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ConTest – A local context driven testing community

February 5, 2013 5 comments

The other day was the first event of the new local context-driven test community ConTest. It was initiated by Henrik Andersson and House of Test and hosted at FooCafe in Malmö. When I got to know about it, I knew I just had to go there of course. I also knew of a couple of people that would not be able to resist the opportunity. However, I was happily surprised with how many people actually showed up. A good 30 people experienced 2,5 hours of LAWST styl(ish) peer-conference setting with lightning talks followed by facilitated discussions.

The theme of the event was simply Context-driven testing and since it was the first event, Henrik prepared a couple of us to present lightning talks that could be targeted with discussions. And I think that was a wise move, so that the people that have not experienced peer conferences before could focus on good questioning. While not everyone asked questions, I think there was a fair amount of discussions anyway to fill up the time and I think we would have been able to fill a whole day with those topics.

I was honored with the first presentation, focusing on the basics “What is Context driven testing?”. With the short 10 minutes I got, I focused on the basic principles of context driven testing and gave a few examples of how they apply. I thought myself it was a good foundation of discussion that stretched for a good hour where the people that never heard about context-driven got opportunity to wrap their heads around it.

Maria Kedemo shared her thoughts on the context-driven community. She talked about her experiences with CAST and Lets Test, how those conferences really invited people to engage each other throughout the events that are not mainly around speaking but conferring. The interesting people that are there gives incredible experiences. Also, she brought up some of the different medias of how to engage with the community through blogs, twitter, linkedIn and Skype. My comment here is that coaching over Skype is a VERY rewarding experience. If you haven’t tried it, do it soon!

Robert Bergqvist talked about his experiences in a very large project and how he applied context-driven approaches on top of the already existing and non-existing testing practices at a large bank. Since they used a pass/fail approach to test cases, he gathered his own test results in OneNote including questions for clarification, unknown areas and risks from gut feeling. These notes he shared informally with stakeholders in the project and got very good responses.

Martin Nilsson talked about his approach to using exploratory testing as a learning activity in the beginning of a big project, and how the session notes from that session became valuable as a learning resource throughout the rest of the project.

Some quotes I captured throughout the event:

In my context, If its not passed, its failed and will be handled/managed

Different contexts have different meaning in regards to test results. This was a comment on Roberts regression test results where a Failed test is really bad.

I captured the stuff that was between pass and fail

Robert about what he was doing in the project apart from doing his job.

It is never hard to find the risks

Siren Hofvanders (Securitypony) comment on a question regarding different test approaches and how also security testing can be done exploratory style.

Do the testing first and then plan for these extra things

About priorities when mixing scripted with exploratory testing

Future

I must say that everyone there got more excited and up to speed during the two latter discussions, since they were more concrete experiences. With that in mind, I also have good hopes for the coming ConTest events where I don’t think it will be any problems with filling up with experience reports to discuss.

For my own sake, I need to gather ConTest people somewhere, so I created this twitter list, Contest-Foo. As I have never used lists on twitter before I am still not sure what the point is, but I figured it might suffice trying it. So if you were at ConTest in Malmö with me and you are on twitter, give me a shout, I want you here.

As a final note, the proposed hashtag for this group was #ConTest. Whoever has been on twitter knows that hastags are used for multiple purposes, which is why #contest just gives us opportunities to win things. But stay tuned for #foocontest.

Categories: events, testing Tags: , ,