Saturday, November 15, 2014

What I Have Discovered on ATD2014

I just returned form Agile Testing Days 2014 and I am full of emotions. It's been awesome. And exhausting. There were many great experiences. Here are 10 of my most important takeaways this year.

  1. Fail fast and often
  2. Use failure to learn quickly, build T-shaped skills ... and steal, pillage and plunder knowledge wherever you can (as Alan Richardson's nicely said in his keynote).

  3. Visualize everything
  4. Super important topic throughout the conference.

    Shachar Schiff's keynote highlighted the brain's natural wiring towards processing visual information (60k faster o_O).

    Janet Gregory gave us a nice example of visualizing technical debt as a pirate ship during one of the Lean Coffee sessions.

    Oana Juncu lead Demo-Driven Development workshop, which is another interesting and very visual technique.

  5. Lean coffee with lean people
  6. Once again, I loved it. The morning Lean Coffee sessions have the best concentration of great people.

  7. Acceptance Testing is poetry
  8. I attended David Evans's Specification By Example workshop, which gave me renewed perspective on importance of communication around acceptance tests and how poor communication leads to bad products. On the workshop, we had chance to fail fast and learn because our product failed 100% of acceptance tests.

    I learned to avoid "magic" in the examples. Also to use different examples to illustrate different behavior on specific examples to highlight important facts.

    Later I attended George Dinwiddie's session called A Poet’s Guide To Automated Testing. This was one of the highlights for me in terms of takeaways. I learned about the importance of expressibility of language used for automated acceptance tests.

    Don't create epics, they are too difficult to understand. Make it as clean and expressive as possible, be picky if you must. Include all details that matter, but none that don't matter. Don't use "I" - what is that the system should do when a concrete user uses it? Define your roles. Highlight the cause and effect ...

  9. There are no Testers (there are only developers)
  10. I know for long time now that developers and testers benefit most working together as a team. Now I am even more convinced the distinction between tester and developer should not exist. It does not make sense. Don't we all develop the product, using different alignment of our T skills range?

  11. No longer in a box
  12. I reject the name QA for long time. Rejected it before Alan Richardson's keynote. Many others have too, judging by the strong audience response.

    So I labeled myself a Tester, for the sake of playing a role.

    Now that I have been writing production code ... how do I label myself now?

    Antony Marcano's keynote was very inspiring one.

    No labels, it's what I do that defines me.

  13. Building a car was awsome
  14. I attended two sprints of the extreme manufacturing event. Our scrum team picked a story about building a part of the car for which the schematics were lost, and it turned out to be impossible to build. But that doesn't matter, we failed but we learned form it. The first sprint was unbelievably hard. That made it easier to see how the second one improved.

    Also, Joe Justice's keynote was simply inspiring. And of course awesome.

  15. The Antimatter Principle
  16. Attend to folks needs to improve the world.

  17. Where is my LEGO box?
  18. I didn't attend any of the LEGO sessions. But I do want to find and bring my own LEGO box back!

    Also, I loved the idea of having LEGO avatar. I will create one for myself.

  19. I have stuff to share
  20. It's been very delightful for me to see that on few occasions, people thought conversation with me was useful.

So, see you next year!

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