Leigh Rathbone

Leigh Rathbone

Test Principal, Shop Direct

The Blue Pill, Or The Red Pill, You Decide – The Future Is Yours


It’s challenging times for testers and test managers. It always seems to be the industries’ gut reaction to point at test and say “we don’t need test managers”, or “we are automating our checks, we don’t need testers”. The value add from a testing/testers perspective is really tough right now. How do you put yourself on the front foot. Well, this is a very complex answer, no silver bullet. You could take the blue pill, and do nothing, or take the red pill, and start by self-developing, investing in yourself.


I’ll bring to life my journey, where arrogance and complacency kicked in from 2002 – 2009, then bang, three massive blows to the head meant I had to wake up, and smell the coffee, and change. From 2009 I’ve been evolving. I’ve become a curious explorer, pushing myself well outside my comfort zone. I’ll also explain how the ‘Yes Man’ film, late last year, gave me my second spurt in pushing myself, and what that led to.

Leigh Rathbone (@Villabone) is the Test Principal at Shop Direct. Leigh’s been in the testing arena for over 18 years, testing in nine different industries, across 4 continents, and 14 countries, from utilities to telecoms, Gaming to clinical software, from financial to retail, to name a few.

He is currently involved in lots of testing initiatives within his current role which is serving as a real ‘fail fast / test and learn’ testbed. Self-development is absolutely key to Leigh’s drive and passion.

Leigh is heavily involved in building a Liverpool testing community. He is one of the co-founders of Liverpool Tester Gathering which has been running 6 months, and has over 100 attendees. They broadcasts live on Facebook and periscope, have their own professional video recorder, and record podcasts during the night.