STARWEST 2024 Concurrent Session : Testing Like Your Life Depends On It


Thursday, October 5, 2023 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Testing Like Your Life Depends On It

The relentless pursuit of defects is critical to any industry, but how does that change when the software is being used on 300,000 lb steel machines in some of the most extreme environments on Earth? When the safety of both human life and enormous capital investments are on the line? What is it like to work with software developers who not only won't but actually can't use the end product as a user because the target is a rock drilling machine? We all know that "garbage in equals garbage out" and it is just as true when relying on sensor data to determine machine response. However, how do we make life or machine critical decisions when a bad sensor provides garbage data, but it's the only data we have? Come join us as we discuss software testing in the mining industry, specifically on drilling and blasting equipment. We will review real-life examples of software failure, hardware failure, and some software testing wins. Get a different perspective on the cost of defects and the SDLC when you are testing like your life depends on it.


Taylor Wilkin has been working with software control of commercial and industrial equipment for over 20 years. However, he is a relative newcomer to the software testing industry, having joined in 2018. Taylor lives just outside of Dallas, Texas, with his wife of 18 years and their five children. He works at Epiroc, the world's leading manufacturer of drilling and blasting machines for open-pit mining, and a frontrunner in automation and technology. Taylor leads the software testing team at the Pit Viper Drilling Machines factory in Garland, Texas. He holds certifications from ISTQB FL and TAE. His interests include video and board games, drone piloting (FAA licensed), woodworking, foster care, Python programming, the Oxford comma, and solving all the puzzles at the Test Lab.