Experimentation and Diagnosis - 17 May 2008

I expect to be running a full-day course in Experimentation and Diagnosis on May 17th, before LEWT on May 18th. This will be a cost-sharing course - we'll share the cost of the room and the food. We're in the same room as LEWT on the Sunday, and I expect costs to be arond 15 a head. If you'd like to be invited, please send me an email or call me, letting me know why you'd like to come. There will be some restrictions - for instance, I don't expect to have more than one person from any single organisation, and I expect that I won't have more than 12 people.

Course description

Good testers need to be able to go beyond simply logging a problem. To give value to their stakeholders and integrate with their development teams, testers need to be able to investigate the problems that they find. Diagnostic skills will help a tester to isolate genuine problems from a rash of symptoms, to work out what lies behind field reports, and to communicate her bugs effectively by describing plausible models.

Good test design shares many of the same characteristics as good experimental design. This one-day workshop draws on the principles of scientific experimentation and applies them to software testing. In this hands-on workshop, we design and execute a variety of test suites to explore and illustrate typical methods.

We will use a succession of practical exercises based on real problems including truncation, bottlenecks, boundaries and emergent behaviours. Participants will select test conditions to isolate and emphasise a bug, analyse data to reveal connections and populations, and work with logs and events to arrive at sequences that reveal potential cause and effect. At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to design better tests, and will have an improved understanding of the techniques and principles of diagnosis that can be applied to issues found in their own systems.

Please note: participants who bring laptops will get the most out of this session.


To reserve your space now, contact James or call on Skype.

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