20 November, 2009

Michael Bolton – The Magician Tester – Rapid Software Testing Workshop

A couple of months ago, I was keeping my fingers crossed that Michael Bolton should make it to the STC 2009 Conference in Bangalore which also meant there were chances of his workshop in Bangalore. This is the first time I attended Michael Bolton’s Rapid Software Testing (RST) workshop at Bangalore on 17th and 18th Nov 2009.

I hated magic until I attended RST workshop. Michael stated ‘Magic fools people, so do bugs’. How about learning the tricks of magic (bugs) and stop getting fooled?

Debunking Magic Tricks from RST Workshop
1. Focus on the states of the product under test
2. Watch out for the change in states
3. Look for distractions while the changes happen
4. Observe the sequences
5. Believe that magic (bug) does not exist
6. Search for backdoor entry (Sneak in)
7. Turn on the lights
8. Record and watch in slow motion
9. Distract the magician (programmer)
10. Inject yourself into the process
11. Ask the magician (programmer)
12. Read a book
13. Search on the internet
14. Share the problem
15. Use visual, auditory and tactile skills
16. Take notes – Whoever takes notes controls history (Don’t know whose quote this is)
17. Ask questions
18. You may be right about bugs. But, let the product owner decide
19. Get around the constraints while testing
20. Critical Thinking (huh?, Really?, So? by James Bach)
21. Learn to make snap judgments
22. A visible bug is just the tip of an iceberg. Don’t rest until you find the iceberg
23. Don’t mind a bug if you know that it is not the tip of the iceberg
24. When you don’t know about something, you feel the pain. Get over the pain and learn about it.
25. Break the rules

Rapid Software Testing Workshop
Rapid Software Testing (RST) workshop is very experiential in nature with a good mix of testing exercises, puzzles, magic tricks and games. The workshop consisted of testers, leads, managers, senior managers, directors, development managers and independent consultants. It was a good mix of people from different domains which provided a great platform for discussion about different challenges faced in testing. RST is a once in a lifetime experience. If you have missed it this time, don't let it happen again. Wait for Michael to come back again.

Michael Bolton
Meeting Michael Bolton is one of the most special moments in my life. I have been following his teachings and writings for almost a year now. Talking to Michael in person was mind boggling. It was very startling to see an expert tester like him being so down to earth and open to listening and learning about new ideas. Michael was also very interested in interacting with testers after the workshop and spent time discussing about testing. He also posed for a lot of photographs with tons of energy and excitement.

Guru Devo Maheshwara
I always wanted to meet Cem Kaner, Michael Bolton, James Bach, Pradeep Soundararajan and Shrini Kulkarni in person even if it was just saying ‘Hi’. I met Pradeep on 15th June 2009 - a superb moment. I met Michael at the RST Workshop on 17th November 2009 – a dream come true. I met Shrini at the STC 2009 Conference on 19th November 2009 – a big surprise. I never thought that meeting 3 of my Testing Gurus would happen so early in my life. What startles me about each of them is their humble nature and broad minded attitude to interact with, encourage and motivate thousands of testers like me. I am still waiting to meet Cem and James.

Great Learning, Great Moments!
Parimala Shankaraiah

1 comment:

Mohan said...

I missed it for sure. Now, I can only wish I was there! Good to hear about the highlights and fulfilling some of your dreams :)