Ilari Henrik Aegerter’s formal studies have brought him from General Linguistics and Sociology to Software Engineering and Software Testing. He has 10+ years of experience in the field, coming from the medical software domain at Phonak AG and progressing to e-commerce at eBay. He is now the Managing Director of House of Test GmbH and he believes that there is still a lot of work to be done for excellent software testing. In 2013 he co-founded the International Society for Software Testing (ISST), which advocates for bringing back common sense to testing. In 2015 he was elected into the board of the Association for Software Testing (AST) where he acts as VP of Marketing.
Interview with Ilari Henrik Aegerter
Playing games at a testing conference sounds interesting. Where does the idea come from?
I come from a community of testers called context-driven testers. There are some specific conferences, meetups and peer-conferences, such as Let’s Test, CAST, etc. where playing testing games has a long tradition. Also, at our own internal House of Test conferences we often play games. It is usually a pretty upbeat atmosphere and people seem to enjoy playing games in general. I thought it might be a good idea to bring the concept to the Swiss testing community and see if people here enjoy it as well. It is an experiment and I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.
Can you talk a bit about the connection between playing and learning?
Testing is essentially an activity where you learn things in the service of your customer.
If we look a bit deeper on how learning works, we probably should look at the real masters of learning; Children. Kids play games and that is how they learn. So, there obviously is this deep connection between games and learning. I believe this is fundamentally applicable in software testing.
But is playing games really professional? Shouldn’t we be a bit more serious?
The opposite of “fun” is not “professional” but “depression”. I have never understood, why being professional should not include fun elements. I believe the “serious argument” comes from a very flawed model of professional activity needing to be boring and hard. This is deeply in opposition of my beliefs. So, in your words, what we will be doing is “serious playing”.
Who should come to your session?
Bring along your kids! Or if you cannot do that, bring along your inner kid. If you are open to new forms of learning and don’t mind having fun and being entertained, then this workshop is for you. I would like to invite everyone who is curious and has an open mind. I can promise that this will be the opposite of boring. Drop in with a smile on your face.