and security testing software mentioned in my paper in real time. People with laptops will be able to communicate and to get extra documentation and information from a TWiki installation; do network analysis with the "ntop" application; and get security reports generated by the "nessus" application. And if I have time, I'll run a couple of other pieces of software from my FreeBSD server on the ad-hoc network.

Although Watir is mostly used for functional testing, Michael Kelly has written about how it can be used to collect performance measurements. On Wednesday morning (before Kathy), he's presenting a paper where he deconstructs the distinction between performance and functional testing tools. Michael Kelly is a consultant with Fusion Alliance in Indianapolis.

Posted by bret at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)