WTA14 – Express Yourself!

WTA14 – Express Yourself!

Albert Gareev, Ben Simo, Lisa Koblenz, Jeremy Wenisch, Justin Byers, Lalitkumar Bhamare, Michael Larsen, Mohinder Khosla, Pradeep Soundararajan, Rajesh P

Date: Saturday, July 16, 2011 (11:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. (PDT))

Today was an experiment with a new approach and a new model for what we hope will be a new and exciting chapter within the Weekend Testing experience. More of that later.

Our missiontoday was to tackle a seemingly simple application with the potentuial for significant complexity. This application was for a tool called “Regular Expression Designer“.

Rather than just jump in and have an hour long session on testing the applciation, we took a step back and said “How would we test this level of an application. What would we want to focus on? Let’s plot our course and determine a mind map of areas we would want to test, and while we are at it, let’s use a systematic approach based on the SFDPOT heuristic.

The resulting session was two hours of consideration, planning, discussion, and mind mapping using Xmind. Albert gathered all of the thoughts and the details and presented them into a single mind map [image].

In short, this was a much longer session than normal (3 hrs and 15 minutes) and that was by design. we were able to generate lots of possible test areas and charters… enopugh to keep the group busy for several weeks, maybe months, of sessions.

… and that’s the whole point.

One of the goals of weekend Testing is to allow a space where testers can come in from any skill level and learn and develop their craft in a non-threatening environment and learn from their peers. Most sesions are standalone, and do not repeat or cover the same application or concepts twice. Testers can feel free to join a session whenever they want to. This is a great model for “come when you want to” test but there are some areas where in-depth practice and longer term commitments are needed to make the steps necessary to really develop the
skills needed to be successful. To that end, Albert Gareev and I are launching an initiative through Weekend testing we are calling “Project Sherwood” after the Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood legend. In short, we are looking to make a space in Weekend Testing where deep dives and longer engagements will be possible. Does that mean that people who want to drop in cannot? Of course it doesn’t, we will welcome those who want to participate at any time. However, the real benefit will be to the “regulars” who actively participate in these longer sessions for their duration as they will get the most benefit (and frankly, they will be recognized for their level of involvement over the entire arc of testing as well.

Our chat transcript, including a more detailed explanation of the ideas behind Project Sherwood, is 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).