Collaboration In Testing

You may have a read a very flattering post by David Greenlees regarding our collaboration on a Miagi-Do School of Software Testing challenge set by Matt Heusser

This post is my response…

As Dave has mentioned, we are newest members to the Miagi-Do School of Software Testing – in fact, it was Daves post on his acceptance into the school which kicked me in the ass to try a challenge myself!

Dave was great in welcoming me to the school & think he must have picked up on how excited I was to be a part of the mystique as he was. We got to chatting & he suggested we try collaborating on a challenge.

What a great idea! Not only was it a chance to improve my testing skills, but it was also a great opportunity to collaborate with another likeminded Tester – I’ve not had many of these kind of opportunities so I jumped at the chance!

So I’m based in the UK & Dave is in Oz, so we were anticipating some trouble around the time difference. As it turns out, there was an impact, but not as great as we both envisaged. When Dave was at work, I was at home & vice-versa so it was possible to have some realtime Skype conversation. That said, Skype was largely used for catching up & light banter, with the bulk of the information going into email.

We started the challenge using Corkboard.me, but as Dave points out, it soon got unwieldy & there was no way to manipulate or harvest the data.

As we’re both Xmind & DropBox users, we decided to collaborate through the medium of mindmaps. Dave took the time to copy the data from our Corkboard into a mindmap (which was greatly appreciated!)

He also added to the mindmap so many ideas that hadn’t crossed my mind – to be honest, I hadn’t given the challenge the attention it required & Daves updates made me sit up & take notice.

Tools used:

  • Skype – for general banter
  • Email – for the bulky, q & a sessions & analysis
  • Xmind – for managing the analysis in mindmaps
  • Dropbox – for sharing the mindmaps
  • Google Talk – as for Skype, but more readily available

It was great to be reading Daves blog one day & to then be collaborating with him the next. Its like I’ve jumped into his novel, well, short story at least!

It has been a great introductory challenge working with Dave – we seemed to have ideas which the other didn’t. We also have similar family commitments, so there wasn’t any part of the exploring which was one-sided. Maybe its because he is Australian, but Dave is so laid back & great guy to work with. It definitely made the challenge that much more enjoyable.

Collaboration all the way!

But the collaboration doesn’t end there – we’ve yet to hear the results of the challenge. After we get those, we’re going to get together again & debrief – find out what our lessons learned are.

If you’re in need of a Tester in the Adelaide area, be sure to give David Greenlees a shout – he wont let you down.

If you haven’t tried collaborating before, I would thoroughly recommend it – it gives you great insights you wouldn’t normally think of. If you want to try collaborating on a challenge, I would be happy to help (as I think Dave would as well).

Thanks Dave!

P.S. There was one delay in correspondence – Dave went swimming with wild dolphins for the day. I’m not jealous (really), I just want to be there!

  • Mate, how did I forget Google Talk?  See, this is why collaboration is king!
     
    It’s true, I did take notice of your excitement at joining the school and likened it to mine straight away.  I was thinking, “This guy is chuffed!  Just like I was.”
     
    There is one problem that I can see from your post… you’re being too modest!  You did well mate, and did PLENTY of work.
     
    As Duncs has mentioned, we would both be happy to collaborate with any testers (as long as you’re passionate about our craft and want to make it, and yourself, better).
     
    Ahh, swimming with the dolphins.  What a magical experience.  It just so happened to be during the ‘busiest’ period of the challenge!  Sorry dude!  ;0)

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