maandag 30 november 2009

FunTESTic goes to EuroSTAR - part two; the Tutorial Day

It's now 20.30h and my first day in Stockholm is coming to an end. It's been an inspiring day to say at least.
I woke up at about 6.30 this morning, after a terrible almost sleepless night (what fluffy beds they have here!) and went to breakfast (or 'Frukost' as they call it here). I've never seen so much types of food for breakfast! There was an whole Japanese buffet (with tofu, misosoup and seaweed) and a Skandanavian buffet (with pickled herring, cottagecheese and other strange stuff) and an English type breakfast.. I saw six very thin stewardesses in purple tenues with such large piles of food on their plate that I guess they won't be flying for much longer or have a type of boulimia.

After breakfast I took the train to the Stockholmsm├Ąssan, which is about ten minutes from here and was on time for registration. How cool to register at the 'speakersdesk'! I got a cool toy for thanx, it's an USB stick with a laserpointer in it and I got a poloshirt (not a sweater this time ;-) ) which has - for me - the extra word 'trackchair' embroidered on the back.

Coffee is not that bad here, so I got a big mug of coffee and went to hall T1 where Michael Bolton was about to give the tutorial: 'Masterclass Exploratory Testing'.
I was very much inspired by the tutorial and learned a lot this day. One of the things I also 'twittered' today was that apparently 'boundary' in 'boundary value analysis' is foremost applicable to the testers mind or the scope of his/her testing and less to the technique itself. Michael showed that there are dynamics in boundaries which makes the -1, boundary, +1 rather silly. I also learned a lot of tips and tricks that I could apply in my own testing and also that exploratory testing can be much more lucrative (and has larger ROI) then scripted testing.
He also showed that a lot of the so called automated testing we do, is no more then checking. There was a fun anekdote of 'the point of view' (reference) and that this can be limiting.
The Turkey finds the farmer a cool guy. He gets food every day, gets shelter and gets to run around outside a bit with the other turkeys. Every day the turkey has the same reference and he finds the farmer more and more a great guy. Untill, one day, right before Thanksgiving the turkey is in for a big and unpleasant surprise...
Expect the unexpected, don't repeat the same test every day for it narrows your scope of view. That is wat automated scripts are all about.
Another part of the tutorial was an exercise where we had to write down all kinds of characteristics/ values of a wineglass which could be important the some user at some time. The exercise was rounded up by a sheet which contained the ISO standard for wine tasting glasses and a picture of a wineglass found in Pompeï, which showed the controversary of both.
And so I had more then eight hours of revealing insights and thoughts (he stopped at 17.30 in stead of 17.00), which are too many to write down in this blog. Please also look at Michael Bolton's website where you can find lots of information and presentations on this subject! (www.developsense.com).

Michael Bolton at EuroSTAR 2009

After the Tutorial I took the train back to Stockholm Central and I decided to eat at the 'Stockholm FISK' in my hotel, which is apparently a popular fish restaurant. I had 'stockfish' (stokvis) which is typical Skandinavian and found it very good! (I had to admit I was a bit reluctant because of my 'knowledge' of the process to get to stockfish). I didn't stay for dessert but went to a coffeebar instead to have a large coffee (with chai syrup) and a 'Morotkaka' (carrotcake) which I found a pleasant surprise too! It's nice and sweet.
So now I've just finished my coffee and am ready to take a shower and then go to bed. Tomorrow I'll be attending a tutorial and a lot of tracks and I want to be fresh at the start of the day.

God natt!

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