15/3/18 TestBash Brighton: Afternoon Workshop – Communication & Reporting

Please see my first and second posts to see how day 1 of TestBash Brighton have gone so far.

After a delicious lunch of lamb curry, I went to my afternoon workshop, which was “Communication & Reporting” by Dan Ashby and Mark Winteringham. After having Dan run the Exploratory Testing workshop I went to in Manchester last year, I had a good idea of what to expect with how this workshop might flow. The downside is as it is lots of groups discussions and activities, there wasn’t much that could be taken as notes (somewhat ironically) but I was able to get lots of pictures taken. In addition to both Dan and Mark there were mentors, of which the one for my table was Deborah Lee, who I follow on Twitter and

We started off by discussing on our table what is communication, how do we communicate, and any struggles we have when communicating. As you can see, between us all we came up with a wide range. One thing that amused me was when discussing language, dialects came up with Mark saying how his wife thought he used to make up the word “cob” when discussing a bread roll. Depending on where you come from, either you will know it is a real thing, or no idea what I mean.

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We followed up by having talk about what we consider testing to be for two minutes solid, without stopping for questions or repeating ourselves. We all struggled to not ask questions whilst the others spoke, but gave ourselves time at the end. For mine I referred back to a previous blog post I made, where I compared testers to the big bad wolf and developers to the three little pigs, as they keep building things and we blow it down, but by doing so we make sure that things which are unsuitable aren’t used, but also seen as the villain.

Next we then as a group we were asked to make a model of what we consider testing to be. After some discussion, the picture below is what we ended up with, showing how testing happens at multiple stages of a product being made, but not everything we look at is wrong.

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And there are what the other teams created, as well as Dan and Mark showing theirs. As you can see, we all have different ideas of it, which shows there isn’t a single correct opinion of what testing is.

After a short break, we then switched from thinking about communication, to note-taking. In groups we thought about the different ways we take notes, and why, and then we got them all on a single sheet, which I’ve included below.

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For our final exercise, we had to go to http://www.drawastickman.com, test the site and take notes. But the catch was each group was given a different type of note-taking method to use. We were given mind maps, which I was pleased with as I have used them a couple of times, and want to try and use them more. We looked at the options on the site, and navigated through it, and with some prodding from Deborah thought about what may or may not be a bug, as well as question what we expect things to do and see if we get what we expected. All of the results are below, with all the white space on ours showing how computers can help you order your mindmap better by being able to rearrange it.

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That was the end of the workshop, and again I was happy with it. It got me thinking about how to talk with others, whether it be in person or via digital mediums, and also how I will take notes (hence the irony comment earlier).

My next post will be on the final presentation, and the Meetup to close off the night.

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