Rapid Testing Intensive 2012: Day 1 Recap

This is a previous day recap of the things we did in Rapid Testing Intensive #1, Day 1 on Orcas Island, WA in 2012. I hope I remember everything. Some of the information I took from Karen Johnson’s internal micro-blog. We’ve got eBay’s support, developers online, ready to help with any bugs we find.

9:00 AM – Description of what we will be doing from Jon and James. How Jira works for reporting bugs, find project documentation, etc.

9:31 AM – First assignment is a Usability Test of eBay Motor’s My Vehicle section. Session testing in pairs. There is a script to follow, find and report bugs as well as fill out the script. Post it to Jira when done.

11:35 AM – Wrap up of the first assignment. Get all bugs in.

11:47 AM – Usability test debrief from Jon and James.

12:00 PM – Lunch time.

1:10 PM – James is talking about Rapid Software Testing.

1:50 PM – James talking about the Law of Requisite Variety.

2:05 PM – Going over notes about RST, James is discussing a style of testing called galumphing. There was a blog post on this a while back.

2:15 PM – James talking about the heuristic test strategy which can be found here.

2:18 PM – Talking about Test Coverage Outlines. This leads to our next assignment.

3:00 PM – Working on the second assignment which is to be grouped into tables. My table is called Tron. We are working on the “data surface” and our job is to create a TCO or Test Coverage Outline.

3:06 PM – Done creating TCOs.

3:10 PM – Jon and James are doing a de-brief and showing off a few of the TCOs.

4:00 PM – James talking about his note-taking while harvesting test ideas.

4:06 PM – Talking about alternation: read the spec, play. Repeat and continue.

4:50 PM – Done for the day.

Photos from the event have been posted on Flickr.
Check out the other days:

StarWest 2011 Keynote Presentations

I’ve uploaded two Keynote Presentation’s from this years (2011) StarWest conference.

The first is James Whittaker’s Keynote entitled All That Testing is Getting in the Way of Quality:

The second is the Lightning round Keynote featuring a number of testing luminaries like Michael Bolton, Lee Copeland, Bob Galen, Dorothy Graham, Hans Buwalde, Dale Emery, Julie Gardiner, Jeff Payne and Martin Pol:


James Bach’s Open Lecture on Software Testing

I got to talk to James Bach last week at StarWest 2011 in Anaheim. I joined his Critical Thinking class for its final 2 hours on Tuesday after walking out on my boring afternoon half-day tutorial on Open Source tools.

I was surprised when I was able to catch up to and chat with him after the class. I asked about the books he recommended that were on sale at the convention at which point he gave me his copy of Captivating Lateral Thinking Puzzles he’d shown in class. (Thank you, although my girlfriend finds it amusing to open the book and quiz me randomly.) In our chat I told him I enjoyed this Open Lecture:

Some point during our conversation I asked when he would be doing another open lecture and where it would be (hoping it would be somewhere near SoCal). After detailing his itinerary he came to the realization everywhere else in the world except in the US he does open lectures. Sad. (In this instance an open lecture is where someone hires James to speak and then anyone who’s interested can join by purchasing a ticket.)

In this video James is doing an open lecture at a Estonia IT College. He uses some new and familiar terminology that I’ve listed below. I need to work on becoming a professional skeptic!

A quick summary of the testing terminology used:

  • Decision coverage
  • Predicate coverage
  • All-Path coverage
  • Click frenzy
  • Rumble strip heuristic
  • Error message hangover
  • Shoe test
  • Brancing and backtesting
  • Follow up testing

James Bach and Michael Bolton both use critical thinking puzzels in their lectures. The two puzzles in this video are the flow chart and calculator. I think the calculator problem could be used to interview some to help identify someone’s thinking pattern.

STAR West 2011

It’s official I’ve registered for STAR West 2011 (also know as Software Testing Analysis and Review for the west coast) in Anaheim, CA. I’m only going for Monday and Tuesday, the tutorial days, but I’m excited for the ones I’ve chosen:

A Rapid Introduction to Rapid Software Testing with Michael Bolton. It’s a full day course. Hopefully it’s interesting so I can stay awake the entire time! http://www.sqe.com/StarWest/Tutorials/Default.aspx?Date=10/3/2011

The quality of the courses on available on Tuesday is far below Monday’s so I went with two half day classes. In the morning I’m taking Using Visual Models for Test Case Design with Rob Sabourin. In the afternoon I’m taking Testing Web-based Applications: An Open Source Solution with Mukesh Mulchandani. I’m hoping it will broaden my understanding of automation since the full day automation tutorial from Monday isn’t available. http://www.sqe.com/StarWest/Tutorials/Default.aspx?Date=10/4/2011

James Whittaker from Google will be there Monday morning as he mentions on Google’s Testing Blog here. Google has two people presenting on Monday: James Whittaker in the morning talking about How Google Tests Software and Ankit Mehta on Testing Rich Internet AJAX-Based Applications.

If I had more time I’d check those two tutorials out but I don’t. Bummer. Hopefully Google’s Testing Blog will recap some of the things they covered.


GTAC 2011 and STARWEST 2011

The two big Software Testing events of the year, GTAC or the Google Test Automation Conference, and STARWEST are both being held in October of this year. Big month for software testers!

According to the Google Testing Blog GTAC 2011 will be held in Mountain View, CA during the week of October 25th. STARWEST 2011 will be held in Anaheim, CA during the week of October 2nd.

The real question is how do I get my company to pay for both? Hopefully GTAC is reasonable inexpensive.