Experience Report Provided by: Kristjan Uba
Date: 16-18 March, 2012
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
PEST2 = 9 peers from 6 companies for 2 days with infinite amount of good ideas.
Not counting the beers and fun.
The conference theme was “Taking one for the team.”
Ideas discussed at this peer conference include: fighting boredom, understanding your team and knowing your team members. Other topics covered were: dealing with situations when you’re forced to use certain tools, ideas to keep your team motivated (and what makes them unmotivated), as well as thoughts for team leads to keep your team healthy.
Details about the event:
March 16th, 19:33, Local Pub.
Seemed like just another Friday evening, unless you examined closely. The air was full of witty banter, challenges and yet unsolved puzzles. A good start for a peer conference.
March 17th, 09:27, Conference room.
Cluttering of tea and coffee mugs faded away. Check-in had started. Now it was time for action.
Given the main theme, “Taking one for the team,” the experience reports and discussions evolved around test teams. Teams: working in one, managing one or creating one. The following questions started the open season (links below navigate to blog posts containing the summary of our answers):
- How does your team fight boredom? (If you are one-man-army then how do you fight boredom)
- What makes your team tick? (if you are one-man-army then what would make a team tick)
- Who are the key members of a team?
The content owner, Kristjan Uba, drove most of the threads to fit the general theme, but some were just too interesting to rat-hole. And few so interesting that coffee breaks were extended to let people talk about them.
The open season was facilitated by Oliver Vilson. He kept us all in order when one thread was being divided into 3 new ones and everyone wanted to speak at the same time.
March 18th, 15:54.
Checkout is finishing. People are getting into starting positions to race for the cake. Oliver uses distraction to get the lead, by shouting “PEST3 is already being prepared, be ready in October!”
Six of PEST2 highlights in no particular order. Some of the very good ideas were too big to fit into highlights and can be read from blog posts on the web.
When you are being ordered to use a tool (in a certain way) then the best way to fight against it – is not to fight (at first):
- Instead, learn it. Find out what it can do. And what it can’t do.
- Investigate, if it can used in a way that would fit your process.
- Then you can support your fight against it with good evidence.
- If you start off with great hostility you will be flagged as troublemaker, whiner, and you will not be taken seriously.
Motivation – has both absolute and relative scale (for each person):
- It is relative to previous value for that person in regard of time.
- It has absolute value to that person (high to low).
Eliminating human interactions as much as possible is apparently very good for highly specialized, after development, code testing for highly critical back-end core system maintenance.
People/teams are most often unmotivated by confusion, try to answer the following:
- So what exactly are we going to do?
- What is the goal of our work?
- How exactly is that useful?
- What resources are we going to have/need for this project?
- How long are we going to go on with this?
If you want to know you have been understood, summarize it incorrectly and see if they point it out.
If not, then you know they did not get it, or are too shy to show you made a mistake. Either way
there is more coaching to do.
Team-leads, to have a healthy team (more about this in web):
- Share boring tasks equally over all members.
- Have a Bug Chase Competition from time-to-time:
- “Be the first to find a reproducing sequence for specific intermittent bug.”
- after 30 minutes, no-one wins. Back to work.
- Remember that you are not “number 1“ in the team, but there to help the team forward. You back them up and defend from external troubles.
Official List of Participants
- Oliver Vilson (Facilitator)
- Kristjan Uba (Content owner)
- Rasmus Koorits
- Ervin Hülp
- Helena Jeret-Mäe
- Raimond Sinivee
- Aare Nurm
- Ülar Aasmäe
- Harles Paesüld
Supporting participant (could not be present at PEST2):
- Aire Kurgpõld
Your Blog Here
By: Benjamin Yaroch Since April 14th 2004 AST has had numerous milestones and successes. From gaining non-profit status in October 2004, to the first conference in 2006, to the first BBST class in 2007. More recently we have added additional BBST classes, forged new training partnerships with SummerQAmp and PerScholas, and funded local groups and [...]
The drawing is now closed. Thanks to all those who entered.
By Erik Davis I’ve been thinking for some time (where some time = on and off for the past few years) that trying to find new testers is far more difficult than it should be. I’ve been in enough discussion threads in the past year to feel comfortable saying I am not alone in this [...]
- Testing Bits – 4/13/14 – 4/19/14 | Testing Curator Blog on The State of AST – A Personal Retrospective
- The State of AST – A Personal Retrospective on AST Meetup in Singapore
- The State of AST – A Personal Retrospective on WHOSE
- The State of AST – A Personal Retrospective on Grant Program
- The State of AST – A Personal Retrospective on CAST 2014 (Aug 11-13)
- April 2014 (27)
- March 2014 (58)
- February 2014 (61)
- January 2014 (64)
- December 2013 (37)
- November 2013 (41)
- October 2013 (69)
- September 2013 (65)
- August 2013 (95)
- July 2013 (74)
- June 2013 (59)
- May 2013 (53)
- April 2013 (63)
- March 2013 (70)
- February 2013 (78)
- January 2013 (89)
- December 2012 (52)
- November 2012 (52)
- October 2012 (62)
- September 2012 (53)
- August 2012 (42)
- July 2012 (55)
- June 2012 (33)
- May 2012 (45)
- April 2012 (62)
- March 2012 (95)
- February 2012 (60)
- January 2012 (80)
- December 2011 (98)
- November 2011 (83)
- October 2011 (137)
- September 2011 (44)
- August 2011 (61)
- July 2011 (61)
- June 2011 (66)
- May 2011 (60)
- April 2011 (62)
- March 2011 (41)
- February 2011 (36)
- January 2011 (70)
- December 2010 (77)
- November 2010 (56)
- October 2010 (46)
- September 2010 (26)
- August 2010 (23)
- July 2010 (18)
- June 2010 (27)
- May 2010 (40)
- April 2010 (31)
- March 2010 (30)
- February 2010 (3)
- January 2010 (11)
- December 2009 (17)
- November 2009 (19)
- October 2009 (11)
- September 2009 (19)
- August 2009 (16)
- July 2009 (11)
- June 2009 (28)
- May 2009 (5)
- April 2009 (11)
- March 2009 (5)
- January 2009 (1)
- December 2008 (4)
- November 2008 (2)
- October 2008 (1)
- August 2008 (4)
- July 2008 (3)
- May 2008 (1)
- Hey testers! #cast2014 “Early Bird” discount expires April 30th! Hurry while there is still space! #NYC http://t.co/j57g2MWY9U 06:21:56 AM April 21, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite
- The #AST10 membership drawing is now closed. We had 225 people enter to win a free membership. Good luck to those that entered. 08:41:54 AM April 17, 2014 ReplyRetweetFavorite