Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Software Artists: Explanation

I wrote a paper some time ago to submit to the Conference of the Association for Software Testing, but the paper was not accepted for the program. I'm on the waiting list if another presenter drops out, which seems unlikely at this point.

I think it is likely that my paper was not accepted at CAST was because it is somewhat similar to a presentation from Jonathan Kohl and Michael Bolton, two of the best testers in the universe. I intend to publish my paper here on my blog in the hopes that Jonathan and Michael and other Software Artists will have access to as much relevant information as possible to support their position.

I think that one enormous reason that few people take software-as-artistic-practice seriously is because of a perceived lack of practical application: manufacturing and engineering provide venerable examples of measurement tools, education curricula, and market strategy-- assuming that you believe that software is an engineered and manufactured product. Those of us who believe that software is an artistic process have failed to provide compelling alternatives to the tools provided by engineering and manufacturing.

I set out to start to remedy that situation with this paper.

It is a long piece, so I'll publish it in several sections in the coming days, as I have time to get it right and looking good. I have extensive references also. My plan is to publish references as separate blog posts after each section, so that people who don't care can skip them and people who do care can relate them to recent posts.


Scott Barber said...


You could publish the paper in print form via the AST Newsletter if you'd like. Let me know and I'll get you the details.



Scott Barber
President & CTO, PerfTestPlus, Inc.
Executive Director, AST
Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications

"If you can see it in your mind...
you will find it in your life."

JonathanKohl said...

I don't know about CAST procedures, but I'm glad you are pursuing the paper. Michael and I are expanding on the ideas I expressed here: Exploratory Testing: Finding the Music of Software Investigation
Michael and I are drawing lessons from music and applying them to testing. I know you are looking at creating a school of thought around software artistry, so while the topics are similar, and compatible they are different.

Yours is a bigger picture view, and a systematic one, while Michael and I are learning more about testing by applying what we've learned from music. Our presentation ideas would probably fit within your system view.

If you're coming to CAST, we could sure use the help of a tester musician of your caliber. :)


Shrini Kulkarni said...

Hi Chris ...

I have circulated these posts of yours to many of colleagues... I work for a IT services company in india as a Test consultant ...

In IT - software people (especially testers) are treated like low skilled labour ... they are ill treated even compared to thoese manufacturing industry ...

Your paper and blog posts need to reverberate and should get printed and heard in all communication channels in India. This would spread awareness in india about state of Software people ...


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