I know I said that I would write about my coaching session that I had with Anne Marie Charrett, but I thought I would tell you all about the Weekend Testing of America that I was part of this past weekend (Saturday 7th January 2012). I was first made aware of Weekend Testing (http://www.weekendtesting.org) from my natural travels around the web searching for all things Software Testing.
So after reading Michael Larson’s recent blog post, http://www.mkltesthead.com/2012/01/less-wayward-weekend-testing-americas.html and seeing that it was at a reasonable time for me, I decided to participate.
Six pm rolled around, Skype was launched and the session started. We were given the mission, which was to test an online game called Set. It was a game where you had to make different combinations based on several factors. Before the participants got to start the main testing, we went to a practise site to learn the rules. Even now, I know the theory but boy was I rubbish at the game. However, I was there to test not to really play.
I should note that I had to step away for a bit as I had to put my son to bed, but I had explained this so my time away from the computer was understood. I won’t go into too much of the details as I’m sure that a full transcript will be made available.
My initial thoughts about doing the Weekend Testing was that it would be full of testers discussing and testing at a level that would make me feel like an idiot. I thought it would be:
Tester A: Have you used the FCC CUTS VIDS Heurisitic
Tester B: No, I’m using the HWMST (How would my son test – e.g. Not taking the obvious happy path test) heuristic
or that they would find 10 bugs and me with the 1. Now, I’m not a bad tester but I guess it was a case of not knowing exactly what it was all about. However, I like the challenge so I accepted. What I did find was that everyone was talkative and willing to help each other out. The chat window was moving with people reporting what they were finding. It was a very friendly atmosphere. Everyone there was a tester who wanted to learn and no egos were evident.
With Michael as the facilitator, he guided as nicely throughout the session and allowed us to do our thing without pressure.
After the hour was up, we had a debrief where it was discussed. Again, I didn’t get to test that much as I was in and out of the chat room/test site but this did not matter to the conversation as all points were listened to and acknowledged.
The issues/bugs were discussed with the group and the questions put forth where to me, very insightful and made you think about what we were testing.
- One thought that did occur to me was in this particular test, do you have to know how to play the game in order to test properly?
In summary, the experience was a good one and one that I’m keen to experience again, I believe these sessions will be good to improve my testing knowledge and skills on a variety of applications/scenarios. More importantly, it is good for improving communication – Why is it an issue? It is a good exercise in backing up your reasons. Networking is a keen aspect of these testing workshops.
Three weeks ago, I didn’t know who Ajay Balamurugadas or Michael Larson’s where, now I do. Before, they were just names in the software testing ether and then yesterday I got a chance to interact..Very surreal, very surreal.
As I attend more of the Weekend Testing sessions, I hope to bring you more feedback.
My score for the session 7/10 (mainly because I wasn’t there for some of it but the parts I was, I enjoyed).
Other notes of interest – Ajay Balamurugadas (http://enjoytesting.blogspot.com/) is heading up a new initiative:
Pair, Learn, Present
An initiative to practice presentation skills by pairing with testers.
- A fail safe environment to learn online presentation skills.
- Pair with a partner, learn and present to the world.
- An excellent opportunity to collaborate with other testers.
- Weekend Testing – http://weekendtesting.com/
- Weekend Testing America – http://weekendtesting.com/chapters/america
- Michael Larsen – http://www.mkltesthead.com/