Thursday, 18 March 2010

Got My Testing Balls!

 #qa #softwaretesting 

 Well, it's been a while since I went on a "testing course". I think the last time was about 95/96 - it was a two week course in Dublin (I have hazy memories of lots of Irish breakfasts & Guinness.)

Today saw the completion of another testing class - Rapid Software Testing given by James Bach here in Stockholm. I feel a bit hazy again - but not in a bloated way - in a very satisfied and mentally stimulated way.

A Thinking Tester's Course?
I sum this course up for me as a practical thinking course for testers - with the emphasis on both practical and thinking! It was tough, challenging, stimulating, energizing (I kept thinking about refreshed applications from the course to my daily work) and fun! 

I'd recommend it to experienced n new testers alike.

It's not easy to say that about so many courses - but I had practical insights for my daily work popping up in the evenings and the mornings on the way into the course. I will do a de-brief and, in the days to come, write about the major lessons for me.

There will also be a follow-on about communication - specifically between testers and non-testers (a big interest of mine!)

The very cool thing for me was that I came away with a set of testers balls and some wonderful de-briefing from the mysterious sphere exercise - where James plays a very difficult customer giving you a very difficult task (I won't say any more than that!)

I learnt masses from the de-brief, it wasn't necessarily new stuff, but there's a real pedagogic value when you're coached like that and the insights are put out in the open. It's like what your subconcious has always known is now stamped onto your concious mind! I hope the rest of the class got as much out of it as I did!

The exercise was given a great build-up with James recounting the occasions when volunteers had left the course in varying emotional states due to the activity. Well, I lived to tell the tale and now those balls will take pride of place in the office - much more valuable and worthy than any testing certification.

Q: "Show me your testing certification!"

A: "Well, I can do one better, I'll show you my testing balls! I may even tell the story and the lessons behind them!"
I do have the dilema of needing an extra pair for the kids - they love them too!

Hall of Fame?
Anne-Marie suggested a testing balls "hall of fame" on the STC. Cool idea!

Any more potential candidates for the "hall of fame" out there?


  1. Geir Gulbrandsen16 April 2010 at 11:13

    Hi Simon,
    I can proudly report having a set of my own :-)

    I really enjoyed the training as well and it was certainly a different experience from most other classes or presentations I have attended in any field. The willingness (and ability) to discuss and answer questions instead of just strictly adhering to a predefined set of slides makes it so much more personal.

  2. Hi Geir,

    Yes, it was a fun 3 days - and I felt energized after it! As I said I'd definitely recommend it to any tester wanting to "think" more about their profession.