Presentations and Publications

Bret Pettichord
updated 22 May 2008

Agile Testing

Panel, Agile Austin, February 2008

Hosted a panel discussion with Mark Anderson, Jim Matthews, Jason Darling and Brent Lavelle. Discussed common challenges for QA and testing on Agile teams.

ALT .NET Open Space Conference

Co-host, Austin, Texas, October 2007

First open-space conference for the .Net community. Focussed on agile development techniques.

Scripting Web Tests with Watir

Tutorial, with Charley Baker, Agile 2007 Conference, Washington D.C., August 2007

Hands-on training on how to create automated tests for web apps. Updated with a completely rewritten set of exercises. Download training materials

Testing with Watir and Rspec

Demonstration, Lone Star Ruby Conference, Austin, Texas, September 2007 (see the video)

Demonstration, Austin on Rails, July 2007

Demonstration, Code Camp, Austin .Net User Group, May 2007

Using Watir to test web apps.

Is Rspec Awesome or What?

Presentation, Continuous Integration and Testing Conference, Dallas, April 2007

Demonstrated the Rspec testing framework and blew the socks off some of the Java programmers who hadn't yet understood all the fuss about Ruby.

Schools of Software Testing

Presentation, TestCo Quarterly Meeting, Austin, Texas, March 2007

Presentation, STAR West, Anaheim, November 2004

Keynote, SQUAD Conference, Denver, September, 2004

Presentation, Software Process Improvement Network, Austin, Texas, February 2004

Keynote, Software Testing Australia New Zealand, Wellington New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, November 2003

Presentation, Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, Portland, Oregon, October 2003

Presentation, Workshop on the Teaching of Software Testing, Melbourne, Florida, February 2003

How Context-Driven testing contrasts with three other schools of software testing.

The Blackout Bug

Guest Lecture, Department of Computer Science, St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas, November 2006.

Described how the failure of the GE/Harris XA/21 Energy Management Software lead to the August 2003 blackout of Northeastern North America and discussed practices that could have prevented the failure. Presented unpublished information from personal interviews with a software tester on the XA/21 project.

Test-Driven Development: New Excellence in IT Software Delivery

Panelist, Innotech, Austin, Texas, November 2005.

Panel discussion with Mary Poppendieck, Scott Bellware, Jeremy Miller and Jeff Smith.

New Tricks with Old Tools

Paper (Slides), with Kathy Iberle, Pacific NW Software Quality Conference, Portland, Oregon, October 2005.

How to use structured systems analysis to develop models for testing unfinished systems.

Tools for Acceptance Testing

Workshop, with Timothy Wall, Agile 2005 Conference, Denver, July 2005

Facilitated discussion of the tools used for acceptance testing and the challenges people face.

Watir and Selenium: Open-Source Tools for Web Testing

Presentation, with Jason Huggins, Wisconsin Information Systems Quality Assurance, Madison, Wisconsin, April 2005

Demonstrated two open-source tools for in-browser testing developed by ThoughtWorkers.

Agile Methods, Testing and Quality Assurance

Presentation, Northern Ohio Software Quality Assurance Association, Cleveland, Ohio, April 2005

Keynote, Agile India, Bangalore, India, March 2005

Agile development puts testing and frequent reality checks at the core of the process. Describes practices for agile testing and promotes the view that agile development actually amounts to a new philosophy of quality assurance.

Watir and Selenium

White Paper, ThoughtWorks Open Source, February 2005

Describes two new open-source tools for web testing and why I've contributed to both.

Is There Any Right Way to Test Software?

Article by Grant Buckler, IT Business.ca, January 2005

Explores the debates around best practices and context-driven testing. Quoted.

Agile Testing Challenges

Invited Presentation, Pacific NW Software Quality Conference, Portland, Oregon, October 2004

Presentation, TCQAA, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2004

An overview of testing practices on agile projects with common challenges and suggested solutions.

Scripting Web Tests

Tutorial, with Brian Marick, Agile 2005 Conference, Denver, July 2005

Tutorial, with Brian Marick, Paul Rogers and Jonathan Kohl, XP/Agile Universe, Calgary, August 2004

A hands-on class teaching people how to create automated tests for web applications using Ruby and Watir. An accellerated variant of the Scripting for Testers class.

