Month: May 2012

Let’s Test 2012: an awesome conference! – Part 3

Tuesday 8th May: Let’s Test day 2: Sessions

Keynote Rob Sabourin

After a “tired” but funny introduction by Paul “Hungover” Holland, Rob Sabourin climbed the stage to do a great keynote titled “Elevator Parable” in which he told a story about a conversation he overhead in the elevator. The central thing is his talk was a bug from this conversation. Rob entertained the audience with voice mail messages from famous testers like James Bach and Rex Black. After every message the audience was asked to triage the bug. A very entertaining and interesting talk. Duncan has written a much more comprehensive blog post about this talk and you can find it here.

Paul "hungover" Holland

Rob Sabourin (photo by Anders Dinsen)

Rob Sabourin – Elevator Parable


After the keynote I went to four really good sessions:

  1. Markus Gärtner – “Charter your tests”: in which we worked in small groups to create charters to test an application of our choice. A nice “dojo” style exercise with some good discussions in the retrospective part.
  2. Rikard Edgren – “Curing Our Binary Disease”: a great presentation in which Rikard warns us for the Binary Disease. A serious disease with four symptoms: pass/fail addiction, coverage obsession, metrics tumor and sick test techniques.
  3. Louise Perold – “Tales from the financial testing trenches”: for me, working for a bank, this case study was very interesting. She shared her experiences testing context-driven in the financial domain: some topics she covered were low-tech dashboard, reporting with mind maps, learning & motivation, effect mapping and debriefing.
  4. Anne-Marie Charrett – “Coaching Testers”: in this session Anne-Marie did a short introduction presentation of the coaching model she and James Bach have developed. After that she did a short coaching session via skype on the beamer to show how it works. Next the group was invited to coach 5 anonymous testers via skype on the laptops in the back of the room. The exercise was fun and it was interesting to see how a coaching session via skype evolves. David was one of the testers coached, read his write-up.

Markus Gärtner - Charter your tests

Working in groups in Markus’ session

Sharing and discussing results

Some Results
and flip chart art

Lunch Outside (who is the person in the middle?)

Rikard Edgren - Curing Our Binary Disease

Louise Perold - Tales from the financial testing trenches

Anne-Marie Charrett - Coaching Testers

Live coaching testers

Evening fun

Again the evening brought lots of fun: Let’s Test had an amazing evening program including guided art and nature tours, sports, open space, lighting talks, competitions in the test lab, quizzes and … sponsored free beer! Great to have all attendees of the conference present at the same venue all night. This creates a wonderful ambiance with fun, good conversations and you meet a lot of interesting people.

Xbox ski fun

Let's Try

Test Lab Heroes

The Test Lab packed

Ideal game for testers: Set!

Sun comes up, time to go to bed!

Let’s Test 2012: an awesome conference! – Part 2

Monday May 7th: Let’s Test Tutorial day

Keynote Michael Bolton
Ola opened the conference officially with this great song by one of my favorite bands. When the music started I looked around the grand hall to see where they had hidden the canons… you never know.

And we rocked! The first keynote was Michael Bolton, who did a great talk “If it is not context-driven, you can’t do it here”. Reminding us in one of his first slides that the title is ironic. See the live blog by Markus Gärtner for a full report on this great talk. There were a lot of tweets during the talk like these: “Adopt or adapt a clients context is part of the paradox of being a context driven tester”, “Mature people don’t try to get rid of failure, they manage it” and “Testers are in the business of reducing damaging certainty”. Meike Mertsch created some awesome drawings to capture the opening and keynote. This reminds me that I want to do the same course Markus and Meike did…

The event hall filling up

Michael Bolton – If it’s not CD you can’t do it here!

Live blogging by @MeikeMertsch

Tutorial Fiona Charles
After the keynote it was tutorial time and I joined Fiona Charles on the topic : “test leadership”. A nice big group of 25-30 people sat in a circle and we introduced ourselves shortly and explained the motivation to be in this tutorial. I always enjoy the variety of reasons why people chose a specific session. During the day we did a couple of interesting exercises and debriefed them quite extensive. In one of the exercises was, we were decided in two groups. Each group had to create a leadership challenge for the other group in 45 minutes. The other group would get 45 minutes to solve it. After creating the challenges, they we both solved by the groups. The interesting thing in these exercises is while working on the exercises, you are also the subject of the exercises and you are aware of that fact. Got some interesting insides and take-aways to chew on.

Fiona and some attendees

The tutorial group

More tutotial attendees

Working in groups

Teamwork during exercise

More discussion

Results drawn by Markus

Results in a mind map

An evening in the Test Lab
After a beautiful diner it was time for the evening program. There was so much to do but I chose the test lab, since I like actual testing with my peers on these occasions. We did a group exercise planning collaborative with as planning tool. Here I noticed the common problem if people all have their own device: everybody is too much focussed on what they are doing and not really collaborating. A lot of lessons and a good experience again, so cheers to James and Martin who organized the lab here. The rest of the evening we spend having a couple of beers and discussing al kinds of test and non-test related topics.

Working with corkboard

Discussion and concentration

A lot of hard work

Let’s Test 2012: an awesome conference! – Part 1

The world of software testing is changing and Context-driven testing (CDT) is upcoming. In the USA it is better known and more applied than with us in Europe. Overseas in the USA the Association for Software Testing (AST) is fairly context-driven. They organize a conference called CAST every year where CDT is one of the main topics. In 2011 the theme of the whole conference was context-driven testing. People like Cem Kaner, Michael Bolton and James Bach travel the world to learn others about CDT. They encourage others to create peer workshops like DEWT in the Netherlands, SWET in Sweden and GATE in Germany. These peer workshops help spread the word about CDT. At other conferences CDT gets some attention, but that isn’t enough… In the summer of 2011 five brave gentlemen from Sweden decided to create something beautiful: a context-driven conference in Europe! Let’s Test was born. I am very pleased to be one of the approx. 140 people who took part in the first Let’s Test ever. I feel very honoured that I was part of the totally excellent line-up of speakers that spoke there.

Me and Peter (aka Simon) Schrijver arrived at Runö in Åkersberga early Sunday morning after picking up Fiona Charles at her hotel in Stockholm. Here we met the organisers of the conference: Johan Jonasson, Hendrik Andersson, Ola Hyltén, Torbjörn Ryber and Hendrik Emilsson. The venue is beautiful!

The venue: Runö – Möten & Events

Hotel buildings 1 and 2

Keynote hall (l) and main building (r)

My Room

The view

More view

The garden

Sunday May 6th: LTWET (LEWT goes Sweden / Let’s LEWT)

After a quick breakfast I joined a LEWT-style peer workshop organized by James Lyndsay. Peter joined the people who were trained as facilitators for the Let’s Test conference by Paul Holland. Later that morning some of them would join the peer workshop. The theme of the peer workshop was “design” and we started with a small group: James Lyndsay, Desi (James’ wife), Neil Thompson, Fiona Charles and me. Later Paul Holland, Ilari Aegerter, Ben Kelly, Torbjörn Ryber, Rikard Edgren, Peter/Simon Schrijver and Simon Morley joined.

Dot voting monkeys

Great topics

Fiona, Paul and Ilari

Torbjörn and Peter/Simon

Desi, Simon and Rikard

James, Ben and Neil

Neil on relation between analysis and design

Rikard on Charisma Testing

Simon on Experimental design

Sunday evening May 6th: pre Let’s Test fun

After dinner drinks

More drinks in the cafe

They also have coke 😉