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Karen N. Johnson - Storytelling Techniques

Video of the seminar
Karen N. Johnson, Independent, USA

Karen is a software testing consultant in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Karen views software testing as an intellectual challenge and believes in the context-driven school of testingexternal link, opens in new window. She has extensive experience in software testing and test management.
Karen frequently speaks at software testing conferences.  She has presented at STPConexternal link, opens in new window, CASTexternal link, opens in new window, PNSQexternal link, opens in new window, StarEastexternal link, opens in new window, and StarWestexternal link, opens in new window. She’s also presented at several local quality group meetings such as IQAAexternal link, opens in new window, CQAAexternal link, opens in new window, and NOSQAAexternal link, opens in new window.  She publishes articles on software testing and has been published in Better Softwareexternal link, opens in new window, InformITexternal link, opens in new window and StickyMinds.comexternal link, opens in new window.

Karen is an executive board member for the Association for Software Testing (ASTexternal link, opens in new window). She is program co-chair for CAST 2008external link, opens in new window, the Conference for the Association for Software Testing.
Karen is a hosted software testing expert on Tech Target’s website, searchsoftwarequality.comexternal link, opens in new window. For more information about Karen, visit http://www.karennjohnson.comexternal link, opens in new window

Storytelling Techniques

In a fast-paced world with volumes of data thrown at us each day, it’s hard to find meaning and relevancy in what is tossed in front of us. Our project stakeholders face the same challenge of trying to sift through information in order to find meaning. Storytelling techniques can help us to take facts important and small from our testing experiences and weave together information in one format that brings data to life: the story.

Students will learn how to use compare and contrast techniques to offset information so that data points stand out and yet we don’t lose the context. Students will learn how to take one element of test information to represent a broader picture. A technique of twining facts both small and large to keep information together and coherent will be explained. In all cases, thorough examples of presenting test information will be used. Specifically, the stories and techniques will be centered on reporting performance test results.

Storytelling done well pauses the speed button, restoring our mental peace well enough to not just listen but digest, to resonate with the information we have at hand. We might think of storytelling from our childhood days and envision our time-starved, impatient stakeholders as being unreceptive to a story when what they demand is hard, cold facts. But there are techniques of building information in such a way that we can resolve questions and illuminate meaning without building long-winded tales.

This unique class is designed for testers and test managers who frequently need to communicate information up, up to their bosses, executives, project managers and other stakeholders. Students will learn how to communicate performance test results in an effective style.

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