Scripting for Testers

Tutorial, with Chris McMahon, Star West, Anaheim, November 2005
Tutorial, with Paul Rogers, STAR East, Orlando, May 2005

Tutorial, with Paul Rogers, STAR West, Anaheim, November 2004

Tutorial, with Andy Tinkham, STAR East, Orlando, May 2004

Tutorial, with Daniel Knierim, Pacific NW Software Quality Conference Spring Workshops, Beaverton, Oregon and Bellevue, Washington, May 2004

Tutorial, with Brian Marick, STAR West, San Jose, October 2003

Tutorial, with Brian Marick, STAR East, Orlando, May 2003

A hands-on class teaching testers how to create automated tests for web applications, using Ruby and Watir.

Teaching Scripting to Testers

Presentation, Workshop on Teaching Software Testing, Melbourne, Florida, February 2004

How our Scripting for Testers class has evolved.

Teaching Ruby to Testers

Presentation, Ruby Conference, Austin, Texas, November 2003

How Ruby is used our hands-on test scripting classes.

Where Home-Brewed Testing Works

Article by Jack Vaughn, Application Development Trends, October 2003

Describes why homebrew test automation is catching on. Quoted.

Three Paradoxes of Test Automation

Keynote, STAR East, Orlando, May 2003

How can you rely on software to test software if software is unreliable? This is the first of three paradoxes discussed.

Homebrew Test Automation

Workshop, SQUAD Conference, Denver, September, 2004

Tutorial, TCQAA, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2004

Tutorial, Texas Symposium on Software Engineering, Austin, Texas, August 2004

Tutorial, SASQAG , Seattle, Washington, March 2004

Workshop, Software Testing Australia New Zealand, Wellington New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, November 2003

Presentation, Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, October 2003

Presentation, Software Test Automation Conference, Boston, August 2003 

Presentation, Software Test Automation Conference, San Francisco, March 2003

Why XP teams are building their own testing frameworks and how you can too. Includes numerous references to open-source testing tools.

Agile Testing and Extreme Programming

Presentation, Santa Clara Valley Software Quality Association, California, March 2003

How the role of tester changes with XP and why test-driven development is the most important new practice in testing today.

Four Schools of Software Testing

Presentation, STAR West, Anaheim, November 2004

Keynote, SQUAD Conference, Denver, September, 2004

Presentation, Software Process Improvement Network, Austin, Texas, February 2004

Keynote, Software Testing Australia New Zealand, Wellington New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, November 2003

Presentation, Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, Portland, Oregon, October 2003

Presentation, Workshop on the Teaching of Software Testing, Melbourne, Florida, February 2003

How Context-Driven testing contrasts with three other schools of software testing.

A Unified Theory of Software Testing

Presentation, Workshop on the Teaching of Software Testing , Melbourne, Florida, February 2003

A model for describing different software testing techniques.

Where are the Testers in XP?

Column, StickyMinds.com, January 2003

How testers can provide value to a team even when programmers start to shoulder some testing responsibilities.

Deconstructing GUI Test Automation

Article, STQE Magazine, January 2003

Abstraction techniques that make GUI test automation easier -- and which may be avoided entirely when developers design software for ease of testing.

Design for Testability, Agile Testing, and Testing Processes

Interview by Sam Guckenheimer, The Rational Edge, November 2002

How testers and developers can work together more effectively, by changing attitudes on both sides. 

Agile Testing — What Is It? Can It Work?

Presentation, Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group, Bellevue, Washington, November 2002

Invited Presentation, Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, Portland, Oregon, October 2002

Presentation, Softpro Books, Burlington, Massachusetts, September 2002. 

How are people really testing with XP and Agile development? What improvements can be made?

Design for Testability

Paper, STAR West, Anaheim, California, November 2002

Paper, Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, Portland, Oregon, October 2002

Slides 

How software has been designed to improve testability, with advice for product teams.

Testers Should Embrace Agile Programming

Debate position, Quality Week, San Francisco, September 2002

Why extreme programming and agile development are good things for testers.

Don't Become the Quality Police

Column, StickyMinds.com, July 2002

Testers who decide it's their job to prevent programmers from making bugs are in for trouble.

Lessons Learned in Test Management

Presentation, Austin SPIN, April 2002

How to make testing serve the needs of the development project.

When Being Correct Isn't Enough

Column, StickyMinds.com, April 2002

Why showing concern is as important as being right when establishing authority.

Lessons Learned in Test Automation

Keynote, Test Automation Conference, San Jose, March 2002

What can you do to ensure that automation advances the mission of testing?

Reference Point: Bret Pettichord on Test Automation

Survey, STQE Magazine, January 2002

Suggested resources on test automation.

