Sunday, 17 October 2010

Swedish Workshop on Exploratory Testing - #SWET1

Place: Högberga Gård
Date: 16-17 October 2010
Twitter hashtag: #SWET1 (a couple of early tweets with #SWET)

Attendees: Michael Albrecht; Henrik Andersson; James Bach; Anders Claesson; Oscar Cosmo; Rikard Edgren; Henrik Emilsson; Ann Flismark; Johan Hoberg; Martin Jansson; Johan Jonasson; Petter Mattsson; Simon Morley; Torbjörn Ryber; Christin Wiedemann

These are just some very quick reflections on this weekend's activity (more to come after further reflection) - SWET - for which I've seen two meanings (SWedish Exploratory Testers and Swedish Workshop on Exploratory Testing).

This was an inaugural peer conference on Exploratory Testing in Sweden.

Peer Conference
A first time attending a peer conference for me - I'd seen the rules beforehand, but didn't really know what to expect - either in terms of process or result. The great idea with a peer conference is that someone presents an experience report and then there is a moderated question and answer session.

Open Season
James described that part of the rules were designed to stop disruption from fellow peers (maybe himself being a prime culprit in the past.) The idea of having open season was both challenging and interesting - not just for the presenters but also their peers (James mentioned that reputations could be made or broken depending on what went on there - no pressure there then ;-) )

The open season was much longer than any of the presentations - I think the first session had an experience report of 20-30 minutes followed by 2-3 hours of questioning! Cool. Or? Think about some of the talks you may have attended at a conference - would the presenters stand up to 2-3 hours of questioning?

This was not just banal questioning either - this was serious searching and reflection from interested and passionate testers!

Learning, Buzz and New Faces
The peer conference is a great model for learning about and exploring people's experiences, opinions and views. This didn't just happen during the presentation and open season - it continued in the coffee breaks, meal breaks, during the after-session activities - I was still talking testing past 02:30. Everywhere you looked people were discussing testing and sharing opinions. A great vibe and buzz from the event!

I was able to put faces to names I recognised from blogs and online forums and got to know a lot of new testing colleagues - for all of them I say: respect!

There was some offline discussion about blogs and I think the blogosphere will see at least two new blogs (hopefully soon) -  and that's something we can all look forward to - there are some great stories, thoughts, ideas and questions just waiting to get out there!

So, as you can maybe guess, I loved it. Special thanks to Michael for a lot of hard work with the arrangements and to Michael, Tobbe & Henrik for moderating duties.

Until SWET2! I can't wait.

View from the window on Sunday morning

BTW, Henrik E & Martin will be running the test lab at Eurostar this year. After meeting them I think the test lab is going to be pretty cool!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Carnival of Testers #14

September, apples falling off of trees, picking apples, apple pie, lots of new apple sorts in the local shops, sometimes you make an interesting, tasty discovery. Autumn's here (for me), leaves on trees changing colour - lots of different shades and nuances - just like some of the blog posts this month....

Old Regulars
Taste Sensation
  • If you've missed Elisabeth Hendrikson's piece on Agile wakeup call (backlash vs wakeup call), then go read it now.
  • Zeger Van Hese made my day, no, week,with his cautionary message about delivering the message. It wasn't Zeger but the content that was delivered AT FULL VOLUME.
  • And talking about things being broken (the delivery style in the previous case), Michele Smith highlighted this talk about things being broken - yes, I could see plenty of relations to my daily work. Can you?
  • Marlena Compton came out of the testing closet this month. Have you?
Different Tastes?
  • Test Framing was a new "term" to appear this month, with this post from Michael Bolton. BTW, Michael wrote a piece urging people to hire Ben Simo - but it doesn't need any plugs now :)
  • A dip into the sub-concious and concious distinction was observed in Blink Comparator Testing by Simon Morley.
  • Joe Strazzere made some good points about willingness to learn in testers, here.
  • A fish baking story was the way Shrini Kulkarni asked a good question.
Colour Explosion
  • A colourful post from a colourful tester. Was Dave Whalen testing with gumbo or gusto, or both?
  • Gerald Weinberg pondered questions around SW projects hitting the wall.
  • uTest posted an interview with James Bach which in itself made interesting reading, but if you haven't seen it then I'd encourage you to go and read the comments too!
Seasonal Favourites
Yes, there seems to be several conferences or meet-ups happening right now.
New Discoveries
Nice to see some new apples (faces) this month.
  • Darren McMillan used Jing to record an issue with Jing. I wasn't familiar with Jing but I am now, thanks.
  • Off to a blogging bang with a very readable self-analytical piece from Lena Houser.
Did you notice I avoided bad, rotton and half-eaten apple metaphors? Oh, the temptation...

Until next time.