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James Bach

James Bach
Satisfice, Inc.

James Bach is founder and principal consultant of Satisfice, Inc., a software testing and quality assurance company. In the 1980s, James cut his teeth as a programmer, tester, and SQA manager in Silicon Valley in the world of market-driven software development. For nearly fifteen years, he has traveled the world teaching rapid software testing skills and serving as an expert witness on court cases involving software testing. James is the author of Lessons Learned in Software Testing and Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success.

Speaker Presentations
Monday, September 28, 2015 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
Rapid Software Testing Strategy

A test strategy is the set of ideas that guides your test design. It's what explains why you test this instead of that, and why you test this way instead of that way. Strategic thinking matters because testers must make quick decisions about what needs testing right now and what can be left alone. You must be able to work through major threads without being overwhelmed by tiny details. James Bach describes how test strategy is organized around risk but is not defined before testing begins. Rather, test strategy evolves alongside testing as we learn more about the product. We start with a vague idea of our strategy, organize it quickly, and document as needed in a concise way. In the beginning, we start small. In the end, the strategy can be as formal and detailed as you want it to be. If you’d like to focus on testing and not paperwork, this approach is for you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
Rapid Software Testing: Reporting

Test reporting is something few testers take time to practice. But, it's a fundamental skill—and vital for your professional credibility and your own self-management. Many people think management judges testing by bugs found or test cases executed. Actually, testing is judged by the story it tells. If your story sounds good, you win. A test report is the story of your testing. It begins as the story we tell ourselves, each moment we are testing, about what we are doing and why. We use the test story, within our own minds, to guide our work. James Bach explores the skill of test reporting and examines some of the many different forms a test report might take. As in other areas of testing, context drives good reporting. Sometimes we make an oral report; occasionally we need to write it down. Join James for an in-depth look at the art of the reporting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 11:30am
Test Techniques
The Testopsy: Dissect Your Testing

To improve as a skilled tester, you don't necessarily have to attend a class or read a book. James and Jon Bach show how you can grow by recording and then dissecting as few as five minutes of your test process. Using a Testopsy, you build your skills of observation, narration, and test framing. And if you do it with a colleague or as a group, it stimulates discussion on test design and test strategy. James and Jon demonstrate a live Testopsy to underscore these points and give you specific guidelines for conducting your own. Testing is a performance—not an artifact. Much like a medical examiner narrates his autopsies into a tape recorder, you can look very carefully at what you actually do and identify your own heuristics. By putting that process into descriptive, evocative words, you can discover surprising depths in each act of testing you perform.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 1:30pm
Personal Excellence
The Secret Life of Testers: Where Your Time Really Goes

Testing is on the schedule. Your title is Tester. It is time to test. The team is waiting for you. Everybody thinks you spend your time testing. So, why does it seem that you spend so little time actually testing? Michael Bolton and James Bach will show you. They have developed a training and research tool to visually animate the progress of testing. Through the use of testopsies and session-based test management data, Michael and James have collected patterns of how context-driven testers use their time—from the micro to the macro level. Among their findings are that a good tester can spend a whole week in earnest work, and yet achieve only one day of actual progress toward the testing goal. Learn how you can use these patterns to make sensible estimates and set better expectations with your clients.