Saturday, May 29, 2021

Scale - Teaching Exploratory Testing

At work, I hold three roles within a position of a principal test engineer: a tester, a test project facilitator and a test competence facilitator. I have 37.5 hrs a week to  invest in all those three, and while my productivity has soared compared to early days of my career, days feel just as short now as they ever did. 

Some of my hobbies resemble my work, but they reach outside the organization: speaking, writing, organizing, teaching, reading. I deliver an occasional paid training and paid keynote. I write my book. I try to record my podcast with limited success. I structure my thoughts into talks and articles.

At this point of my life and career, I chose my theme of the year to be scale. Scale of impacts I induce at work I care for. Scale of teaching forward what I have learned. Enabling others in scale. 

With close to 450 sessions delivered for audiences that were not my work, more people know me than who I recognize. Things like someone telling me when we first met while I can name them only for the pairing we did in the last month are all too common. It's not that I forget people, it's that I have never come to remember everyone. 

As I reflect on my goal of scale, I come to an idea of what scale would look like for my teaching. It would look like me teaching a network of teachers who teach forward. I already took some steps towards this launching where all course material is Creative Commons Attribution, allowing you all to use it for your business, even to make a business of your own. 

I make time to teach free courses every now and then, like during the Exploratory Testing Week. I make time to teach commercial courses every now and then, as my side job, but my availability is limited as I love my day-job and the assignment that allows me to choose in transforming quality and testing. 

I need other people, willing to teach, that I would teach my exercises, my materials and adjust them to what they feel they want to take forward. I have a lot of theory and example material, as slides. Like with Exploratory Testing Foundations, I make them available at Exploratory Testing Academy. But I also have a lot of experiential exercises, where facilitating and framing the exercise is where value for learning is best created. 

Would you want to learn to teach experiential testing exercises? 

I envision a series of sessions where we would first experience the exercise as participants, but then turn the roles around first into looking at what facilitating such exercise means and then practicing facilitation while I support, watch and give feedback after. I haven't done this yet, so we could discover what works together. 

You could learn to teach different testing experiences with different applications. I use:

  • a Textbox
  • E-Primer
  • Weather App
  • Gilded Rose
  • Zippopotamus
  • Dark Function Editor
  • Freemind
  • Xmind
  • Conduit
  • ApprovalTests
  • RobotFramework
I also have exercises on understanding your tester personality, agile incremental test planning, test strategy, test retrospective for release and feature, business value and many many more I would be happy to pass on. 

Interested? Let me know. You might also tell what you'd like to start from, because all the exercises I have created since 2001 when I started teaching on the side would fill a few years to go through on the side of a regular job. For prioritizing my time, I ask you to consider my goal - scale. Could you help me with that? If your answer is yes, I'm going to trust you and dedicate some time to help you learn this. Send me an email: maaret(at)

In case it isn't already clear, I am not looking to invoice anyone to teach them. I will volunteer my time for free within constraints of what I can make available. I want more people in the world to experience experiential learning and for myself to make an impact.