Monday, 7 March 2016

TestBash 2016 Day 1 - RST Intro

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Introduction

So today I started a 3-day training course on Rapid Software Testing (RST) with Michael Bolton. Wow. What a day, I’m excited to share this experience and I hope it encourages you too to take this course!

What is Rapid Software Testing?

Rapid Software Testing (as explained in the link above) is a training course designed by James Bach and Michael Bolton which aims to introduce methods and skills to testers that can help them become much better at what they do. I was keen to take this course having come across James and Michael’s content before for several reasons:
  1. To become a better tester of course!
  2. To challenge my own beliefs and understandings of testing.
  3. To learn from other testers approaches to the challenges presented in the class.
  4. To meet and discuss testing with like-minded testers and learn from their various backgrounds and experiences.

My main takeaways today

I wanted to try and keep up posting to this blog each day because I feel it helps me consolidate my feelings and thoughts and also because I’d like to share some of my experience with people interested or considering taking this course.

The bulk of the morning we were challenged in a task that I felt really engaged the whole class and I can only really summarise as the following line of thought:
“This is an important problem! And this is how testing should be done!..........oh wait, can I really justify that this is an important problem? Do I even know how to test properly?"
As you can imagine, there were some good debates and discussions that Michael really encouraged and I think we all were left feeling suitably challenged come the lunch break! I think everyone felt a little bit like what they thought they knew about testing was almost completely wrong!

In the afternoon, we continued on with further discussions which re-assured us all, that, yes we do know how test properly, and yes, those are important problems - but there are better ways of practicing testing and communicating our work. By the end of the day, I think we all felt exhausted but satisfied that we were learning a huge deal and not so concerned that we didn't know anything about testing!

Throughout the day there were lots of fantastic tips, guides and advice from both Michael and also from other class attendees! I think one of the biggest values of this course is learning not just from Michael but also from the other testers in your class, learning how their approaches differ to yours and the different ways of communicating and reasoning!

I was also glad to share some of my own tips for people, such as highly recommending Python as a potential programming language for interested testers along with the other recommendations such as Perl and Ruby. Apparently there are some very entertaining and effective kids books on Ruby and “I am a bug”!

Social stuff

I made the most of the opportunity to talk to all of these great testers and I’ll try to do a little roll call here of the names I’ve remembered (apologies to anyone I’ve forgot the names, spelt wrong or didn’t get chance to ask for! reprimand me tomorrow!):
Lisa, Aaron, Clare, Mark, Gemma, Martha, Dan and Tammy - thanks for sharing and chatting to me! I look forward to more! Sorry to anyone who I didn’t catch names, but thank you too for sharing a chinwag on all things testing!
I was also glad to pose a couple of questions I’ve been itching to ask Michael specifically about, and I’m looking forward to the answers over the coming days!
Finally, it was great to finally meet Rosie and thank her for helping me get to TestBash in the first place. The organisation of the event so far has been fantastic and atmosphere really open and friendly and I really appreciate the hard work she puts in to make it happen!

After ending the class today, I took the opportunity to chat with Rosie and ended up somehow signing myself up for a 99 second talk on Friday. We then headed to Wagamama with the rest of the class to eat food and be merry!
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Looking forward

I can’t wait for tomorrow, to continue my journey learning how to test better and meeting all of these friendly people again! The main aim tomorrow is to learn (and remember!) more names and to keep challenging my views on testing!

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