University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center

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What are you thinking??

Date of Event: 
Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 5:45pm

Our brains receive an astounding amount of information – on the order of 5GB of information every second. Most of this information we filter out of our perceptions, allowing us to function and not be overwhelmed. We do this through a system of biases and heuristics that allow us to determine what’s important instantaneously. Most of the time, this system works well. However, most of the time is not all the time, and these shortcuts can lead to us missing important information.

When we’re testing, we may believe that we’ll function without these biases affecting our work, only to find that we missed something critical.

While we can’t remove these biases from our minds, we can be aware of them and plan to work around them.

In this talk, we will:

  • Dive into several common biases psychologists have identified (complete with video clips that demonstrate the bias),
  • Discover how these biases can impact us,
  • Talk about strategies for keeping these biases from negatively impacting the work we do.

Come learn more about how your brain works and how to be a better tester as a result of that knowledge!

Other suggested references for Black Box Software Testing (BBST):, including videos, including online training, including private course


Directions can be found on the map of the Electrical Engineering/Computer Science Building.
Check out the detailed map by clicking the “close up” button.


Keller (EE/CS) 3-111 (Look for signs)

This Month's Meeting
Program Manager: 
Larry Green - BenchmarkQA - A Division of Hollstadt & Associates
Andy Tinkham – C2 IT Systems
What are you thinking??
University of Minnesota, Keller Hall (EE/CS Building)

5:30 - 8:00 p.m. at The University of Minnesota
5:30 start for networking, 6:15 start of meeting


Free parking tickets will be handed out in the meeting.

Speaker Bio: 

Andy Tinkham has been in the QA and testing field for 20 years. Starting as an automator, he went to graduate school to broaden his knowledge of the field and understand why automation isn’t all the testing you need. He succeeded in that, with great assistance from his advisor, Dr. Cem Kaner. Since leaving graduate school with a PhD. needing only a pesky dissertation to be completed (still pending – maybe someday), Andy has started QA groups, been in QA groups and consulted to QA groups for a number of companies across the country. Currently, he is proud to hold the position of QA Practice Lead for C2 IT Solutions, where he is working to build a community around the concept of Quality Advocacy and Modern Testing, both for our consultants and our clients. Sound interesting? Andy would love to talk more to you – you can reach him at Follow him on Twitter at @andytinkham or listen to his past & future podcasts – Testing Bias ( and the forthcoming The Good Practice launching soon ( – website launching soon).