Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ideas and Learning


The Cambridge Tester Meetup last night had talks from Jamie Doyle and Samuel Lewis. I took the opportunity to practice my sketchnoting again.

Jamie is a business owner and an ex-tester and test manager. He described how, despite his background in testing, he has still kicked off product development based on sketchy 3am "great ideas" in teams without any testers.

Having lost some money building the wrong thing, he's now an advocate of shifting testing left. He recommended that the C-level get testers in to provide risk assessments of ideas before they're committed-to, and that testers look to make contacts on that side of the business and get themselves in a position to be asked to help.

He also shared some of the approaches and questions he used redoing the problematic project with a friendly tester from the bottom up. Interestingly for me, this exercise sounded like the kind of thing a business analyst might do. I see a lot of crossover between the test and BA roles but Jamie appeared to draw a really strong line between them, based on his experience: testers to review ideas, and BAs to break down requirements.


Samuel's talk was about the framework he has built at DisplayLink for helping new starters feel less anxious, more productive, and happier in their early days at the company. He talked essentially about two things.

First, the way the framework was developed: by talking to people about what they thought was important to learn, finding ways to document that (with learning objectives for each piece), lots of review, and then finding a tool to manage the pieces.

Second, the way the framework is applied and maintained: by giving each starter a copy of a Trello board containing the intro tasks, by support from a buddy, in 1-1s, in regular conversation in stand ups, and by feeding back their experience into the process for the next person along.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant artwork, how does one keep up with James line drawings! I am a fan of Samuels hard work on the self-driven learning framework, but mostly did enjoy the sharing Jamie did about how he failed. Jamie made it clear how testers today are still failing to step up to the mark when a business analyst is not looking at the costs and risks, to back up the "C" level decision making. #BigPicture

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