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!


  1. I tweeted last Friday that SWET=SWedish Exploratory Testers - as it was like that in the invite, but the consensus is beginning to be that Swedish Workship on Exploratory Testing is more accurate.

    That's an ET approach to the conference naming (no scripted pre-defined for ever naming here) - cool!

  2. Simon thanks for sharing, this sounds very exciting, I'd have loved to have been there even if it was just with my ear pressed up against the wall next door :-)

    I was following the SWET1 tweets & gathered that something very special was going on there. I'm hoping there will be more detailed posts about it later, showing what you all learned, new idea's & stuff.

    Next time around I'd suggest video recording it & posting the highlights for the world to see. It's a big world of testers out there & we're all curious to learn more.

    Thanks for sharing this with us I'm glad it went so well.

  3. It's good to finally find your blog!

    The discussion about blogs also extended to me ranting in the hot-tub about the need of a common ground and giving the power to the users.

    I and some other people like Rikard and Martin will try to rejuvenate, if current owners agree. My idea of a good testing site is to use it as a forum (starting to doubt my translation of the word) and aggregator of swedish bloggs about test. Anyone must be able to contribute but the community chooses what is important or interesting..

    Sounds good?

  4. @Darren

    Glad you got a taster from the tweets - I wasn't online during the conf - it was enough work following all the threads and trying to flash the right card!

    Video could be interesting, I don't know if that would change the dynamics though.

    I think there will be more thoughts from both myself and others there coming out in the days ahead.


    Yes, such a forum sounds good - especially to encourage Swedish discussion and dialogue - anything that allows quick exchange of ideas & thoughts.

    As a general "world wide" site I think the STC is a good starting place, but having a Swedish aggregator and a more lively discussion place is also worthwhile.

    Something to think about: Have you thought about doing a translation of your blog into English? I think there are people out there that would be interested in reading some of your ideas.

  5. I will definitely arrange more SWET gatherings, but I strongly recommend all testers to get together and start local peer-conferences. You know where to find me if you have questions or why not just post them at this blog?

  6. Oi!

    I think the thread will continue on #swet1 on twitter on this. Lots of new topics were found and identified. Me, Rikard and Henrik agreed on that we were going to post a note on this together on the thetesteye.

    Regarding videoing... there were lots of interesting stuff at the actual meeting, but when would we stop? The discussions in the tub (Oscar rallied his troops in a grand way) and at the lunch table... dinner table.. the bar... in the shower.

    As Micke stated, do local peer-conferances and we will continue with more swet-things for others to join!

  7. Simon,

    It sounds as though you all had a great time and got a lot out of the event. It is good to discuss testing with experts in the craft and that is why I really enjoy such events.

    If only I could speak Swedish...

  8. Well Stephen, Since James Bach was one of the attendees we used English for all talks and discussions.

    Regarding what SWET stands for it started with just SWedish Exploratory Testers but then I think James called it Swedish Workshop for Exploratory Testers and the name kind of stuck.

    My tip for anyone wantig to start their own Peer group is to read the LAWST rules and then invite someone that attended before if they want to come as a guest to start the first meeting.

  9. Yes I have though about it.. and there's some ongoing work. I will have sumtin' up before chistmas.. ;)

    TestZonen refuses to reply to any of my mails..