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Agile Testing Days 2011

Last week from November 14th to November 17th I was attending at the Agile Testing Days 2011 in Potsdam! If you are working in an agile software development team in different roles e.g. tester, developer, agile coach or product owner, I really recommend to go to the next Agile Testing Days 2012 to meet great people and to exchange on certain test topics.

My conference started on Monday with a tutorial from Michael Bolton with the topic: “Critical Thinking Skills for Testers”. To make it short: This tutorial was AWESOME!

Michael Bolton is great thinker and QA guy, he has good experience, ideas and tips when it comes to testing.
Here are some facts and topics we discussed during the day:

  • How to ask the right questions to your developers. Play stupid, to ask stupid questions
  • Testing is like a crime scene. Setup a scene how your customers will use the product
  • Don’t call it test phase, instead call it fixing phase. THEN, no one will ever ask you why testing takes so long. QA is not the bottleneck anymore.
  • The calculator example. To ask/ think about the right questions. “Imagine your calculator is dropped and MAYBE damaged. What are you doing to test if the calculator is working?”
  • The famous pattern program
  • Live test session of acrobat reader
  • Excel is a powerful test data tool

I highly recommend everybody if possible to attend a tutorial of Michael!

1 Day Tuesday November 15th:

The first day of the conference started with the keynote from Johanna Rothman about Agile Testing and Test Management. After the Keynote I visited a talk from the company T-Systems about the role of an agile tester in larger projects. This talk includes good insights in larger project and how they handled the process from waterfall to scrum and which problems they had. After that I talked about “Challenges in Mobile Test Automation”. The slides can be found Challenges In Mobile Test Automation XING AG. After that talk I had a really good discussion with the audience about mobile testing, the problems, the solutions, how we handle the mobile test automation within our company and some tips and tricks. I think mobile test automation is currently a hot topic, because the mobile market is increasing and a really dynamic field. Most companies want to provide an app for their products. To provide such apps they also need tools for testing, to deliver a good app with a high quality.
After a really nice lunch break with more discussion and great exchange on mobile testing I visited some more talks about Session based testing, Product Management using Effect Maps and about lessons learned in agile testing. In the evening we had a really nice social event in Babelsberg film studios. It was a medieval dinner in a great atmosphere. Lisa Crispin gave a talk on a horse and Gojko received an award.

2 Day Wednesday November 16th:

The first half of the day I was at our company exhibition booth, to answer questions about XING and QA. I also got more feedback about my talk about and exchanged again with really interesting people about the mobile topic. I also was interviewed and filmed from some Korean guys. This was a new situation for me, but it was also really fun.
The second half of the day I visited several talks about Haikus, a balanced test strategy and about how to test the organization. After the talks I felt a bit disappointed because the talks had either nothing to do with testing or they were just boring. But the closing keynote from Gojko was just awesome. The topic was “Five Key challenges for agile testers tomorrow”, and Gojko presented the topic in a real fun way. The end of the day was a nice pub tour through Potsdam with some really nice guys from Austria ;). We had some beers and a lot of fun!

3 Day Thursday November 17th:

The last day of the conference was the practical day. We had the chance to test web applications, native applications in the test lab. I reported several bugs in the web application and it was really fun and interesting to see how other people are testing software. Besides the test lab there were Testing Dojos and Coding Dojos.

That was my short summary about the week in Potsdam. Thanks everybody for the talks and really good exchange and discussions. One last thing, I saw a lot of people tweeting about the talks and topics. There were so many tweets with lots of good information and links. To share “some” tweets with you, I exported the #agiletd hash in a PDF file with 174 pages ;). Sadly the export includes only 1500 tweets and they go back until November 15th 2pm, but I think there are enough information.

Have fun with the PDF!
Agile Testing Days Tweets