Sunday, November 6, 2016

Mob Testing at the New Work

I'm absolutely delighted to have tester colleagues again. Well, we call us quality engineers, but the name does not change it - there's some pretty amazing testers out there to share with. The group of testers makes me remember times I was not dependent on Twitter to find people to learn with as I was while being the only tester amongst all the developers. And makes me feel torn in my priorities, at least a little.

Since I joined, we've restarted our regular meetings we call QE Forum. And created us a chat to discuss and share. A lot of positive energy around. Just last week we did a lean coffee at work, and I learned a lot from my tester colleagues both is in the topics they're into and the stuff we discussed deeper than titles.

The collaboration with my new-found colleagues has made it clear we're divided in our interests in general, while I seem to be interested in both camps. Usually it's either test automation or deep exploratory testing. And the divide also shows in my efforts to introduce learning together through mob testing.

We've done two mob testing sessions so far.

  • Mob Exploratory Testing on a functionality I was working on at the company
  • TDD in Python to improve our programming skills in the language we use to automate
The TDD session gave two surprising (to me) reactions. First was a non-programmer colleague who chooses to join programming sessions when I organize them in mob format. This experience brings back memories of how mobbing changed me: from reluctance to curiosity, and through learning to liking. Another was a programming tester colleague, who is now interested into moving from system level automation to helping developers with their unit tests. 

The Mob Exploratory Testing session was just fun and laughter amongst us finding problems I had not yet paid attention to in the feature I brought for us to test together. It introduced tools that no one else had told me about before that the others thought would be evident, but how could they be for someone who just joined the company. I introduced approaches to testing the feature that went way beyond the user interface, and we made interesting observations about limitations of the implementation too. 

So getting my tester colleagues to practice mobs seems doable and fun. The learning from group sessions makes us stronger in our individual work. But the big step is still work in progress: getting to do mob programming with my new developers. That may take some time, as I'm not ready to push people too much even if I believe in it being helpful. 

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