Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Early Morning Musings - Live from #CAST2015

For those not familiar with the concept of Lean Coffee, a group gathers together (coffee optional), proposes a set of topics, organizes the topics to see if there are synergies, votes on the topics to set the order of discussion, and then goes into discussion of each item for an initial five minutes. If there is still energy for the topic after the first five minutes, we can vote to continue the discussion or stop it and move on to another topic.

Today's attendees are/were:

Perze Ababa, Carol Brands, James Fogarty, Albert Gareev, Dwayne Green, Matt Heusser, Allen, Johnson, Michael Larsen, Jeff MacBane, Justin Rohrman, Carl Shaulis

Topics that made the stack:

Testing Eduction, What's Missing?

Thoughts thrown out by the group: Accessibility, Test Tooling, Mobile and Embedded, Emerging Technologies, Social, Local, Geographically Tied Applications, Testing Sttrategy

Of all of these ideas, the testing strategy seemed to get the most traction. Everyone seems to think they know what it is, but it's a struggle to articulate it. Regulatory compliance could be a relevant area. What about shadowing a company(s) and see what they are doing with their new testers, especially those who are just starting out? What are their needs? What do they want to learn? What do those companies want to have them learn? Consider it an anthropology experiment. Action was to encourage the attendees to see which companies would be game to be part of the study (anonymized).

How Can We Grow Software Testers Through our Local Meetup Groups?

Getting topics of interest is always a challenge. How do we focus on areas that are interesting and relevant without being too much the same as what they deal with a work. Albert has been hosting a Resume Club at his Toronto Testers Meetup, and that's been a successful focus. Gaps in experience can help drive those discussions. Lean Coffee format itself can be used in meetups, and the topics discussed can help develop new topics that appear to be of interest to the community. Encourage games and social interaction, we don't necessarily have to focus on talks and discussion. ST Grant program can also be used for this. We offer grant funds for meetup support, but we also have the option of flying in people to meetups to help facilitate events as well (Michael did this in Calgary back in 2012 for the POST peer conference).  If monthly meetup is too difficult, commit to quarterly and work to recruit speakers in the in between time. If the critical mass gets large enough, schedule more meetings. Have a round robin discussion from a talk that's already been presented and recorded. Make workshops based on topics of interest.

Writing Code For Testers Via Web Based Apps

Matt discussed this around a web app that aims to help teach people to program (as part of a Book to Teach People How to Code in Java). In a way, this is a two part problem. On one hand, there's the interface to engage and inform the user to get involved and learn how to code. The second is the meta-elements that can determine if the suer has completed the objective and can suggest what to do.  Both require testing, but both have different emphases (the ability for an application to determine if "code is correct" can be challenging, and there is always TiM TOWTDI to consider (There Is More Than One Way To Do It).

Good discussions, good ideas to work with, and so many more possible things we didn't even get to consider.  Lock and learn for me is that it might be cool to run an anthropology experiment with other companies to see what they want to have their testers learn.

Time for breakfast, see you all in a bit :).

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