Sunday, July 3, 2016

From podcast to mob testing ideas

For the #30daysoftesting challenge, I sampled four podcasts today. The last one was The Testing Show, and the episode was interviewing James Bach around his Reinventing testers course some time ago.

There was one piece that stuck in particular. James was talking about skill and the idea that to recognize a skilled tester, the testers need to either build up a vocabulary to make the tacit knowledge transferrable or he needs to see them test so that he can then call out what they are doing.

This reminded me of two things. Firstly, of research I need to look back to from a local university, I remember the researchers doing work to label stuff that they saw testers doing. Secondly, it reminded me why I appreciate Mob Testing so much.

With Mob Testing, I don't need to rely on a vocabulary to transfer the skills, there's finally a way of transferring something as complex as exploratory testing through being in a shared experience of testing. Sometimes the group might recognize a pattern you wouldn't pay attention to yourself, and a name for it may emerge. The names are often group specific, and that is perfectly ok.

The interview emphasized also another thing where Mob Testing excels. Instead of having a long discussion about how something should be done, you do both. You will notice that when done in one way (take turns on what goes first), a lot of times you see it is good enough or that a third option emerges.

Deep testing is possible and desired even in collaborative settings. 

1 comment:

  1. Thinking about vocabulary and naming skills and techniques is really what got me as well in this episode. However, I think that mobbing is addressing quite a different problem than the one discussed: By mobbing you work as a team, and learn as a team. When discussing with an outsider, you still need some vocabulary. Naming a skill enables much more than communicating "I know what I'm doing", it opens the path to conscious learning,and spotting gaps in the skills we have. It also provides a language to resolve disputes.
    And finally, a question: my guess is that an effective mob must have some sort of vocabulary around techniques at least (otherwise, how can we communicate effectively?), isn't having such a vocabulary either a precondition or a result of mobbing?

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