STARWEST 2022 Concurrent Session : Don't Ignore the Happy Path—Know That It Was Never There


Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Don't Ignore the Happy Path—Know That It Was Never There

The allure of a "happy path" in testing (and in many other walks of our professional and personal lives) is strong. “A happy path? Sign me up!” you might say to yourself. Imagine yourself standing before two roads. One of them is well lit, maybe you’ve taken it before. Maybe you can even see the end. and you’re confident in what’s waiting for you there. The other road…is different in every way. It’s overgrown, poorly lit, and you can’t see anything past a sharp turn only a few steps in, leaving you with little confidence how long it will take you to walk it, and if you will even reach the end. It’s only natural that more people would choose the typical happy path in the scenario above, and in the software industry, as well. We can’t just go wandering off down shadowy paths in the woods with no estimated time we’ll return. There’s just one problem. There is no happy path. Not in the woods, and not in your apps. It’s all in your head. Let’s dispel the myth of the happy path, and open ourselves up to limitless possibilities by never again avoiding "the road less traveled."


Noel Wurst has covered the software testing, development, and cloud computing space for the last 9+ years, and is currently the senior manager of communications at SmartBear. While “professionally responsible” for building communications strategies, and managing public relations initiatives, Noel also has a deep, personal interest in scaling diverse and inclusive workplace cultures, and evangelizing the all-encompassing importance of quality in our professional and personal lives. When Noel’s not writing, he enjoys nerding out over fashion documentaries, writing children’s literature, and hunting down exotic recipe ingredients.