Tuesday, August 24, 2010

European Weekend Testers: Revisited

Last week I talked about my experiences and the unique opportunity it was for me to participate with Markus Gaertner, Anna Baik and other testers in Europe and participate in the Weekend Testers movement. I had a chance to get back in and do it again on Saturday, and I have to say it's been seriously fun to get to know the participants and wrap my head around new challenges, try out new applications and tools and otherwise just make time to play and learn.

EWT takes place in the afternoon GMT, which means those of us stateside that want to participate need to be up and ready to go by 8:30 AM if you are on the West Coast, or 1:30 AM if you are on the East coast (and you can figure out the in between on your own, I'm sure :) ).

This past week we had a chance to evaluate and pair test a peering application called Mikogo, and we used a simply designed web game as the application to do it. The setup is fairly simple. One person installs Mikogo on their system, then launches the application and invites another user to check out their system. The game app was just a simple web game application that dropped bouncing balls and each bounce played a musical note. By drawing lines on the browser screen, a user could influence where the balls dropped (and with enough creativity, it was possible to make the balls perpetually bounce in an enclosed space. The application itself was of peripheral interest (though we were encouraged to see if we could find issues with the game, too). The real target was Mikogo itself, to see how it behaved in a number of circumstances, and with users spread throughout the world (my pairing partner for this exercise was in India).

After a brief session of testing, we followed with a discussion of what we found, our impressions of the tool and shared some testing techniques and ideas. It was also brought to our attention that WTANZ (Weekend Testers Australia New Zealand) group was going to be getting together later that evening (it would be 11:30 PM my time). Since they were picking up from where they left off the week before, I decided that I'd wait to jump in on a WTANZ event, but there's always this coming weekend :).

Seriously, for those out there who want a chance to practice a little of what you preach (or just want to have an excuse to hang out and talk to a few testers on a Saturday) come out and join us. I think you may well find it time well spent (after my second visit, I'm certainly finding it to be).

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