WTA01: Testing is Learning

Posted by Albert Gareev on Nov 16, 2010 | Categories: LinksWTAmericas

“Testing is a process of exploration, discovery, investigation, learning, and analysis with the goal of gathering information about risks, vulnerabilities, and threats to the value of the product.”

 Michael Bolton, DevelopSense

What this is about?

  1. Read about Weekend Testing
  2. November, 2010: Weekend Testing is coming to the Western Hemisphere
  3. November, 13, 2010: Let’s Dance!


In the nutshell

1. No planning or preparation

  • Unknown objective
  • Unknown team
  • Unknown application


Yes, “normal” testing is not possible. Time for the heroes?

2. Get in, get objective, team up, grab app – you’ve got 30 minutes!

  • Quick communication and initiative are critical
  • Timeframe affects priorities
  • Benefit from pairing


3. Testing tools is what we use
Here’s what was used (any additions welcome)

  • Skype chat/VOIP calls
  • Skype Screen Sharing
  • Task Manager
  • Regedit
  • Notepad
  • MS PowerPoint
  • Mantis


Except of the bug tracking tool, none of those applications were created as “testing tools” but effectively assisted in testing. (Boost Your Testing Super Powers, James Bach)

…But there was a surprise!

Shmuel Gershon introduced his lightweight yet powerful tool that really rocked. Why?  Rapid Reporter was created by a tester for testers. (And it’s free/open source). I won’t go further about this great tool only because it deserves a separate blog post, which I will come up with, eventually.

My notes

In major, that was a learning experience for me.

Keeping up with all the threads in the chat is hard, but our facilitator, Michael Larsen, managed to do it all: adding newcomers, answering questions, setting challenges, tracking time…

Mohinder Khosla paired with me, and we opened an extra chat to communicate one-on-one. Both of us also tried helping in the general chat, posting some answers for the problems raised. I can’t say I succeeded very much in pairing and quick communication, as other participants did, though our talk actually prompted me to explore some areas of the application with a success of finding bugs.

Considering the timeframe (only 30 minutes!), I decided to focus my tests on two main areas: trying the game flow itself and skimming through menu options, as a curious user would do. At that point I didn’t really think of it as “I’m gonna use touring heuristics here”, but looking back I see it falls under FCC CUTS VIDS by Michael Kelly.

I liked the debriefing part much because of experience shared. And I don’t only mean experience testing that particular application. I mean experience of learning, and parallels to the past experience.


WT America organizers

Michael Larsen (USA)

Joe Harter (USA)

Lynn McKee (Canada)

Experience Reports

Reflection: Weekend Testers – Americas #1

My take: Weekend Testing Americas – Session 1

  • 2 responses to "WTA01: Testing is Learning"

  • Darren McMillan
    16th November 2010 at 15:30

    Hi Albert,

    Looking at the report on this, I was surprised by how many people turned out! Excellent stuff.

    I’m still hoping for a detailed post from someone, what they learned, what others learned from it. I’d love if people did that with the weekend testing sessions they attend, though it’s finding the time to write all that up I suppose.

    [ Albert’s reply. Read chat transcript. Not everyone blogged, but everyone shared. ]

    I’ll be attending the midweek sessions when they start up, so expect some post from me in that respect.

    Looks like it was an excellent session, one that you enjoyed very much. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    [ Albert’s reply. Indeed, it was! ]



  • Michael Larsen
    17th November 2010 at 20:17

    Hey Albert, great write-up. One additional item to add, though (just to give proper credit :) )…

    Joe Harter is also a Founding Member of Weekend Testers Americas.

    Michael Larsen

    [ Albert’s reply. Thanks! Updated! ]

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by Albert Gareev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.