Testing is not just a mechanical thing, testing is an intellectual thing: Dorothy Graham


Posted On: June 29, 2022

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Team LambdaTest invited Dorothy Graham, the popular speaker and founding member of the ISEB Software Testing Board, to our booth during the EuroSTAR ‘22 event in Copenhagen. Sripriya Kalyanasundaram, Global Partner Enablement Leader & President-LambdaTest, had a quick interview with the legend to know her thoughts on becoming a testing leader, EuroSTAR, the future of testing, and everything in between.

Here’s the edited transcript of the interview and the full-length video. Read on!

Priya: Good morning and good evening testers around the world! We have a special person— Dorothy Graham from the UK, who is an icon for testers across the world. You have created this industry for us, you have laid the road. How did you transform from a tester to a leader? What is the art?

Dorothy– I am a bit mystified by it all myself. It is hard to say how I did it. I always like to say that somebody up there planned my career a lot better than I did. I’ve always tried to help people. I was put into a testing group by accident. It got me interested in testing. My job was to write tools to help run tests. I got into test automation too by accident. Then in my next job as a programmer, I was interested in doing testing. When I became independent, I did more training and speaking at conferences and seminars. It was also a way to get more business for the training company. If I spoke at a conference, I would get more people into training. It was like marketing. But also, we did a lot of work.. voluntary, to help produce the syllabus for the foundation level. We worked on producing a standard back in the days when it was not popular. I’ve basically tried to help people in software testing by doing what I could. The books came about because we thought it was a good idea.

Priya– It was your vision, this is the 30th year. I was listening to your keynote, the way you started, in the non-digital era with posters, with no websites to now a complete area of testing tool vendors. It was a vision you had. How did this happen?

Dorothy– You give me far too much credit for my part in this. I was happy to be the program chair for the first year or so because it was organized by the special interest group in testing which I was a member of. I was looking for speakers. It just grew. It is amazing how EuroSTAR has grown from the very first one. We considered ourselves fortunate to have 300 people attending this one here which has over 1200 people attending and has a huge exhibition. All of these are amazing tools.

Priya– Where does testing as a function move from here and where do you see EuroSTAR going?

Dorothy– I certainly hope EuroSTAR continues and continues every year. It is interesting how we do it in summers rather than winters now.

Testing is going to change because technologies are changing. The things coming up now are artificial intelligence and machine learning. These will have a lot of challenges for testers. If the machine is learning, how do you know if it has got the right answer when you ask a question. If it has learned something, it might have a different answer later on. How do you test it? I don’t know the answer. There are amazing challenges. Tools can help with mundane work of testing, it has to be done, and anything that is boring to do, it is good to go get a tool to do, but that doesn’t replace people. People will always be needed to do testing. Testing is not just a mechanical thing, testing is an intellectual thing, no matter how good the systems we are testing. You still need people to interact with them.

Priya– Thank you, Dorothy! Hope to see you next year.

Dorothy-Thank you for the interview!

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