Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Some learned lessons from the Agile Testing Days (part 2)

In the week of the 14th of November I was at the Agile testing days in Potsdam and I’m going through my notes of this event. It is unbelievable how many ideas one can get by visiting presentations, talking to other testers and discussing test topics.

Now to learned lessons from the sessions

We are getting more and more inventive with tools that help us testing. (Geoff Bache & Emily Bache (@emilybache): “Specification by Example using GUI tests – how could that work?”)
There are ways for automation of tests for which you do not have to program and you don’t need the software under test. You can still prepare automation for the new features. By discussing the specifications with examples beforehand you can prepare an automated tool up-front. When the software is ready, the testcases will be there and preparing the tests is a quick and simple job. This is one example of inventive ways to do automation. If you are interested in more details, please check out this site: http://texttest.carmen.se/index.php?page=main

A way to deal with the information overflow and too much to learn. (Rob Lambert (@Rob_Lambert): “Do agile teams have wider awareness fields?”)
We can learn everything we think there is to know and still have a lot to learn. Because we really can’t learn everything. There is a lot of information out there and we will have to filter that information to our own needs. We will have to make choices. A good way to do that could be by making a diagram for yourself of things you know, you can influence and things you don’t know yet (and can’t do). Furthermore you could use a kind of “fish diagram” to plan the things you want to learn.
Slide from the presentation (Rob Lambert)

Rob Lambert's slides can be found here

Don’t think in ‘we’ and ‘them’. I will be aware of this kind of things from now (I hope) (Linda Rising: “Who do You Trust? Beware of Your Brain”)
Automatically, if we speak of the other group such as: Them developers, them designers, them project managers, you will influence yourself, you brain, so that working together with ‘them’ could get difficult. At least you will have automatically build a kind of wall between you and them. For the group you are in and working together within a specific named group (testers for example), this could be a positive thing. But closing out other groups (unaware you are doing that, we all do that) could cause problems and rivalry. Organizations and groups within organizations should be aware of a common goal what binds all people together. The video is not out (yet?), but you can find another good talk from Linda here.

There is always room to improve. (Huib Schoots (@huibschoots) - “So you think you can test?”)
I guess I think I’m a great tester, I am testing now for about 15 years. But what does that mean really? Did I do the same trick over and over again during the 15 years of testing? Because then the experience will be only 1 year of experience… Repeated 15 times. I don’t think I fall in this category, but there are so many ways to improve yourself as a tester and improve your skills. If I check the list that Huib Schoots showed us I can see I’m still missing out on some wonderful experiences. But where to find the time? Someone from the audience said that for a professional would use 20% of his private time for his job. At least I do that, I guess more than that. But there is always room to improve. You can find a blog posting about this from Huib here.
Another lesson here: Being passionate is contagious. That one I had learned already.

Next posting later this week.

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Did you miss the Agile Testing Days and you live in The Netherlands, please check this out on the 6th of December VX company does a summary for you.

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