About Julian Harty

I’ve been working in technology since 1980 and over the years have held an eclectic collection of roles and responsibilities, including:

The first software test engineer at Google outside the USA, where I worked for 4 years as a Senior Test Engineer on areas such as mobile testing, AdSense, and Chrome OS.

A main board company director in England for a mix of companies involved in technology including software development, recruitment software, eCommerce, etc.

Running the systems and operations for the European aspects of Dun & Bradstreet’s Advanced Research and Development company, called DunsGate for 11 years.

Creating and leading a small specialist software testing company called CommerceTest Limited in 1999. The company is currently resting while I work on other projects.

Currently my main responsibility is Tester At Large for eBay.

My main passion and driver is to find ways to help improve people’s lives (albeit generally in minor ways) by helping adapt technology to suit the user, rather than watching users struggle with unsuitable software. I work on opensource projects, many hosted at http://code.google.com/u/julianharty and try to make my material available to as many interested people as practical, ideally for free and in forms they can take, adapt and use without restriction. One example of this work is on test automation for mobile phone applications, available at http://tr.im/mobtest

I’m based in the South East of England. You can find me at conferences, events, and peer workshops globally.

Julian Harty November 2010

Symbiotic Relationships between Testing and Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud computing

Here is the revised presentation on Symbiotic Relationships between Testing and Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud computing presented at the Unicom conference in Bangalore, India: Testing SMAC Unicom (revision 11 Jul 2013)

There are a couple of additions to the earlier revision and the slides have been reformatted to make the it slightly better to read.

Slides for my Keynote at the Nordic Testing Days conference, Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2013

Here are my slides for my keynote talk Symbiotic relationships between Testing and Analytics. This was presented at the Nordic Testing Days conference in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2013.

The material includes:

  • An overview of how web and mobile analytics software ‘works’
  • Calibration of the tools, our understanding and our practices
  • Potential pitfalls of using Analytics
  • How to apply the concepts
  • Some possible assessment criteria

I hope you find it useful.

Presentation on: How to design your mobile app

This presentation was made at a seminar organised by HP in Helsinki, on 11th April 2013. I don’t claim it’s definitive or complete, rather I cover several topics I consider important and relevant based on my experiences working at and with companies who create and develop mobile apps.

How to Design your Mobile Apps (15 Apr 2013)

The material has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The Title is: “How to design your mobile apps, by Julian Harty”, if you need to attribute the material.

The Mobile Developer’s Guides

If you are interested in developing, testing, and marketing mobile apps there are several excellent eBooks available that include these topics. I liked the books so much I’ve ended up contributing to both of them. They are collaborative works with multiple contributors and authors. They are fun, easy to read and slightly quirky.

Here are links to both of them:
http://www.wipconnector.com/download/GuideToTheParallelUniverse_3rdEdition.pdf (this is the guide on how to market your mobile app). My contribution is the introduction to Mobile Analytics topic.

http://www.enough.de/products/mobile-developers-guide/ has a download link to the current version of the Development Guide – advises people on how to develop (write/create) and test mobile apps.I’ve written several chapters entirely, including the ones on testing and mobile analytics, and edit the entire book.

Human Testing for Mobile Apps

Automated software tests are topical where they seem to be replacing much of the testing done by humans. Automated tests are faster, provide early feedback and cost little to run many times. Agile projects need automated tests to keep up with the frequent builds which may arrive tens or hundreds of times a day and need testing.

So human testing seems to be gathering cobwebs, even despised as unproductive, low-skilled work done by testers who don’t have the ‘skills’ to write automated tests. However, as an industry we ignore testing by humans at our peril. There’s so much testing that’s beyond practical reach of automated tests. It’s time to revive interactive testing performed by motivated and interested humans. This talk will help you to find a new impetus and focus for your interactive testing to complement automated tests.

Feelings and emotions are what users will judge your apps on, so let’s test and explore how users may feel about the mobile apps. Michael Bolton published an insightful article called: “I’ve Got a Feeling: Emotions in Testing by Michael Bolton”

Fast, efficient testing can augment the repetitive automated testing. BugFests, where a group of people meet to test the same piece of software together for up to an hour can be extremely productive at finding problems the automated tests haven’t.

Another technique is moving both you (from place to place) and the phone (by rotating it from portrait to landscape modes, etc.) may help find and expose bugs which are hard for your automated tests to discover.

I will be giving a keynote at VistaCon 2013 in April 2013 on this topic. Please email me if you would like to get involved in the discussion, share ideas, criticize, etc.