Where are the Developer Testers and Tester Developers…

Jason Huggins has very kindly pointed me to two more places where Developer-Testers/Tester-Developers (DT/TD) hang out. Interestingly, both were in London.

  • Google hosted LTAC (the London Test Automation Conference) in September 2006. Antony Marcano mentioned LTAC on his blog. And the LTAC talks are available on Google Videos. And there’s a mail list.
  • ThoughtWorks sponsored CITCON (the Continuous Integration and Testing Conference), in Chicago and also in London. I had trouble finding online content relating to the conference. The citconf.com site points back to the thoughtworks.com main site, and most of the blog entries I found said, “looks like it will be fun, I’m going/I might go/you should go.” But no one I found said, “I went, it was great, and here’s what happened…” I found pictures though. And there’s a mail list.

(What makes London the hotbed of DT/TD activity? Hmmm.)


Chris McMahon and I have been talking about pulling together a small peer conference in the SF Bay Area. And the more we talked, the more excited we got about it. So today we said: “let’s just do it and see what happens.” And we set a date. So…without further ado…I’m pleased to announce…

Bay Area Developer-Tester/Tester-Developer (DT/TD) Summit
Saturday, February 24
A peer-driven gathering of developer-testers and tester-developers to share knowledge and code.

Location: SF Bay Area, exact location TBD. If you have space you’re willing (and authorized) to lend us, we’d like to talk to you.

This is a small, peer-driven, non-commercial, invitation-only conference in the tradition of LAWST, AWTA, and the like. The content comes from the participants, and we expect all participants to take an active role. We’re seeking participants who are testers who code, or developers who test.

Our emphasis will be on good coding practices for testing, and good testing practices for automation. That might include topics like: test code and patterns; refactoring test code; creating abstract layers; programmatically analyzing/verifying large amounts of data; achieving repeatability with random tests; OO model-based tests; and/or automatically generating large amounts of test data.

These are just possible topics we might explore. The actual topics will depend on who comes and what experience reports/code they’re willing to share.

If we can get donated space, the cost to participate will be $0. If we can’t get donated space the cost will be a nominal fee (~$50) intended to help us defray expenses.

Participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

Proposed Agenda:

  • Timeboxed group discussions: “Essential attributes of a tester-developer and developer-tester (differences and similarities)” and “What tester-developers want to learn from developers; what developer-testers want to learn from testers.”
  • Code Examples/Experience Reports (we figure we have time for 3 of these)
  • End of day discussion: Raising visibility for the role of a DT/TD, building community among practitioners

If you’re interested in participating, send me an email answering these questions:

  • Which are you: a tester who codes or a developer who tests?
  • How did you come to have that role?
  • What languages do you usually program tests in?
  • What do you hope to contribute to the Bay Area DT/TD summit? Do you have any code or examples that you’d like to share? (Please note that you should not share anything covered by a non-disclosure agreement.)
  • What do you hope to get out of the Bay Area DT/TD summit?

My own goals with doing this are:

  • Learn from others better ways of programming automated tests
  • Meet others in the DT/TD role
  • Build community


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4 Responses to Where are the Developer Testers and Tester Developers…

  1. Jeffrey Fredrick January 31, 2007 at 2:06 pm #

    Bad timing! The CITCON website was moving to a new host and is back up: http://www.citconf.com/ We haven’t quite moved wiki data over but we’re working on it…

    Next CITCON is planned for Texas in April with Europe and Australia planned for later in the year.

  2. Jay January 31, 2007 at 7:33 pm #

    Awesome. I’ll be there! So I’ve got the when, how about the where (directions and map)?

  3. Simon Mills FRSA February 1, 2007 at 3:39 pm #

    Having worked in the field of automated testing for many years, I am interested in the notion of developer/testers and vice versa.

    The moment you forget the need for a tester and a developer to flex their very different approaches to their work, you enter very risky territory.

    Discuss . . . . . .

  4. Elisabeth Hendrickson February 5, 2007 at 10:37 am #

    For those of you who are interested in the summit, I thought I’d provide an update.

    Plans are humming along and the response to this event has been incredible. At this point, we’re technically full. We’re working with the folks who have generously donated space to see if we can impose even more on their generosity and expand the size of the gathering.

    If you’re waiting to hear from us, chances are you are in our queue, but we don’t yet know if we can invite anyone else. If you’re concerned about the silence, shoot me another email.

    However, if you were holding off on submitting your request for an invitation, you should submit your request now (see above for instructions).

    Given the current response rate, even if our generous hosts are able to accommodate more people, I expect we’ll have to resort to a waiting list by the end of this week.