Tariq King is the Senior Director and Engineering Fellow for Quality and Performance at Ultimate Software. Tariq is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops and has developed and taught software testing courses in both industry and academia. His primary research interest is in the area of engineering autonomous self-testing systems.
Tariq’s Keynote and Wednesday workshop on unit testing are key parts of our 2018 program. Learn about new concepts in AI that will affect software testing, and be sure to sign up for his workshop to get hands-on training in how to implement unit testing.
Recently, PNSQC 2018 chair Philip Lew sat down with Tariq to catch up on the latest news about using artificial intelligence and machine learning for testing and QA.
Here are some highlights of the interview. Click the links to watch Tariq’s full response.
Or, watch the full 10-minute interview.
Phil Lew (PL): What are some of the cool vendors you’re running into?
TK: I usually do a mental model of each tool. If they give overstated claims, like 100% coverage, I treat that as the market (speak). If they have reasonable claims, they can improve this process, a running demo, then I start to see through some of the marketing.
PL: Maybe you could tell us a little bit about your talk at PNSQC, Fall 2018.
TK: The title is “Rise of the Machines: Can Artificial Intelligence Terminate Manual Testing?” The key point is that if we don’t know how to get involved as a testing community, then we won’t know what they’re doing (the AI)…There’s an almost direct relationship between artificial intelligence and testing…we have this black box and as testers we throw inputs at it, we validate outputs. The process of machine learning is almost just that. There’s a box we don’t know much about we provide inputs, outputs and the point of training it is to say “Yes” this is good or “No” this is not good.
TK: Another key thing in there is this concept of self-driving cars…You’re going on a journey to some destination, and there’s a lot of different steps along the way. There are limits or boundaries you can’t cross. If you start to think about testing, we’re all on the same journey…There’s a goal that each test has. There’s limits, risks. You need to identify those risks and make choices at those points.
PL: Can you tell us about your workshop at PNSQC?
TK: The topic is “Unit Testing – What Every Tester and Developer Should Know.” They’re starting to blur the lines between developer and tester. We don’t really separate those two roles in other disciplines — civil engineering, mechanical engineering. If you’re a manual tester, the workshop has some things you can do to become more technical. And if you’re a developer, here’s a way to see your biases. You need different perspectives to build a quality product.
TK: I’m trying to step into a role researching ML and trying to understand the cost of quality. Is it a wise business decision to test as much as you can?
PL: You have a separate organization for QA. Why do you do that?
TK: Even though we have a separate QA organization, every team still has quality engineers embedded on the team. The quality engineers are part of the core of the organization. We need to make quality part of everyone’s job.