WTA28 – Hairballistics and Agile Up 4 Here

WTA28 – Hairballistics and Agile Up 4 Here

Date: May 24th, 2012 02:00 p.m. – 04:00 p.m. Pacific


AU4H Participants: Matt BarcombKevin BaribeauAlex BeppleJaime CamphorstElisabeth Hendrickson,  Rickard LindbergZee Spencer

Weekend Testers: Teri Charles, Lisa Crispin, Priya Darsini, Albert Gareev, Mohinder Khosla, Gabriel Loo, Abhinav Sejpal, Bala Sista, Timothy Western

Facilitator: Michael Larsen


Agile Up 4 Here (#AU4H) is a code retreat that goes for one week. Elisabeth Hendrickson hosts it in her Agilistry Studio in Pleasanton, CA, and participants come from all over (Elisabeth and I being the most local; the other participants this time around are from the midwest, the East coast, Germany and Sweden).

The week started with a clean slate, no code and no idea what they would create. As the week progressed, the team decided to make a simple JavaScript based game called “Hairballistics”. Imagine shooting a cannon, but in this case, the cannon is a cat and the ballistic in questions is a “hairball”!

What was interesting about this “weekday” Weekend Testing session was that the full development team was looking, reacting, learning and making changes based on the feedback.

We had a fun session, with a lot of confusion, frustration, discovery, understanding, and feedback (lots of feedback) based on what was in the game at the time of delivery. We were able to cycle through and fix a number of the issues in real time and push two releases during the testing session. We also had a discussion at the end about the variety of testing possibilities that were available to the testers, even with a relatively simple game. We shared the github code base with the testers, and some availed themselves to the opportunity of checking out the code and seeing if they could manipulate the environment to better test certain sections.

The board below shows the issues that are/were in play during the testing session. Cards with pink tags on them are those that were either found by Weekend Testing participants or confirmed by them.


This was an interesting experience to do a Weekend Testing session with a full development team in earshot of everything, as well as having the product owner actively participating during the session. It gave me a chance to see better into the application under development, and to also help facilitate and understand the challenges the testers were facing as they worked through the product and tested various areas.

The rest of the chat transcript can be seen here.


About the Author

I’m a software tester working with Socialtext in Palo Alto, CA. I have worked in a number of different fields and in a number of different capacities. I started my testing career in March of 1991. I am co-founder and primary facilitator for Weekend Testing Americas. I am a black-belt in the Miagi-do School of Software Testing, a member and Teacher in the Association for Software Testing, and the producer of Software Test Professionals' "This Week in Software Testing" podcast (now on hiatus).