I’ve had this blog for a week and have already come up with several new ideas for posts, which is great. Turns out that even just having set up a blog is making me more aware of the times when I do have interesting thoughts or ideas about testing!
How I met Carlos and got involved with LTGW
One thing Carlos and I have in common is being keen to receive and give feedback, so we chatted after the workshop about how we thought it went. We thought it went well but could be even better in 2014 :). So he asked me to team up with him to give a tester’s perspective on the content and also to lend a helping hand during the workshop itself.
On the day itself
Lessons I would draw from this experience:
Know thy user
I’m ashamed to admit that I underestimated the average coding knowledge of the workshop attendees (or perhaps my survey which asked about coding experience put off people who didn’t have any – I hope not!). The survey results were incredibly helpful though in designing a better workshop – one which I believe met more attendees’ needs – compared to the original plan Carlos and I had. Similarly, reading user reviews, running user surveys (e.g. via surveymonkey), or finding other ways to get in touch with users will allow you to help your team create a better application – one which better meets your users’ needs.
Be a tester sans frontières
The charity Medecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) send doctors overseas, away from the comforts of their own homes, to countries in which the need for medical care is greatest.
As testers, we can benefit from getting involved with the developer community and trying to learn more about their world. I appreciate this may be easier for me to say as an ex-developer than for some, but even if you don’t know how to code there are still plenty of interesting talks being given by developers about higher level topics such as Agile, architecture, and even testing! Or consider it the other way around; perhaps the developers might benefit from having someone with a testing mindset asking them questions. If you’re interested then check out Test Invaders from the Software Testing Club, or have a browse of meetup.com.
Remote communication is useful, but face-to-face even better
Living on a relatively remote island, I think Carlos is used to working remotely with others. His idea of using a shared Google doc was really helpful; it allowed us to both continue working asynchronously on the plan and suited our busy lives as a way of communicating. However I still worried a lot about how (under)prepared I was for the workshop; yet when Carlos and I met face-to-face in London all it took was a few quick words to put my mind at rest! For me it was about getting that trust and understanding of how we would work together, and it was a lot quicker and easier to achieve this face-to-face.
That’s it – as mentioned, I like to receive feedback, so would be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments. I’m also aware this is quite a long post; is it too long?