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A Test Celebrity Worth Seeing And Reading!

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If you keep up with my testing rants and raves you know I have little, if any, respect for most of the “Test Celebrities” currently on the book and lecture circuit.  There are a handful that I thoroughly despise.  They’re arrogant, conceited, self-centered, and other adjectives as well!  I’ve met some of them, not all.  I’ve also listened to their presentations – when I could stay awake.  Most have a “My Way Or The Highway” mentality.  You must do as they say or you will be the subject of public ridicule.  I personally experienced it when I dared to question one – politely.   How dare we question them?  Afterall – they wrote a book!  I’m just some no name tester.  They ganged up on me like a pack of starving wolves.  One in particular was especially nasty.  I once witnessed three of them gang up on a conference speaker that they disagreed with.  In the middle of the presentation!

But, I’m happy to say there are a small handful of test celebrities worth listening to and worth reading.  I like them for three reasons.  First, they know what they are talking about and communicate it very well.  Second, they are personable and pleasant to chat with.  Even when they disagree with you, they are respectful.  Lastly, and most importantly, the other group despises them.  For me, that alone is reason enough!   James Whittaker makes that short list.

If you ever get a chance to listen to James Whittaker – take it!  Trust me, not only will you learn something, he is a pleasure to listen to.  I recommend you read all of his books but especially his latest one “Exploratory Testing.”  As far as I’m concerned its pure genius!

Bottom line – James just gets it!



  1. Anonymous Coward says:

    Would love to see more people stand up against the conceit and superiority that drives the ego-driven world of context-driven testing.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. I agree that James Whittaker seems like a nice guy. And listening to his Webinars, and reading his blog postings has been fun.

    But his “Exploratory Software Testing” book? I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree here. I thought it was his weakest book by far.


    • Cap'n Dave says:

      Thanks for the input Joe! It always good to hear from you.

      I think “Exploratory Testing” is a great book for the novice tester. It may not be for us old guys…ok me. My recommendation would be to read this one first and then the “How to Break…” books. I even learned a thing or two!

      This one is head and shoulders above any of the other test books I’ve seen on the market. Especially those written by the “4 Testers of the Apocalypse.” It’s not self-serving, boring as hell, crap that the others tend to spew. Its a good read.

      Just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

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