WTEU-60 – Co-Creating a Test Plan

WTEU-60 – Co-Creating a Test Plan

Date: Sunday 23rd August 2015

Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm GMT (click here to check your local time)

Facilitators: Dan Billing, Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Participants: Christian Kram, Linh Phung, Marine Serre-Debray, Vernon Richards, Sandeep Garg, Trisha Argawal, Nidhi Rohatgi, Richard Bradshaw

Session Write Up

With this session we we very glad to have  Maaret Pyhäjärvi guiding our learning and exploration for this session. Maaret’s bio is at the bottom of the page if you want to find out more about her, and get in touch with her.

The initial aim of this session was to introduce and practice a style of pairing called Strong Style pairing. Llewwllyn Falco described this style of pairing as “…actually very close to an actual navigator / driver situation in a car or on a boat. With all the high level commands coming from the navigator and the lower level implementation happening from the driver.”

Essentially the person at the keyboard wasn’t directing the testing that was being done, but was being directed by the other member of the pair, or a ‘navigator’ in a sense. We were to test an animation application called DarkFunctionEditor http://darkfunction.com/editor/ . We would then create a test plan using www.mindmup.com to share with the group. The 30 minute session of testing was to be separated into sections where one person was driving and the other was navigating. As the pairing was time based, pairs would then swap roles so both testers could gain insight from this style of pairing.

Whilst we had a great discussion about the issues around pairing, particularly remote pairing, we did hit the usual technology minefields that crop up when running a session such as this. When pairing up, it was difficult to know what the other pairs were doing. We weren’t a part of their conversations. Also, there were issues with the actual software we were using to communicate in pairs, which was join.me, which can be found at https://www.join.me/

Strong Style Pairing is a difficult challenge. You need to be able to communicate effectively. We discussed the need for a good relationship between the members of the pair, where trust exists, or where trust is being established in a positive way.

The other great positive that came out of this session was that some new relationships in the community were established. Maaret and many of the attendees have since arranged to discuss this further, and arrange their own remote pairing sessions in the near future. Weekend Testing is a great way to establish great learning, but it needs to happen outside the sessions also. Establishing new professional and community relationships is a fantastic outcome.

The session transcript can be found here: WTEU60Sessiontranscript

Further reading: Check out Llewellyn Falco’s blog post on Strong Style pairing:  http://llewellynfalco.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/llewellyns-strong-style-pairing.html

About Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret Pyhäjärvi is a tester extraordinaire from Finland specializing in breaking illusions about software through means of exploratory testing. She is a software specialist with soft spots for hands-on testing, helping teams grow and building successful products and businesses. She tweets as @maaretp and blogs regularly at http://www.visible-quality.blogspot.com.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret Pyhäjärvi

About the Author

Dan Billing has been a software test engineer for 13 years, he currently works at NewVoiceMedia. Dan loves testing, and all its wondrous variety. He tries to help others become better testers by attending events, speaking, blogging and giving training. Dan has a reputation for being knowledgeable about including security as part of testing. You can find him at thetestdoctor.wordpress.com or on Twitter.