Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TestBash Retrospective #1 - Tester Exchange Program



If you weren't there it's hard to describe. It's a set of fantastic talks by great people with a superb community. Okay, not that hard. I have a lot to say, I don't have a lot of time, and as I've said to so many people in the community before - I write far more than I publish. So this will seem less polished but will actually be readable by someone who isn't me! In non-chronological order:

Sarah's 99-Second Talk

99-second talks at TestBash can be done by anyone. The prerequisite to get on the roster is, I believe, to say "I want to do a 99 second talk" and then do it. There have been poems, lists (there was a hilarious one this time), there have been silent performances and, occasionally, talks. These might be a rant or a request or a suggestion or a plea or.. well, anything related to testing. Sometimes not even that. There's no going over 99 seconds, though.

Sarah Glanville [@GirlsTest2] talked about an idea which I suppose I'll describe as a tester exchange program. The core of the talk was a request to get in contact with her to talk about getting test teams to visit her company (SkyBet) to share notes, compare challenges, and so on.

I talked to her for a while about this, and I think this is a game changing idea. It's applicable across nearly any company, This has so many benefits - understanding of one's own context, examination of one's own constraints and processes, examination of how testers work in different methodologies and industries. There's so much to learn and apply! The difference between this and, for example, a meetup is the difference between testing a product by interacting with it and looking at the documentation. There's lots of tacit information to be gained, and it provides an examination of things like company culture and an understanding of the ACTUAL implementation of methodologies and approaches and the problems that have been overcome. You know how you feel motivated to improve after a meetup or conference? Why not get together with another company and learn for free?

To me it's one of those ideas that one looks at and is marvelled by a combination of its power, simplicity, and the fact that nobody's really thought to do it before. So get together!

More information here: [Sarah's STC Post]. If you're near enough to Leeds why not send her a message and talk it over?

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