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Agile Testing Days Berlin – Day 3

Posted by jc-Qualitystreet on 2010/10/16

Agile Testing Days 2010 : Day 1 (French version : Jour 1 on
Agile Testing Days 2010 : Day 2 (French version Jour 2 on
Agile Testing Days 2010 : Days 3 (French version Jour 3 on

A rapid feedback on the last day of the Agile Testing Days conference, that took place last week in Berlin.

On the agenda : 3 keynotes and an Open Space Technology through the day.

Good Keynotes

I could attend only two of them.

What does it take to be great? Isabel Evans

A very interesting topic and a very old debate… « … genius, inspiration, perspiration or renewal »
Isabel Evans discussed primarily the new skills of  the testers and what is needed to acquire these skills.

Isabel Evans Keynote

Isabel Evans Keynote

Key factors:

  • rewards, self motivation, commitment, and HARD WORK!
  • Perseverance and motivation, a sufficient structure to promote grow

Key factors that  not only apply to testers…

« You Have to fight to get inspiration « 

I totally agree.

Isabel insisted also on two precious resources:

  • learning by doing

« we can change ourselves… if we make efforts … »
 » most effective learning method is to try and make mistakes – others might laugh at you, but it won’t kill you « 

  • Reflective practices is crucial for improvement

In summary, we need to enlarge the skills of testers.

« Reinvigorate your retrospective » by Jennitta Andrea

Jennita began his keynote with a little game : « 45 seconds to change 5 things ». The instructions: change 5 things while back 2 back to a partner, then guess what your partner changed. Then she introdued the « Jenga Game ». According to her, this game is a good metaphor for software development.

Jennitta Andrea - Keynote

Jennitta Andrea - Keynote

So the keynote focused on retrospective, and as a coach and facilitator, it’s always good to hear other practices and potential new exercises.

Jennitta delivered her retrospective skeleton.

1 safety (5% of the global effort)
It’s crucial to align individual perspectives to the Same Goal. Jennitta likes to start in a big circle, and continues with appreciations.
Another advice:

« get everyone to say something within the first 5 minutes »

(this is the reason why I use  the checkin exercise with teams ).

Safety Anonymous Poll for safety

Safety, is essential for a team…

2 Discover (30 to 50% of the global effort)

Various exercises can be used for the discovery activity, Jennitta discussed the timeline exercise and the different ways to build it.

3 Analysis (20 to 30% of the global effort)

Continue, stop and start. What went well, what went bad, and what to try out but always within a balanced approach (diagnosis / appreciative inquiry)

4 Plan (15 to 30% of the global effort)

Where do we want to be? How do we get there from here. She discussed various forms of prioritization. According to me, the action plan is the main OUTPUT of the sprint retrospective.
5 Close (about 10%)

Nothing’s really new, it looks like my own retrospective structure but it was interesting.

How to evaluate if requirements specification are good enough for testing : the agile Inspection process and numeric exit by Tom Gilb

I needed to move to the airport  so I didn’t attend this last keynote. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to hear Tom Gild view, in our Open Space afternoon session. He discussed the necessity to quantify requirements, to face the current and common issue with requirements… « they’re not focused on value  »

OpenSpace Technology…

… for the first time on the Agile Testing days.

You know that I like the OpenSpace Conference format very much. I like to organize the event, I like to facilitate it … and I like to participate. It is a special time to discuss the topics that are important to us.

Many subjects

Many subjects

Many topics were covered this time in Berlin, some continue today, for example, Alternatives to certification (one session that I did not attend), a session transcribed by Elisabeth Hendrickson,

Openspace - Affinity !!!

Openspace - Affinity !!!

I was interested in two sessions « Scrum  of Scrums – Improvement communication in distributed large teams » and « Lightweight specifications ». Results: interesting discussions with a small number of participants. For the « usability testing » session, we were only two, Andreas and me but it was late in the afternoon.

In term of organization, the OpenSpace opening was good and done in the (famous) circle. A very good start:

  • with the description of the main rules, the 4 principles of the Open Space Technology
  • with highly motivated people who proposed various and interesting topics.

Then, it was a little more chaotic with a lack of information given to participants, and a apparent lack of preparation (rooms, schedules, facilitation). But sessions were good, and all the participants were very satisfied. It’s the most important.

Nevertheless, I think the OpenSpace day of the conference can be improved : maybe with « the good level of structure to promote grow » (in terms of information, logistics, timing and facilitation), and probably with a better coordination with lunch and keynotes.

My ROTI (return on Time Invested) for Day 3:

ROTI pour cette journée 3

ROTI pour cette journée 3

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