Conference Idea - A Bug Advocacy Boot Camp?

If someone asked you to speak at or submit a proposal to speak at a conference do you know what you’d say?

I’d say no thanks for now, but I do have an idea for a tutorial. (This is a not-so-well thought out brainstorm and not a proposal.)

Anyone who’s read my blog of late knows I’m a fan of the Black Box Software Testing courses and anyone who has taken a course knows there’s more material cover than the typical 4 week class can get to. It’s very good material but it’s overwhelming at times. One of the classes, Bug Advocacy, has an immediate real world impact for practitioners. If the class could be sliced up in a way that helped participants understand:

  • Basic concepts (quality, bug workflow)
  • The value of writing good bug reports for the bug writers (testers, programmers, etc.)
  • For the Bug Reporters – testers primary work product and they put our credibility on the line
  • For the organization – Well written bug reports can have an impact on quality and the development lifecycle
  • Motivating the Bug Fixer
  • How to Write a Good Bug Report
  • This boot camp is not a supplement to the full Bug Advocacy course

I think it could be a valuable Full Day Tutorial. Not as valuable as taking the full class but still valuable for a professional conference.

The challenges are numerous. This is typically a four week course with six recorded lessons, hundreds of slides, a final written exam and a few assignments that include requiring students to analyze a product and write persuasive, well written bug reports. The class also requires students to join the Open Office project, select a few poorly written bug reports, analyze them and submit re-writes that are better. There’s also a lot of time for peer-review and comparisons of well written and not so well written bugs.

This idea is interesting for a number of reasons:

  • It would further my understanding of the material and how to teach it (instructional design) which is part of the reason I became a BBST Instructor (I’d like to one day teach the material on my own).
  • Bug Advocacy has enough practical material that it would be compelling to students who may not be aware of the BBST classes.
  • Further raise awareness for BBST classes and those who teach it (AST & KFA). 
  • Get more people involved in the open courseware community and potentially lead to better material.

I’d want a number of trial runs with this new instructional design before I applied to a conference. Perhaps after a few classes in my new role as an AST-certified BBST Instructor and then by some willing participants at a full day meet up I might have a better idea of the viability of a boot camped / introduction to Bug Advocacy. Maybe there would be a way to include the eventual Bug Advocacy Workbook in the class or as a way for the students to follow up. (Note the Foundations Workbook has just been released and I have no idea when the Bug Advocacy one will be out.)

Any ideas or advice?

(Thanks to Becky Fiedler who suggested Bug Advocacy as the BBST class most appropriate for a full day conference during a discussion we had during WTST / BBST Domain Testing last month.)

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Jamie Larson