Friday, May 20, 2011


For those of you who have been in my tutorial Becoming an Influential Test Team Leader, you know I'm big on the topic of credibility. If people don't find you credible, they don't find your information credible either. So, credibility is huge for testers and test leaders.

Today, John Maxwell's "Leadership Word of the Day" is credibility. He has a nice one-minute video and you can also sign up to get these free at:

If you want to view my 45 minute conference presentation on credibility, you can find it here:

(When asked for a login, you can click the button that reads "login as a guest".)

I hope you listen to one or both of these and think about what it means to be credible as a person, a leader and a tester.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Ten Proven Ways to De-Motivate Your Team

Thanks everyone for your kind words about my lightning keynote today at StarEast.

Here is the complete script:

10. Set unreasonable “stretch” goals just to see how hard people will work.

It really doesn’t matter what the goals are, or what the deadlines are, just make them really hard to achieve. If you really want to wear people down, do this at least once every 3 months. Overlapping stretch goals are especially fun.

9. Never explain your rationale for decisions.

Reasons? You don’t need no stinking reasons! “Because I said so” works just fine. In fact, it’s good mental exercise for your team to try to figure out your irrational actions.

8. Assign meaningless tasks.

The most important thing about work is that people look busy at all times. Whether it’s writing a PowerPoint presentation for you to impress your boss, or just to test until 6 in the evening, make sure everyone always looks busy.

7. No matter how good something is, criticize it.

Especially the first time you review it. Get a nice, big, red marker and go crazy. Forget about the main point of the content and focus on sentence structure or specific words you don’t like (such as “the” or “that”). Before long, people will give up and stop trying to make something right the first time.

6. Take all the credit for yourself.

After all, this team is your creation, right? This is especially important to remember at bonus time. Otherwise, you may have to suffer financially. (Don’t forget to attend all senior management meetings alone.)

5. Solve problems by building a new bureaucracy.

Remember, there are no simple solutions, only simple people. You are a much more complex person than that. You can design forms, approval processes and even spreadsheets. Of course, once you implement this required bureaucracy, you need to police it some way, so you will need a special team of spies to make sure everyone follows the “new way of doing things.”

4. Listen…like a brick wall.

The trick is to make people think you are listening. So, look them right in the eye, nod approvingly, but let your mind roam. Then, you can fulfill all your ADD fantasies. NBA scores, weekend plans, lunch plans….you name it.

3. Refuse to consider ways to do the job more effectively.

Tools? We don’t need no stinking tools, either! Besides, we can’t afford all those fancy tools. Free tools? We can’t use those – we do have rules to follow, you know. Training? We had a class 5 years ago. Can’t you people remember anything? Learn at lunch? Heck no, your team is too busy working through lunch. (See point #8 – always look busy.)

2. Treat your team like they are machines that should never break down.

I mean really. Why do these people call in sick and let you down when you least expect it. Who’s going to write your status report? And don’t even get me started about bathroom breaks!!

1. Never, ever, in any circumstance, give anyone praise or recognition.

Otherwise, people would start to feel hope and happiness, like when we saw all the teenagers leaving for home today. Remember, if you never praise anyone, you don’t have to insult them, just ignore them. Eventually they will leave and you can hire someone else to de-motivate.

Monday, May 02, 2011

StarEast 2011 - Free and Cheap Test Tools

Thanks to everyone who attended my half-day tutorial today! Here are the tools that were mentioned by people in the session, plus a few more from me:

Axiom - Requirements Management tool -

Dia (Visio alternative, helpful for drawing process flow diagrams, etc for test planning) -

Gliffy (a web-based diagramming tool)

Shapes - Shapes is a simple, elegant Diagramming app for Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

FreeMind (Mindmapping, useful for test design) - - Test case management

Sikuli - Sikuli is a visual technology to automate and test graphical user interfaces (GUI) using images (screenshots) -

IcuTest - GUI Unit Testing for WPF -

Selenium Grid - Selenium Grid transparently distribute your tests on multiple machines so that you can run your tests in parallel, cutting down the time required for running in-browser test suites.

eggPlant - Image based test automation -

TestRail - Test Management -

InCtrl - By monitoring the changes made to your system when you install new software it enables you to troubleshoot any unexpected problems that come up.,2817,25126,00.asp

Paloma Print Perfect - STREAMDiff - Comparison of PDF docs -

Skitch - Screen capture, crop, resize, sketch (Mac) -

TimeSnapper - Take screenshots automatically in background as you test -

VM Ware and MS Visual Studio 2011 Test have record features.

Snagit - Screen capture -

BrowserMob - Cloud-based performance testing and monitoring -

WebTrends - web monitoring and analytics - - allows individuals to post short, frequent updates that are tracked or "followed" by others. Unlike Twitter, provides a secure and private way to share updates among members of a company, without them being visible to the outside world.

Sharepoint -

Skype -

Fluid - lets you create a Real Mac App (or "Fluid App") out of any website or web application, effectively turning your favorite web apps into OS X desktop apps.

Fake - Fake is a new browser for Mac OS X that makes web automation simple. Fake allows you to drag discrete browser Actions into a graphical Workflow that can be run again and again without human interaction. The Fake Workflows you create can be saved, reopened, and shared.

TeamViewer - You can remote control your partner's PC as if you were sitting right in front of it. - Remote PC access. Free for up to 2 computers. - Screen sharing

IE Tester - IETester is a free WebBrowser that allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE10 preview, IE9, IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.

Thanks for all your input!