Track 2 – The (S)Heroic Tester’s Journey – Storytelling in Software Testing

Human beings are natural storytellers. As a survival strategy, evolution enabled us to learn and grow from stories (“Don’t eat the red berries!”). The world is full of stories, and they affect our behavior significantly every day – for the better or the worse.

As in all areas of life, in software development decisions are often made based on intuition rather than careful evaluation. In addition, erroneous interpretation of statements due to miscommunication is common. Storytelling can be used as a tool of communicating findings in software testing, e.g. by indicating the (s)hero’s (aka user’s or tester’s) journey, understanding their pain points, and improve decision making.

From my background as a fantasy and science fiction author as well as a game designer combined with my job as software tester, I want to help improving our testing by using storytelling techniques.

In this workshop, we will learn how stories affect the human brain; what the monomythical hero’s journey means for our day-to-day jobs as software testers; and how storytelling can improve testing, reporting, as well as application and user understanding. In addition, we experience how the fundamental concept of hook, hold and reward can help us becoming a better software tester. We will discuss how we can use ensemble-driven stories to our benefit and how it could improve teamwork and empathy for the user.

Key Takeaways

  • We are natural born storytellers
  • Learn about storytelling techniques
  • We can use storytelling in software testing
  • Understand your team, the product, the user