My visit to Let’s Test 2015 – Day 1

Welcome to the second part of my visit to Let’s Test 2015. You can find the arrival day here.

The bright Swedish sun woke me up around 0530 for the first time, and I panicked, because I thought I missed the alarm going off. After I checked the time I realized that I need to get used to Swedish “nights” quickly. With a sunrise before 5 am the early mornings are really bright and the curtains are not that useful at all.

At breakfast I finally met Dan Billing and had time for a chat with him. This guy has a lot of knowledge around security testing and more. And he is also one of the facilitators of Weekend Testing Europe. I also met Chris for the first time. Not my last encounter with this really nice Swiss fellow.
A fun moment at the table was meeting Nicola and both of us realizing who the person across the table was.

Ben Simo’s Keynote

I made one plan for Let’s Test, not to decide which session to go to beforehand, except of course the full-day workshop. The easy part about day 1 is, that it starts off with a keynote. So off to the big auditorium “Runöhallen” to finally hear Ben Simo talk about his experience with healthcare.gov. He told us his compelling story, why he needed to use healthcare.gov. Yes, use, not test. But when he encountered the many different problems with poor capacity management and bad application design, found the help desk not that helpful – “Keep trying” is an awesome answer from a helpdesk – he carefully started blogging about the flaws he found, all from a user perspective. Ben did a great job with his keynote. His story is a perfect example that you don’t need a specification to find design errors. I found the keynote very inspiring in many aspects, so I will dig deeper in those reflections. You can find a more detailed blog about the keynote here soon.

Emma Armstrong’s “Equipping you for the unexpected challenges of Testing”

As for every track, choosing the session to attend was hard, because all were featuring interesting topics. So for the first 2-hour workshop I went to hear Emma Armstrong about “Equipping you for the unexpected challenges of Testing”. Emma gave us some great examples how to use heuristics, especially useful for me were the two usability heuristics, and skills that you need to improve as a tester. Emma had lots to share in those two hours, and I will try to reflect more about it in an upcoming post, too.

At lunch I met Björn (I hope I got that right!) a really nice fellow who helped me along with Maria on Twitter a few weeks ago to express some problems I had. Thanks, man! Speaking of Maria, I had only the chance to say hi and hug her before the next workshop and found no time to follow up with her over the next days. I am very sorry for that missed opportunity.

Paul Holland’s “Bad idea! Bad idea! Good idea!”

Next up was the half-day workshop “Bad idea! Bad idea! Good idea!” with Paul Holland which was all about brainstorming. Paul showed us in 5 rounds of absurd brainstorming topics – yes we decided on them our own – how different parameters facilitating the brainstorming session can influence the fun and quality of results. My takeaways of that session were many and I hope to improve upcoming brainstorming sessions with my team to produce more and more creative results. The main idea that I keep from this session is, that having a safe environment and allowing fun to be part of the session nurtures creativity. You will find more retrospective thoughts here soon…

“Let’s Quiz” with Huib Schoots and Kristjan Uba

After another joyful meal and some nice sharing experiences of the day with Megan about the session she had, I went to “Let’s Quiz – Testing a Gameshow” with Huib Schoots and Kristjan Uba. This session did not end at 2130, because I was volunteered to judge one of six teams later in the evening when we were playing the Quiz in the game and party area. Huib and Kristjan brought us a rather complete game, but we still came up with some problems in the game flow and bad to judge answer heuristics, so we changed a couple of rules and added 10 more questions to the stack. Facilitating the table with Michael Bolton, Paul Holland, Lim Sim and Richard Bradshaw was an awesome experience and was so much fun.

Between the workshop part and playing the game show, I observed the first session of the murder game hosted by Ard. I did not want to participate actively but observe over the next few days how the participants engaged in the game and how it was facilitated. And I was not sure if I could join every time they met.

I then played a round of Fluxx, the board game with Paul and Erik and I am sorry I forgot the name of the fourth person in the round. Too many impressions and new people for my mind to remember.
Instead of going to bed after that, I joined the table with John Stevenson, Megan and Erik among others who were playing a round of Rexit. And after seeing the Dixit cards in the brainstorming session earlier I could not even closely imagine how that game was working. But now I can.

I finally reached my bed around 0200. Read more about day 2 here!

 

 

 

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