NOV. 3 – 8, 2019


Autism and the Future of Testing

I will challenge assumptions about the nature of autism as well as the nature of testing.

We hear that autistic people are good at testing. Does that mean testing is all that autistic people can do? Does it mean that, if you’re good at testing, you must be autistic? At the same time, we hear that dedicated testing roles are an anti-pattern: testing should be part of development, developers should write their own tests; all tests should be automated; separating development from QA degrades quality, etc. If what makes autistic people good at testing is their willingness to engage in repetitive manual tasks, do they have a future as testers? For that matter, do testers have a future, whether we’re autistic or not?


In this talk, I will draw on my personal experience as an autistic person who has built systems and led organizations across development, QA, and operations. I will challenge assumptions about the nature of autism and the nature of testing, and present a broader understanding of both. In the process I will provide a framework for championing and implementing testing as a first-class activity in the new world of Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Delivery.

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