Thursday, 10 March 2016

TestBash 2016 Day 3 - RST Last Day

RST Alumni March 2016 with Michael Bolton.jpg

Introduction

Today was a sad day, the last day of my Rapid Software Testing training course! I’m sad because it’s been so much fun and so much to learn. I think I would summarily describe it as ‘the best university lecture I never had’ - as in many ways it’s what I had expected from university. I think I’ve been hungry for a dedicated educational format for a while and I really enjoyed it. I’ve also met some great people and learned a lot from their different approaches and techniques.

My main takeaways today

The main topics for today were centred around managing exploratory testing sessions, how to report on them (if you need to) and some food for thought on how you measure the value of your testing sessions. We also talked through tips for taking better notes and how to use ‘safety’ language to improve our communication. We continued to use more mind maps and spent a lengthy amount of time collaborating and comparing each others, which still threw up surprises in how different people were approaching tasks and articulating themselves.
Michael also gave us the opportunity to ask about any topics we would like to talk about and we raised the topics of Regression Testing and “When do I stop testing?”.

I think out of the three days so far, this was the one where I felt I got a huge amount of value, I took plenty of notes and I’ve got quite a few ideas that I’d like to try out and discuss when I get back to work!

What do I think of RST? Do I recommend it?

I loved the course, my mind is swimming with ideas and I got answers to some burning questions that I’d had for a while. The format of the course is very friendly and accessible and really encourages collaboration and sharing which are values I really hold dear. If you have read a lot about RST already and are unsure whether to take the course - do it! I’m sure you have questions about what you might have seen or read, take the course and challenge Michael or James! If you have no idea about RST or are new to testing, this is hands down the best introduction to both testing and the community you can possibly get. It’s been a pleasure to share a room with bunch of great people and bounce ideas around about testing. Best of all, it’s fun! And it really demonstrates that testing can be fun!
Thank you to Michael for answering so many of my questions and being so approachable. Thank you to for all of your charm too! It really makes a massive difference to the mood of the class and people’s engagement! I learned a lot just from observing your teaching techniques and methods too!
Thank you to Dan Billing for being a great facilitator! Not only was he acting scribe for Michael and making sure all of the refreshments and lunch was sorted, but he was also taking the class himself too and dealing with various other issues. All three days went smoothly and not once were people left bored or waiting around, we were always engaged in the class!

Social stuff

Today we went back to The Eagle pub to play testing games with Michael and John Stevenson and also to meet all of the people arriving for the workshops tomorrow (Thursday). I caught up with a few familiar faces and met a few people that I wanted to thank for ideas they’ve shared such as Martin Hynie (who we have taken a lot of inspiration from at work). I also met even more new people of course such as Anna who I had a very long chat about interviews and what qualities we look for in testers!
Unfortunately we never got around to playing the ‘Dice Game’ in class because we had so much to talk about and we still didn’t get a chance in the pub. However, I did get to observe a game being played by Michael involving playing cards and an 'art collector'. I’m definitely going to be having a go at playing this with anyone I can when I get back!

Looking forward

Tomorrow I get to attend a workshop on distributed teams held by Lisa Crispin and Abby Bangser. I’ve definitely not got a lot of experience with this, so I think I’m going to be soaking up a lot like a sponge!

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