Rapid Software Testing

This week, June 20 – 23rd 2011, i had the opportunity to attend James Bach’s Rapid Software Testing class held in Wellington New Zealand (Software Education). This is class was brilliant! Absolutely the best testing class that I’ve taken and puts alot of other courses that i’ve done/taken, to shame.

The reasons why are this:-

  • James is more than an entertaining teacher – HE challenges you, your thinking, your ideas and THEN when you are confused, he explains what has happened (socratic method).
  • The material covers more than a lot of other courses cover.Other courses will talk about techniques or numbers or data but they don’t connect the human side to the technical side. This is important because understanding how people engage, work, play, think IS just a part of testing as knowing the domain that you’re working in.

This is one of a very small handful of courses where i was ENGAGED througout the entire time. My brain was full and buzzing after every day!

James tester star

 I did manage to earn a tester star on the last exercise of the day. I won’t give the exercise away rather it felt like 2 1/2 days of thoughts and ideas came flowing out in that one exercise. It was easy to see how productive i was in that exercise as opposed to writing a script based on some requirements.

One is engaging, the other not so.

Learnings

 Two key things i have taken away is:

  • Thread based test management (TBTM). From the last exercise of day 3, James pointed out that the work i was doing is essentially thread based. TBTM is an activity based approach to testing and i like how that works so i will be exploring that *thread* further (see http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/503)
  • And the other is thinking, using and defending my approach to testing – that context driven, heursitical based approach is plausible, creative, detailed, formal and a more productive way to test. In a way, it reminds me of a sentence from Jerry Weinberg’s book – Perfect software and other illusions – “You fall victim to equating information quality with data quanity” – we equate document heavy processes and traditional thinking towards testing to be more effective than engaging your brain. There are better and more productive ways to approach testing

More to follow…