WTA20: Flying Solo No Big Deal

Posted by Albert Gareev on Oct 24, 2011 | Categories: WTAmericas

Being a facilitator at Weekend Testing Americas I often invite people to participate in our sessions. I get all kinds of responses but one is particularly interesting: “I would participate in a session if you give me test cases to execute”.
I answer differently to this one. I may suggest to try designing and executing test cases at the same time. I may suggest to join a group learning session when we try a new tool or testing technique. What I do not say is something like: “no, if you want to participate, you must do exploratory testing.”
You know, why? – Because one needs no theory to start trying and discovering. Moreover, knowledge gained the hands-on way becomes an active part of experience, a natural reaction like in martial arts. The important part is to begin.

So, what’s this preamble for?

I was ‘flying solo’ as a facilitator of the last session.
The founder and restless first facilitator of Weekend Testing Americas Michael Larsen was about to fly away to the AST Board Meeting, so, when I suggested to hold another session he suggested that I do it alone this time. So I went and did.
I think, I did pretty well. It was a ‘no big deal’. Of course, there was a big ground work for that. Before that session, I facilitated other ones helping Michael, developing missions, conducting debriefings, and stepping in wherever and whenever needed.  In this sense, there was nothing really new for me. While keeping up with all the threads going is hard, because you can only multi-task this much, I already had a sense how much should I support one or another to keep it going. As I knew I’m going to be alone, I put more effort upfront designing the mission. And (I find this part especially great!) the remaining space was filled by leadership of participants.

I find it amazing how much we can gain by consciously learning from what we do. With such a skill anything is hardly a ‘big deal’.

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.