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99 Seconds at Test Bash 2.0

In March 2013 I attended the Test Bash 2.0 and contributed a 99 second talk. The Test Bash details are available at Test Bash 2.0. The talk I prepared is here Test Bash 2.0. Embedded within this video is the actual 99 second talk that I gave on Vimeo.

99 Seconds at Test Bash 2.0 Thumb Image

Actual Talk Description

I’ve said in various talks that I don’t enjoy creating, justifying, or applying, definitions.

I think creating your own definition does work well as an exercise, because you can explore your vocabulary and try and create an encompassing statement of intent to cover what you mean when you use a word. And there exist, people who do the ‘definition’ thing really well. James Bach and Michael Bolton act as exemplars of this approach and freely share, discuss and debate their definitions via blogs and twitter.

I do not appear to fit into that group, my definitions do not work well, and when I adopt a definition it feels stifling. I find that my definitions change, not because I have changed, or the situation changed, but because I created a definition that didn’t encompass everything I needed it to cover.

Fortunately, for me, I found an exercise that words better for me. Using words as symbols, and identifying words that apply to the concept or term I want to explore. These words might act as attributes, or characteristics, or high level abstractions, or symbols.

When used as symbols we deliberately read into them. We deliberately don’t try and tie them down. We deliberately explore them from different angles and take from them what we need at the time. The symbol doesn’t have a definition. You find and explore the relationship between yourself and the word, at the time and place you find yourself now.

I phrase it slightly differently in the 99 second talk. Different medium. Different message.

Actual Talk

I went to the TestBash with a different talk prepared, but it didn’t feel right for the TestBash so I created something else when I was there. As a result I forgot 1/4 of it, so I only hit about 70 seconds.

I don’t think anyone noticed, but I’ll link to the recorded video should it ever find its way online. (The actual video is contained within this vimeo about 4 minutes in).

So that I have a record of what I meant to say. I recorded the 99 Second talk at home.

The basic theme revolved around the same concepts as the talk I didn’t do. About ownership of the words that we use to describe testing. Something that I’ve talked about and blogged about before. But I say it again because I think the testing world will transform into something more effective when we take responsibility for the words we use and the testing we do.

This talk above came out different from the talk at the Test Bash, which came out different from the one in my head. Because despite having some notes on what I meant to say. I reinterpreted those notes differently each time.

Mindmap plan of the talk


Alternative Talk

I prepared a 99 second talk in advance of TestBash 2.0 but in the end the talk didn’t feel right on the day. Since I prepared the talk in advance I have a recorded practice session, which I release below.

Next Steps:

  • Create your own definitions - see if that works for you, see how you feel about it
  • Identify some symbols, explore them - see if that works for you, see how you feel about it

Mindmap used to plan the talk

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