STARCANADA 2019 Keynote : The Logic of Verification

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm

The Logic of Verification

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Software testing is sometimes described as verification and validation—according to Wikipedia, “the process of checking that a software system meets specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose.” Yet, if we examine the concept and logic of verification, we recognize that there are serious limitations to what can and cannot be checked and verified. This is not to say that checking is a bad thing—on the contrary; checking can be very valuable. Still, it’s important for testers and their clients to recognize the fundamental limitations of checking and to address those limitations in our testing strategies. Join Michael Bolton as he outlines the logic of verification, ways in which we might be vulnerable to false premises and misleading conclusions about it, and how we can address those problems by embedding verification in a larger system of testing, experimentation, and critical thinking.


Michael Bolton is a consulting software tester and testing teacher who helps people solve testing problems that they didn’t realize they could solve. He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly and credibly in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure. With twenty-five years of experience testing, developing, managing, and writing about software, Michael has led DevelopSense, a Toronto-based testing and development consultancy, for the past fifteen years. Previously, he was with Quarterdeck Corporation where he managed the company’s flagship products and directed project and testing teams both in-house and worldwide. Contact Michael at [email protected], on Twitter, or through his website.