Are Your Tests Really Helping?


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Thank you.

Informative talk!

Some interesting points raised. Didn't agree with everything (I really prefer using private methods in tests where I would otherwise have to copy and paste the same code over and over) but overall fine.

Well presented, entertaining and insightful. Great to see other people have the same frustrations as myself with the same stuff.

Liked the talk but would have preferred to perhaps see an introduction at the start of the talk to say what we were about to see/hear. Speaker just jumped straight in to the topic.

Felt some of the anecdotes were slightly too personal and went into too much detail.

Would the talk have been better titled "Testing Smells" ?

Overall - great. i liked it. I was interesting and I definitely have seen some of this issues before so nice to know Im not the only one.

Thank you :)

I didn't like this talk as much as others seem to do because of the way of speaking. She puts a lot of emphasis on certain words or uses a high pitch voice. I coudn't hear when something was important due to this. It'd be helpful if she thinks about how not-native speakers perceive the talk in terms of speed, use of sayings and slang. Just my two cents, sorry for being critical, but I'm sure it has something to do with language.

Anonymous at 15:57 on 9 Oct 2011

While the speaker seemed very bright and knowledgeable, her presentation style could've been improved:

* Introduction about her and her past (only mentioned she worked at Google half way through)
* Assumption of knowledge about object oriented design. Would've been nice if she gave a quick definition before using a technical term (protected variables, coupling, cohesion etc).
* Live code examples would've been good or even live demos

Particularly enjoyed this as it was not the usual testing message, this was best practices on high profile site with significant legacy code. Came away with a lot of good concrete points that I can immediately put into practice. Agree with some of the feedback above, a little more context about the speaker's background and motivations would have improved things.

Fantastic speaker, really relaxed and confident. Enjoyable talk with a light-hearted attitude to dealing with significant potential problems with developing with a team. Loved the "Don't do that" statements.

I enjoyed the first half, but the second half too me felt too up close and personal, and should have been (and probably was) a rant to her dev team, instead of to a hall filled with people unrelated to her dev team.
Even though she had some good points, I think they would be better delivered if presented in a more positive way, instead of the obvious negative personal frustration. I get that the talk is about what not to do, but that doesn't mean it has to be completely delivered that way.

For me Laura presentation was the most valuable talk I've seen at the whole conference.

Her points about test motivation started the presentation of nicely and then I got to hear a convincing story about field experience that one doesn't get by reading books and blogs.

Presenting hard facts that could have been easily looked up in book is way less interesting than what Laura told me in that talk.

Her PHPUnit phpcs standard and especially her explaining the reasoning behind every sniff is something that will help me immensely in my next projects. Thank you very much for sharing that!

Now this was a useful talk. Real world feedback of what does and doesn't work, complete with fairly stern "don't do it like that!' warnings. Laura is a *good* speaker.

Agree with some of the comments above, it did in bits sound like a rant at a dev team, but Laura obviously was tasked with sorting out years of bad practice in terms of testing so its probably hard not to rant, and in places it was a little distracting but the points were all valid and overall the message was received. Look forward to going back over the slides and revisiting.

A talk driven from the nitty gritty of what really matters. Refreshing take on testing. Boldly presented at times.

I really enjoyed LB's talk. It was funny, clever, detailed and informative. I took away several good action points to take up with my team at home, and genuinely learnt stuff (which I hadn't expected to on a talk on testing). The way she covered the topics was superb, treating the audience as experienced developers who could do with tidying up their testing practices.

Unlike other commenters I felt it was passionate rather than ranty - and well pitched for the intended audience.

This was a contender for my favourite talk of the weekend, especially the bit about why you're writing tests.

I can't comment on the difficulties for non-natives to follow the talk, but I was rather pleased that this was pitched at people who know how to write code - padding it out with hand-holding for people who aren't familiar with OOP would have detracted from the content. Opening with an overview or background on the speaker is unnecessary in my opinion - the talk was able to speak for itself in terms of quality and accuracy of content. Any decent developer watching should be able to see what the advice being given is good advice.

The speaker's passion and knowledge shone through and made this a very useful talk about how implement testing practically rather than completely, and a reminder that it's not necessary to automate the developer out of the testing process.

"Keyboard, Mouse and You"

A very good perspective why you test and how you should test. Although ideas on things like copy/paste conflict with mine, and paranoia is in some cases a good attitude, I still found this talk informative and good entertainment.

Job well done

Great presentation. I'm fairly new to the topic and this talk was very delightful.
Learned what and why you should test.
Some of the products you were speaking of i had not heard about before (forgot to write them down, sorry). I would've appreciated a short summary before discussing a certain product.

Good session, with a lot of passion. Sometimes almost a bit too much for me as I was quite tired at the moment (little sleep last days and almost at the end of day). However, I usually have difficulties to stay focused during sessions (always been so, since first day att school..), so the fact that I managed to stay pretty focused during entire session should be considered as a great plus.

That was black horse of the conference. Really good talk with a lot of real life examples. In places Laura let her feeling get out too much, although I can understand that as It happens to me too. A better introduction would be great too - will give other the much needed context of what Laura does in her day to day job and what experience does she have. Great topic, well delivered! I am in fact thinking about using it as a base for training material for developers with little or no experience in software testing.

I found the first half of the talk great. I found the latter half to be a bit of a rant and at some points I felt quite insulted by some of the comments the speaker made, despite having no relation to her.

Generally, I came out of it feeling like I'd just had a bollocking, despite doing nothing wrong.

Some good observations, however.

This presentation actually put a little downer on the whole conference. Putting on voices making it sound like developers in her team were pathetic for not understanding the "obvious" just made me question whether I would ever want to work for someone like that and whether high level tech companies employ project leads who talk about their dev teams like that outside of the business.

I found it less informative than others because after around 30mins I was lost with the concepts they were talking about. It was really nitty gritty test theory (perhaps the clue was in the title) and this required a high level intricate knowledge of the semantics of test suites and practices.

If the deliverly was less ranty then no matter the content or feeling it wasn't for me it would have made it more enjoyable as a talk.

Anonymous at 19:09 on 19 Oct 2011

Did not like it for the already mentioned reasons
- missing intro
- slides: only lists of points, and up to 5 minutes speaking for one line
- personal anecdotes rather than objective opinions with pro/cons
- the whole presentation sounded to me more like a pub conversation about the errors made by a team

I personally lost interest after 10 mins, also because of the tone of the voice.

Some points were good in the content, some of them very obvious even for beginners, and other not fully explained as no example were given.