Reviews - Maud Schlich 

 May 2, 2023

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Maud Schlich is an expert in reviews. In this interview, we talk about different types of reviews and reading techniques. Among other things, we discuss how we can ensure the quality of documents at a high level, which roles are assigned in a review, and how reviews can be conducted in a way that values the author. With a few practical examples, Maud shows us how reviews can be established in a company and how even strict bosses can be convinced of reviews 😉

"The quality of the document remains the responsibility of the author" - Maud Schlich

She began her career in 1991 as a systems programmer and trainer. In 1996, she switched sides and worked in quality assurance, carrying out tests and reviews.
Maud has been self-employed since the end of 2004. Her focus is on the sustainable coaching of test managers, QA teams and agile development teams. Maud has been a member of the German Testing Board (GTB) since 2007 and is the author of the book Software Testing according to ISTQB® for dummies® and co-author of the book Reviews in System and Software Development.

Highlights in this episode:

  • Maud Schlich has been working in IT since the 1990s and specializes in reviews
  • Reviews help to identify and rectify errors at an early stage, which saves costs and improves quality
  • There are different types of reviews, including informal reviews, walkthroughs, inspections and technical reviews
  • Good moderation is crucial for the success of a review
  • AI cannot currently replace a human reviewer, as experience and intuition play a major role
  • Maud is offering our listeners the chance to win a book she co-authored, which even includes intentional mistakes to apply what they've learned

Contact Maud: 

Reviews: A path to quality assurance in software development

TLDR: In this episode, I talk to Maud Schlich about the topic of reviews in system and software development. We discuss different types of reviews, the benefits and challenges of implementing them, and methods for conducting reviews effectively. Maud shares her many years of experience as a review expert and offers valuable insights into best practices.

The path to review expertise

Maud's journey began as a programmer in the 90s before turning to quality assurance. Today, she is a valued author and coach for teams on their journey to better quality through effective testing and reviews. Her books 'Reviews in Systems and Software Development' and 'ASTQB Software Testing for Dummies' are essential resources for anyone in the field.

What are reviews actually?

One of the first points of our conversation was to clarify what is meant by a 'review'. Maud defines a review as the critical reading of a document or object to identify errors - be it a design, a drawing or a model. This definition extends the understanding of reviews beyond the mere reading of documents to a systematic error analysis.

The different faces of reviews

Maud distinguishes between informal reviews, walkthroughs and inspections. Each of these methods has its own advantages, disadvantages and areas of application. Of particular interest is Maud's approach of perspective-based reading, in which the reviewer takes on the role of various stakeholders in order to identify potential errors from different perspectives.

Pitfalls and how to avoid them

A key topic of our conversation was the challenges of implementing reviews. Maud emphasizes the importance of sufficient preparation time for reviewers, the absence of management influence during the review process and the need for qualified moderators for successful review sessions.

AI and the future of reviews

Finally, we talked about the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of reviews. Maud expressed skepticism about the ability of current AI technologies to replace human expertise and intuition in the review process. Nevertheless, it remains exciting to see how AI will affect the field of quality assurance in the long term.