EWT06 – Free your mind

EWT06 – Free your mind

Date: 20th January 2010

Time: 15:30 – 17:30 GMT

Product: Freemind
Mission: Evaluate Freemind for use of generating test ideas. Mind map your test ideas, and see if Freemind is useful in this. Select an area of focus for your testing, and mind map what ideas you would like to explore.

Testers:  Jaswinder Kaur NagiAjay Balamurugadas, Anna Baik, Shrini Kulkarni, Jayant Sahasrabudhe, Deepak Dhananjay

Anna Baik facilitated the discussion afterwards, asking each tester about their experiences.

Ajay Balamurugadas started the discussion afterwards.  He commented on how asking the right questions helps to clear the mission.  He had suffered from “tester’s block” during the session, and concluded that he needed to practice testing more.  He had spent a lot of time trying to create good maps, and later felt he had wasted time going for perfection – more practice using Freemind, or using paper would help.  There were also problems as he has the ‘Insert’ key missing from his keyboard, which slowed him down and acted as a continuous speed breaker to his thought process.  Using Freemind without a working ‘Insert’ key was not easy.

Jayant Sahasrabudhe was next.  Jayant spent some time to understand the mission at first – the concept of mindmapping was new to him and this slowed him down initially.  He also felt he had spent too much time reading the help for Freemind rather than learning a few important things and moving ahead.  He had spent time putting his ideas on paper first, and then onto the tool.  He concluded that he would use mindmapping again for this purpose, but only after exploring a bit more.

Deepak Dhananjay said he had been very nervous initially to join the EWT session, but he’d at last gained confidence to talk with senior testers and it had been a great learning session for him.  He spent more time exploring Freemind as it was the first time he’s used it, and then created a mindmap for installation testing.  It reminded him of his programming period, and creating flow charts for the logic of the application before coding.

Shrini Kulkarni finished up the discussion.  He commented on how biases play a big role in what we are and what we are likely to do given the choices.  He was biased towards discussing the method of mind mapping for this session – he did not test the application or explore it, as he felt there was nothing more exciting than exploring mind mapping and seeing how a tool could help to tickle ideas.  He asked the question whether mind mapping was a method to generate ideas, or to represent already generated ideas.  One might say that generating ideas and representing them are sequential as in waterfall  “design -> coding”, or you might put them as intimate mix of sugar in water.

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