Please sign the Petition to Stop ISO 29119

I signed the Petition to Stop ISO 29119 and I think so should you too. Here’s how: sign this petition!

I don’t typically get involved in overly political movements, typically because I don’t feel I have enough information to make an educated or defensible position. I think software engineering standards (including ISO 29119) are one of those overly political movements that aren’t designed to benefit the majority of the community nor do they have practitioners in mind (part of the challenge in trying to create a standard I’m sure).

There are a few reasons why I’m worried about this standard:

  • Closed standards seem to be anti-thesis of the modern software age where open-source standards, software and collaboration are the keys to success. Plus it makes the organization seem a bit shady.
  • It’s anti-agility. Burdensome test processes, documentation, etc. over the skills and experience of the people applying them directly reject the philosophy of the Agile Manifesto.
  • There are legitimate disagreements within the software testing community on fundamental things such as terminology, let alone basic processes. In the last 15+ years as an industry we’ve started to develop a path towards understanding these disagreements but I highly doubt this “standard” has solved or even attempted to understand and settle those differences.

James Bach says “[a] standard for testing would have to reflect the values and practices of the world community of testers. Yet, the concerns of the Context-Driven School of thought, which has been in development for at least 15 years have been ignored and our values shredded by this so-called standard and the process used to create it. They have done this by excluding us.” (ref 1) (emphasis is my own)

  • As Cem Kaner said “Standards are political documents and sometimes legal ones. The existence of a standard makes it easier for a court (or a regulator) to rule that the standard-approved approach is the professionally correct one, and the non-approved approaches (or the ones that conflict with the approved one) are professionally incorrect and therefore improper. The imposition of a standard that imposes practices and views on a community that would not otherwise agree to them, is a political power play.” (ref 2) (emphasis is my own)

In the end I’m not sure how much effect signing this petition will have on it’s outcome, impact or acceptance but I am concerned enough to make a stance. I would rather say I protested it than accept it in silence.

I signed the Petition to Stop ISO 29119 and I think so should you too.  Go to iPetitions to sign.

References:

  1. James Bach’s post
  2. Cem Kaner’s post via Context Driven Testing

Getting better at Domain Testing

In late January of 2014, after the Workshop on Teaching Software Testing (WTST) at Florida Institute of Technology, Dr. Cem Kaner and Dr. Rebecca Fiedler put together a 5-day pilot course to beta test a new Black Box Software Testing (BBST) course called Domain Testing. I was one of ten participants to try it out.

Then they announced a follow up / pilot class for BBST Domain Testing that would be online. I applied to be part of the class and was accepted. This was like an expanded version of the pilot course (less intense than 5 full days) but more similar to what you might expect from a BBST courses. The course focused from Day One on diving deeper into the test technique Domain Testing and working through various aspects of the Domain Testing schema until we got to a final / capstone project where we put everything together.

I’m happy to share that I’ve officially completed the course!