How Should You Feel When You Find a Bug?

Column, StickyMinds.com, December 2001

How your feelings can interfere with your effectiveness.

Lessons Learned in Software Testing

Book, with Cem Kaner and James Bach, John Wiley & Sons, December 2001

"A fresh, provocative look at what goes on in the 'real world' of software testing -- guarenteed to make you rethink most of your assumptions and traditional 'theories' of how testing really ought to be done." -- Ed Yourdon

Five Ways to Think About Black Box Testing

Column, StickyMinds.com, November 2001

Applies five dimensions of testing to the definitions of black box and white box testing.

Ready to Automate?

Presentation, Star West, San Jose, October 2001

Eight questions to ask before deciding whether to automate.

The Problems with Vendorscripts: Why You Should Avoid Proprietary Languages

Presentation, STAR East, Orlando, May 2002

Webinar, Radview Software, September & November 2001

The problems of proprietary test tool languages and the advantages of standard scripting languages.

What You Don’t Know May Help You

Column, StickyMinds.com, July 2001

Advantages new testers have in finding bugs.

Information and Risk-Based Testing

Presentation, STAR East, Orlando, May 2001

How to use testing to understand product risks.

Testing Troubles

Letter, with Cem Kaner and Brian Marick, IEEE Software, May 2001

Why shouldn't code coverage be required for all commercial software?

Let Observation Be Your Crystal Ball

Column, StickyMinds.com, May 2001

Some testers have an an uncanny ability to hone in on defects. Is this magic or do they notice something that others miss?

Design for Testability

Presentation, Software Test Automation Conference, San Jose, March 2001 & Boston, August 2001

How can software be designed or modified to make it easier to test?

Hey Vendors, Give Us Real Scripting Languages

Column, StickyMinds.com, February 2001

Why you'd want a standard scripting language with your test tool, instead of a vendorscript.

Quality Plus e-Talk: Testers and Developers

Radio Interview with Carol Dekkers, StickyMinds.com, February 2001

Why testers and developers think differently, and why they should think differently.

Getting a Late Start on Test Automation

Column, StickyMinds.com, January 2001

What can you do if you don't start test automation early?

Three Keys to Test Automation

Column, StickyMinds.com, December 2000

How can you get your test automation project off on the right foot?

Taking the Heat

Column, StickyMinds.com, October 2000

Is it a tester's job to take some of the heat off of developers?

Capture Replay: A Foolish Test Strategy

Presentation, STAR West, San Jose, October 2000

Describes two reasons why capture replay automation techniques often fail. Also explores why these are hard lessons to learn.

Beyond the Bug Battle

Presentation, STAR East, Orlando, May 2000

This presentation describes how common assumptions about bugs often leads to disputes and presents two ways of avoiding them.

An Exploratory Testing Workshop Report

Report, Testing Craft website, posted January 2000.

Report on a LAWST workshop reviewing exploratory testing techniques.

Testers and Developers Think Differently

Article, Software Testing and Quality Engineering, January 2000

Article describes important differences in skills between testers and developers. Based on experiences described in my "Developers Take on a System Test" presentation.

Seven Steps to Test Automation Success

Presentation, Rational User's Conference, Philadelphia, August 2000.

Presentation, PSQT conference, Austin, Texas, March 2000.

Keynote, Lucent's Automated Software Testing conference, Naperville, Illinois, November 1999.

Keynote, STAR West conference, San Jose, California, November 1999.

Important steps for planning and running a test automation project. Cites pitfalls of GUI test automation.

Developers Take on a System Test

Presentation, STAR West conference, San Diego, November 1998.

Presentation, STAR East conference, Orlando, May 1998.

What happens when the testers leave and the developers have to do their own testing?

Do Tool Criteria Tie Tester's Hands?

Letter, with Joel Maslyn, IEEE Software, November 1997.

Points out that a comprehensive article on criteria for GUI development tools failed to include any mention of testability concerns.

Communicating Quality

Survey, with Elisabeth Hendrickson, www.QualityTree.com, September 1997.

Reviews the difficulties that testers and quality assurance professionals have communicating information regarding product quality.

Success with Test Automation

Paper, Quality Week, San Francisco, May 1996.

Discusses a GUI test automation project I participated at BMC Software. We built a test case engine for table-driven tests using QA Partner. It also discusses my experience building a test automation group.


Testing Hotlist Update

A web log containing items of interest to software testers.

Software Testing Hotlist

This frequently referenced site includes links to interesting writings on testing and test automation.