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The history of testing and why its important as it feeds our future

Leigh Rathbone

I’m taking you all back to 1998, some 26 years ago. This journey will take the audience through the decades to the present day, and then beyond. Looking at key events, trends, and mindsets throughout that timeline, right to the present day, and glimpse into the future.

What systems traditionally looked like back then, what finding a testing job looked like in 1998, relationships between testers and other crafts. What did the tech industry look and feel like back then

I’ll tackle head on the changes I saw and experienced. How I used pairing in 1999, and throughout this journey through time. The challenges agile brought and the huge pivot it created. My first experience of automation back in 2000 and the whole storytelling aspect of this talk will move through time with all these topics and show how they morphed, changed, and impacted testers lives

We’ll look at the impact MMS had on the world, yes, you’ve read that right, MMS. Then we’ll keep progressing, looking at the huge disrupting tech milestones, as well as the disrupting testing specific events and changes, and when they took place, and why, the impacts they had on the tech industry and testers. I’ll also briefly touch on why people are caring less and less around Agile, and my history lessons will show why

There will be other topics covered as we progress through the decades to present day. How the mindset of a tester and test leader have had to change and morph. I’ll cover what a tester needs to look like right now and in the near future based on this history lesson of trends, events, and behaviours I’ve lived through Buckle up, it’ll be fast and furious, a rollercoaster of testing past, present, and future


  • For people entering testing in the last 5 years, it’ll give a rich insight into how we got to the industry they see and work in now
  • For those new to testing I hope it’ll breed a bit of empathy and understanding into those that have in fact been through all or some of these rollercoaster rides we had to go through to get where we are now
  • Change is inevitable