WorQference - Robert Sabourin - The Test Tribe

WorQference 2022 - Esteemed Speaker

Robert Sabourin

Testing Consultant & Professor

Workshop Title: Becoming a Code Listener – Learn to test better from code without becoming a programmer 


Becoming a Code Listener – A products source code can help testers learn about risks, derive great test ideas, and identify factors which could significantly influence software’s performance, behavior, and utility. You don’t need to be a skilled programmer to become a great “Code Listener”.

The problem:
Testing projects are increasingly time constrained, no matter what the business, technical, organizational, or cultural context. I see many testers base their work exclusively on a products functionality. But testing is intractable. Even the simplest feature potentially has an infinite number of tests. I encourage testers to learn how to focus their efforts. “Code Listening” is a set of skills to help focus testing based on knowledge of software structure. “Code Listeners” sense risks impacted by change.

“Code Listeners” collaborate with programmers, architects and other technical stakeholders engaging in software design, testing, debugging, and troubleshooting – not just finding and reporting bugs.

The workshop:
In this workshop Rob will share several aspects of Code Listening walking through examples taken from real software development projects.


  • Understanding algorithms and program logic
    • Program Flow and structure
    • Program variables and data types
  • Debugging and troubleshooting
    • Code walk-through
    • Stack traces
  • Unit tests
    • Structure
    • Assessing correctness
    • Asserts
  • Static analysis
    • Variance
    • Source code churn
    • Code coverage tools


By the end of this workshop testers will have applied code listening skills to discover many great test ideas. Delegates will be well positioned to collaborate with their peers in programming, architecture, and implementation, focusing on risks based on what is really changing in the source code.

Speaker Bio


Rob Sabourin has more than thirty-nine years of management experience leading teams of software development professionals. A highly respected member of the software engineering community, Rob has managed, trained, mentored, and coached thousands of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing, management, and internationalization. Rob authored “I am a Bug!”, the popular software testing children’s book; works as an adjunct professor of software engineering at McGill University; and serves as the principal consultant (and president/janitor) of AmiBug.Com, Inc. Contact Rob at [email protected].

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