StarEast, lesson learned

I recently returned from attending my second Software Testing Analysis & Review (STAR) conference and decided a good way to christen my blog is with the lesson I learned. This lesson – post-mortems (retrospectives) are a great idea implemented way too late in the project. Typically after a project is finished, it’s too late to do anything to help the project, so why do we wait until the end? Ideally a post-mortem serves to improve the next project, but it makes more sense to work on improving the current project.

During one of the track sessions this topic was discussed and the speaker’s presentation was on implementing these post-mortem type meetings throughout the life-cycle of the project. The objective is basically the same as holding a post-mortem at the end of the project, but the team would try to make adjustments while the project is still going on. This is beneficial because it allows the team to get a handle on trouble spots before they become major problems, as well as allowing the team to identify areas that are working well earlier on so the whole team can take advantage of them. Of course this would not work well for short projects, but if you are working on a project spanning several months or with multiple defined phases, it could fit in nicely.

Ok, so I learned more than just one thing, but this idea satisfied my “eureka” requirement. I picked up on a lot of other good pointers and ideas to help me with my day-to-day task of testing software developer components and would recommend the conference to anyone who is serious about testing and quality assurance. Even though the conference is geared more towards QA/Testing teams for applications and web projects there is still a lot of good, gleaming, information to be had by testing teams that work with components.

Making Contact

The primary focus of Test Bed is on testing software components. I have been working as a tester and QA manager for a component vendor for about three years and have had a difficult time finding good information that relates specifically to this realm of testing. My goal is to share some of the successes and failures I have encounter, and hopefully get some feedback from others testing in the same industry.