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Conference archive

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 8:30am to 4:30pm

Using Heuristics to Test and Solve Problems


In the fast-moving world of agile and DevOps, smart testers use heuristics to identify focus areas and quick-start their test ideas. Variously defined as “fallible methods for solving problems” or “rules of thumb,” heuristics are essential tools for thinking agile test practitioners. When you construct a test around a model like “follow the money,” you are working with a heuristic that can be useful in some contexts but irrelevant or even detrimental in others. A key to using heuristics successfully is to do so consciously. If you aren’t aware that you’re using a heuristic model, it can become an unchallenged assumption. But if you consciously use a model as a heuristic, then you are better able to see its weaknesses and potential failure points in your situation. In this workshop, we will explore using heuristics in problem-solving and software testing. Working in groups, you’ll have opportunities to design heuristics to solve particular problems, apply them to those problems, then critique your models and share your conclusions with the other groups. The session will be highly interactive, consisting principally of problem-solving exercises and debriefs. Using heuristics requires both creativity and critical thinking skills. Come prepared to practice and extend yours!


Quality Intelligence

Fiona Charles is an independent consultant, specialising in the human side of software development and projects: teaching organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. She consults with clients on testing and test management, works as an Agile testing coach, and acts occasionally as a program-level test manager on difficult projects. She speaks and conducts workshops at international conferences and in-house for clients, has recorded many webinars, and published many articles in test-related publications. Fiona is co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett) of Speak Easy, a volunteer organisation designed to increase gender diversity at tech conferences and help new speakers find their voice. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.