Louise Perold

Louise is a candidate in the boardelections for 2019.

Q1: Why are you an AST Member?

I believe in the values of the AST and its code of conduct. I believe it serves the community by being an organisation that is advocating for the craft of software testing and the principles of context-driven testing; helping to shine a light on these and helping its members to live them. I think it is important to have an organisation that will do these things while not driven by profit motivations, or optimising for profit.

Q2: How do you intend to promote diversity within the AST? How could AST promote diversity, of all kinds, within our own organization and within the wider testing and technology communities?

I think that I would bring diversity by being from Africa and through my experiences working with testers in Africa. To promote diversity, I would like to champion the organisation’s support of testing communities across the world – figuring out ways to help them start up, grow and flourish. This should also be expanded to include how those testing communities can leverage and collaborate with other tech groups and organisations. I have a number of friends and colleagues within the agile and developer communities across the world and I believe there would be mutual benefits by leveraging these to create alliances, partnerships and collaborative relationships.

Q3: What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?

Things done well:

CAST was a catalyst within my testing career and learning journey as a tester and is an important platform for the organisation. BBST has been a critical part of my learning and helps to move the craft forward. More recently, the webinars have been a great addition to the education and inspiration.

What needs to change:

I believe more can be done to support, mentor and grow members in countries around the world and become a more global organisation. I would like to see the AST help and support those who are practicing their skills, evolving testing, and building tools and materials that can be used to advocate for the craft in the day-to-day work of every tester. Helping testers to communicate their value, and the value of their work will in turn elevate the profession. Lofty ambition would be to help eradicate counting pass rates and tests by 2021 and instead for all testers to be finding the people who care about what the software does and then providing information in terms of what they care about – not the number of tests that passed.

Q4: If you are elected to serve on the board, what is your vision for the future of AST and what do you hope to accomplish as part of the board?

I would like to help promote spaces and communities where testers can share, practice and create together so that we help to move the craft forward. We need to be spreading our message and our craft, building on the founding principles so that quality and testing are things that people do not and cannot take for granted.

I would like to see the current initiatives continuing and expanding to a more global community.

Q5: Many people come to be AST Board of Directors candidates through a long history of community involvement. This community involvement usually involves teaching, creating and running peer conferences, creating and running regular conferences, and working with commercial entities.

Q5A: These are all wonderful and valuable activities, but they might create conflicts for board members. One problem is that a board member spending time helping a personal conference to thrive means less or no time spent on AST events. The other problem, and the more important one, is that knowing program and financial information of a personal event will affect decisions made for AST events and initiatives and vice versa.

Q5B: Please describe any current initiatives you participate in that might affect your ability to serve on the AST board, and serve the AST membership

I am one of the co-organisers of Let’s Test. This conference takes place in South Africa in November of each year. The Let’s Test conference is run as a not for profit concern. As it is now in its 6th year, the overhead of running it is relatively low compared with a new conference. I feel that I would have bandwidth to be part of AST and still continue to co-organise Let’s Test and that the two things do not present a conflict of interest. I’m very happy to discuss this in more detail.

Q6: What is your vision for the future of AST’s training program?

BBST is an incredible platform, ready to be evolved! My vision has BBST being made more affordable for people in countries where the dollar exchange is more challenging.

Part of my focus would be on increasing our marketing of BBST, whilst investigating ways to ensure we have the best trainers / facilitators through a fair reimbursement model.

My contribution of ideas and time would also include finding the best financial ways to keep this forward, re-enforcing the current foundation of webinars, etc. with follow-up from previous alumni willing to become mentors for newer course attendees.

Q7: (Optional) Would you like to provide a short (250-400 word) introduction to go on your candidate page?

Testing is not just a career to me, it is a massive part of who I am. AST has been very special to me over the years. Through AST and CAST specifically, I have been blessed to come across people who have inspired and mentored me and I believe I have been that person to others over the years. Building the craft and community of testing in South Africa is something I am extremely passionate about. To this end, I am the co-organiser of Let’s Test South Africa and the founder of the Joburg Software Testers Meetup. I was the co-program chair for CAST in 2013 and have spoken at Let’s Test Sweden, Copenhagen Context, Devconf SA, SUGSA, CAST and Agile Africa.

As a board member for AST I would like to see the organisation having an even greater impact globally in the everyday lives of testers and for us to continue our work to promote the craft of software testing, growing the skills of testers and advocating for product quality globally.