Kirkaldy Testing Museum

A colleague from work wrote a blogpost with some hidden London museums.

On his blogpost he wrote about 5 museums that are not widely known in London. Some of them open once a month. It’s another type of museum compared to the typical British Museum, Tate, Science Museum, etc.

Recently I went to one of the museums: Kirkaldy Testing museum. The museum has the firsts machines to test iron and steel.

The very keen volunteers explain everything in a tour and they do demos: they broke a steel bar to show how the machine works and how to operate the machine.

Until they started testing iron and steel Victorians had many accidents: bridges that collapsed, railways that broke and boilers that exploded. Kirkaldy invented a machine to test and started, very meticulously, testing steel and iron from different manufacturers. All his business, at that time, was testing and recording the results.

He rapidly became an authority on testing and everyone used the results to know how good certain steel and iron was.

Nowadays we have companies that are specialized in software testing. My first time employer Elvior (in Estonia) or more recently for my work a potential software would be Frologic.

Visiting the testing museum helped to realize that in software engineering, even if we are doing more and more to test the software, there is still room to improve compared to other disciplines where testing is core of the business and not an addon that can be done or skipped.

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