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SauceCon 2020 - Automating Tactically and Strategically

Automating Tactically and Strategically a talk about a high level distinction that makes a difference.

The full version of this talk is available in Evil Tester Talks

SauceCon 2020 - Automating Tactically and Strategically Thumb Image

Live Recording with Q&A

SauceCon 2020

SauceCon 202 was moved online as a free conference.

Title: Automating Tactically and Strategically

One of the biggest concepts that has made a difference to my programming and automating is the concept of “Tactical Vs Strategic”. Tactical being for a specific purpose, possibly a bit rough around the edges, not necessarily completely robust for everyone, etc.. And Strategic being critical to long term aims, maintained and maintainable, etc. In this talk I will provide examples of both strategic and tactical automating for activities as diverse as supporting testing, marketing and general life. We will also consider how and when to move from automating tactically to strategically. And how the concept has helped me change my programming style and how I write code.


A replay of the full live session, is available on YouTube.

A live recording is also included in Evil Tester Talks which has been edited for audio and easier replay, and the headshot video in Evil Tester Talks recording is larger. higher resolution because it was recorded locally through a camera rather than the conference system.

The Evil Tester Talks release also has over an hour of extra content covering the topic in more detail.

Preview of Evil Tester Talks Live Version

The preview video below has been edited from the local recording of the live version.

The full version, with an hour of extra video is available on Evil Tester Talks.

Evil Tester Talks

I had to edit my material down for the talk so I created an extra hour of video which I added to the content in Evil Tester Talks

The Evil Tester Talks release has the following extras and bonuses:

  • Extra 001 - Agile is Not Always Strategic
  • Extra 002 - Sub-optimisation
  • Extra 003 - Impact On Work
  • Extra 004 - Problem Solving
  • Extra 005 - Automating
  • Extra 006 - Goal Based Planning
  • Extra 007 - Tactical vs Strategic
  • Extra 008 - Tactical to Strategic

The Evil Tester Talks version has the bonus of practice session, transcript for all videos, slides for the full videos and the live video and close captions to help you with my accent.

  • Bonus 001 - Practice session recording
  • Bonus 002 - Slides for talk and all the extra videos
  • Bonus 003 - Transcript for all videos
  • Bonus 004 - Closed Captions on all videos

Notes - SauceCon 2020

SauceCon 2020 moved online this year, so all the talks are available as on-demand replays.

I took my advice from my blog post Tips for online presenting when preparing for this talk, and that worked out well for me.

  • I kept it simple

No animation, simple slides.

This was useful because we changed delivery platforms a few times during the preparation so I didn’t build anything platform specific.

In fact, a few days before I presented. DeckSet added a new feature to allow sharing a ‘window’ in presentation mode, specifically to support online conferencing. And this made presenting much easier as I was able to share the slides from a window on screen and have all my other windows open at the same time.

  • Best Audio You Can Get

I used my newest microphone, a Rode Procaster, and the sound was much better than my headset mic.

As a safety net, I also had my ipod, attached to a Joby Gorilla Stand, balanced on my monitor, to record the ‘web cam’ view, separate from the stream, with an iRig Lavalier mic. As Backup.

And I merged this ipod video with my separate livestream recording to create a ’live’ recording with a larger speaker view.

Automating Tactically vs Strategically

I was talking about a ‘distinction’ that I use to help me evaluate my processes.

Is it ’tactical’? In which case I have more flexibility in how I pursue it, with fewer expectations of long term maintenance.

Or is it ‘strategic’? In which case there are more expectations about standards and approach, and more expectations around making time to ‘do it’.

I discuss this distinction in the talk in relation to Automating, and in terms of process and context like Agile.

[List of Conference Talks]

This talk is also available,
with bonuses (e.g. transcript, extra videos,
exercises and resources),
in Evil Tester Talks: Technical Testing.