Thursday, March 18, 2010

Test Camp: Edicy

Few weeks ago I got an idea - very dangerous, especially when you lack time. The idea was to create sort of camp out event for testers to practice our skills, learn new skills and get to know each other. After several days of thinking and discussing this idea with friends I trust (some are testers as well) I decided to organize an event called Test Camp. Idea was to spend 1-2 days in a row on one specific software and try to find as much bugs (or issues, since not all issues are bugs) as possible. Secondly I thought it would give participants excellent chance to see how other testers work and think. Thirdly the idea was to try new methods and techniques of software testing in order to see which ones work better. To add some coke and pizza to that event would make it like camping out with computers - kind of LAN party with the exception that instead of playing games, we would test.

So I start moving forward with my idea.
First I put up list of participants. Since it was a first time event I didn't want to make it too crowded. So first list contained 2 of my friends (and also ambitious testers) Rasmus Koorits (Tester from Celeg Hannas), Madis Jullinen (tester from WebMedia) and of course myself.
Then I chose website making tool called Edicy from company Fraktal as the first software to be Test Camped (term I invented to illustrate that the event is like sending software into boot camp). It has got some media coverage here and there and since my company decided to build our own website upon it, I thought it might be a good idea. So I talked with one of the creators (and owner) of that tool for permissions to do it. Not only did he agree with the idea, he also suggested that their tester should participate as well. Wow... That was surprising, but okey... so now there were 4 of us. So I named the event Test Camp: Edicy to show what software is being Test Camped. In addition I talked with Development Manager from Webmedia for feedback for the idea. Again another wow moment in that meeting... He also thought it was a good idea and suggested to add another tester from Webmedia... This time I had to decline, since 5 persons in an event I originally planned for 3 would have meant double the participation... I didn't had much time to prepare anyway so I figured I can't handle that many people at that moment.

So... List of participants was locked, software to test chosen, date and time for start of the event agreed upon and location fixed. We decided to start in the morning of saturday the March 13 in my company's office on the border of Old Town of Tartu. After 7+ hours we decided to end since all of us had rough workweeks behind us and wanted some rest. We were mentally exhausted and literally physically tired because of this event. But it was a success... Even for me though I couldn't try out not even as much as third of the new methology I wanted... We found total of 72 issues in just 7 hours, people got to know each other better and learned probably several nice new tricks how to generate better test ideas.

Test Camp's verdict for Edicy was: It works pretty well. So, Fraktal, keep up the good work!

I already have an idea for the next Test Camp as well and hopefully by then I can increase the amount of participants. Until next time and my thanks to Tanel, Madis and Rasmus. Without you, the event would have never been that much fun.

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