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Showing posts from May, 2016

Cambridge Lean Coffee

This month's Lean Coffee  was hosted by Cambridge Consultants. Here's some brief, aggregated comments on topics covered by the group I was in. What is your biggest problem right now? How are you addressing it? A common answer was managing multi-site test teams (in-house and/or off-shore) Issues: sharing information, context, emergent specialisations in the teams, communication Weinberg says all problems are people problems ... but the core people problem is communication Examples: chinese whispers, lack of information flow, expertise silos, lack of visual cues (e.g. in IM or email) Exacerbated by time zone and cultural differences; lack/difficulty of ability to sit down together,  ... Trying to set up communities of practice (e.g. Spotify Guilds) to help communication, iron out issues Team splits tend to be imposed by management But note that most of the problems can exist in a colocated team too Another issue was adoption of Agile Issues: lack of desire

Joe Blogs: A Meeting

After Neil Younger's talk on Lean Coffee for team meetings at the Cambridge Tester Meetup last night, we ran a Lean Coffee session. These are my notes on the topics we covered: How do you teach testing? The question was set up on the premise that "you can teach/there is a lot of available material for software development, but not so much for testing".  This was disputed: was the assertion confusing (availability of material for) learning programming languages with being able to program or being a good developer? When teaching or coaching testing, particularly to non-testers, a detective metaphor is useful. Testing is about a problem-solving mindset ... but so is programming, right? How do you keep up with technology? When your product uses or interacts with some new technology, how do you get up to speed with it? How do you get sufficient depth to be able to talk to experts on your team? Testing is about learning, whether it's your product or some

Joe Blogs: Meetings

Neil Younger spoke about using Lean Coffee for his test team meetings at last night's Cambridge Tester Meetup . Inspired by the Cambridge Lean Coffee meetings - which are also part of this meetup and which he has hosted at DisplayLink since the earliest days - he replaced a failing monthly team meeting with Lean Coffee. And he hasn't looked back. Here's a few bullet points pulled out of the talk and subsequent discussion. The monthly test team meeting was failing for various reasons, including: As the company transitioned from waterfall to agile there were other forums for people to report status ... and these were generally more timely ... and the monthly meeting became mostly repetition. With a cross-site team the physical constraints of the meeting rooms - round a table at each end, with a monitor onto the other team - seemed like a barrier to interaction. They changed the Lean Coffee format in several ways, including: Cross-site means that post-its a

Toujours Testing

Some time ago, maybe even a year ago now, one of my team said that she had been watching me. I acted cool - although that may have been the onset of a cold sweat - but fortunately my dark secrets remain mine and her observation was simply that, to her mind, I am always testing. She gave a couple of examples: When the test team were being given an expert-level product demo, I took notes not only on the functionality but also on the way that that information was being communicated to us, verbally and in slides, and I fed that back to the business because what we were watching was similar to the content of our customer demos. When I set a piece of work - for myself or others - I will frequently have a secondary aim other than simply getting the piece of work done, and that aim often has an evaluation or assessment element to it. And on reflection I think she's right. This is something that I have done, and do do. These days, I believe, I do it more explicitly than I used to