CEWT #4 will be on 11th June 2017 at Roku and the topic is Test Managers, Can't Live With 'Em ...
We're all managers, managed, or both so we've all got experience of people who manage testing work: test managers. But what do these people do? What value do they bring? Who are they for? Some companies are disbanding their test teams and replacing test managers with test or quality coaches. Are test managers an endangered species?
In CEWT #4 we'll be considering test managers and test management and the relationship of testers to both of them. We want to surface ideas and perspectives on those ideas and then explore both in search of insight. We want to propose hypotheses and then challenge them, and try to expose the evidence and assumptions that motivated them. We want to report experiences and then understand them and the conclusions that have been drawn from them. And we want to do these things in a relaxed, friendly, safe, collaborative, supportive, and positive environment.
As usual with us, the topic is a jumping-off point and so here's a few questions to help to get you started: Is test management primarily a management role, that could be done well by any competent manager? Or is it a specialist position that requires experience of software testing? Does that sound wise? What makes a good test manager? Who was the best test manager you ever had? Why? Who wasn't? Why not? What does your test manager do for you that you couldn't live without? And what would you rather they never did again?
If you're a test manager, when did you last test something? How deeply were you able to test it? Are you OK with that? Can you apply your testing skills to management? With what compromises? Are you afraid for your job? Or aspects of your job? Is test management actually a role rather than a position? Would your thoughts on test management differ if you considered line management and project management independently? How?
And here's the abstracts:
Why be a test manager?
In my talk I will be sharing my experiences of previous test managers (good and bad) and being a test manager (bad). I have about 16 years experience in testing and still want/need a test manager. I'm so very strong in my views that I'll never be a test manager again that I've even left jobs when "force promoted" into that role. I'm looking forward to the discussions this subject brings to figure out if my views are simply outdated or whether my special brand of crazy is justified.
Test Manager - which hat to wear and when?
It has become common to have embedded testers in cross-functional agile teams. I have seen that testers in such teams are more involved with the team members rather than with a Test Manager with respect to
planning, discussing task estimates and communicating progress
discussing strategies about what is needed/not needed for testing
decision making about when a task is complete
As a tester and a Scrum master in an Agile team, I will talk about how I see the role of a Test Manager fits into this model.
The awkward relationship between testers and non technical managers
I have had 7 years now working as a tester and this is a case study of the 9 managers I have had in that period of time. I will look at answering the question "do you have to be a good tester to make a good test manager?". And I will consider why some companies have a culture of hiring technical people for technical manager roles and others don't.
One Year, Two Testers, One Report
Aleksandar Simic and James Thomas
Our talk is an experience report - a two-experience report, or perhaps a shared experience report - about aspects of the relationship between a tester and a test manager in the first 12 months of working together. We'll take several milestones from that year and talk about what we were thinking, hearing, and attempting at each point, and look for commonality, discrepancy, and trends across the year through the prism of one of many communication channels.
Who needs testers anyway?
Test Managers, and to an extent testers, can be at the sharp end of any company restructure, redundancies, or practices.
In this thought experiment, I'm going to challenge myself, and my biases, to see what a world without testers would look like at my company and how we might even get to that point.
Join me for this journey while I attempt to make my job title redundant!