March 13, 2010 3:37 am

WT-28 – Mar 13th – a great forum

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 3:37 am

I have been thinking about joining this forum’s discussion for a while now, given that the time zone, it wasn’t that appropriate for me to join. however, tonight, I was rebuilding my laptop with windows OS, setting up user accounts, permissions etc took a bit longer than anticipated.

by the time i looked up the watch, it was already time for WT session and it would have already started, ‘coz i was about 10 or so minutes into it. So, here I was almost energized again though i was going to sleep a few hours prior 🙂

Now, i just rebuilt the machine i didn’t have Skype installed – oh no, well, install skype. sent an email for invite; i received an email back from the moderator – Ajay B @ajay184f – a.k.a “weekend”

so this shows i was not completely prepared for today’s session. however, so what – whatever the way i can contribute to the community. There were about 12 people when i logged in and noticed the objective clearly displayed on the screen.

Task 1: Complete the game: http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/game/dragger/

task 2: Score 90 points in the game:

task 3: Score 50 points in the game.  http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/game/numberhunt/

well, objective are clearly mentioned for each task and the time box for all three was about an hour to accomplish and 30mins after for discussion. However, how would you approach this objective is discrete – each individual would have his/her own way. However, in my opinion, every task has to come with what you understand from the objective even before you get to it.

so at a higher level: Understand –> Estimate –> Execute –> QA –> Report  –> Retrospection 

Retrospection – which was a discussion of the past hour – was really insightful – that helps you understand your own mistakes and achievements (celebrate these) and get better and gain knowledge on what would have gone better portion of it.

I did not have my observations jotted down while during the tasks, and had to type in later on for discussion. here it is (not reviewed, just a copy paste from my scribble). I know my notes isn’t that intuitive, anyways, here it is….


game 1: dragger:
Puzzle has been a tricky one – perhaps i need to practice such puzzles with my daughter to get used to it 🙂
it took about 2 minutes but still i thought i could have done it  much faster if
> i had observed the pieces before hand and asked myself, what the end picture would look like


game 2: color:  [forgot to track the time]
it was a tricky one too and i rcvd couple of -ve points; i then realized it was also time boxed looking at the progress bar in reverse direction i think it was a pattern over initial few patterns
> the first screen was ambiguous since there wasn’t much information / instructions
> initially they were easy and only few clicks
> over 4 or 5, the number of color clicks started increasing and thats when it becomes challenging to memorize the the sequence  now after it completes, i tried to rehearse the sequence before taking the action   well, that means i am losing time, so devise something else; ‘coz i wasn’t successful rehearsing and acting – lost points
> now, took a piece of paper near by and started drawing lines connecting points  but when i looked at later on, realized i had over written the lines and making  it hard to track again – hmm.. didn’t work
>  now, searched for another paper, and started numbering instead of lines; did that help  no, ‘coz there were numbers and realized i had overwritten the numbers – hmmmm
> now drew a plus – 4 quadrants, and started writing numbers as far / close as i could while  tracking the color clicks, and copied the sequence on my turn = hmmm.. turned out simple

game 3: number  (1 min approx)
well this was simple – it took me about 2 minutes as well, and with the moving numbers, i think i got one negative score later, the trick was to observe and do the math as the numbers moved around. try grouping the same  numbers and do the multiplication and then add made the trick

over the discussions, several people had there interpretations of the mission statement for this exercise. there were thoughts about

using the right tools to the right tasks.
the time box for all 3 tasks was more than enough
timing was not enough
spent too long on puzzle
spent too long on memory game
i should have planned better
was objective to finish the task or understand the learning pattern
would it help to provide the mission / objective in a better way – was ambiguous
use all the resources available
make assumptions clear
meeting the mission and playing the game – how to relate them
i should have read the objectives initially
should objective state the kinds of tools to use or not?
oh no! power cut – yes, someone came across this issue as well – but this individual seemed to have the right tool so had the task session saved – risk and mitigation plan
be aware of the surroundings, you may find the great information that you need for your task

and there were many more thoughts from the participants…

overall, what I see on this whole exercise are:

a. Understand the goal – “Begin with End in mind”

b. Pattern with most individuals – they were about similar in the approach with obstacles encountered and moving on to the other task – have you come across getting the “Low Hanging Fruits”  – thats pretty common; we tend to finish easy ones and leave the hard ones for later – although I have come across other thoughts around this

c. focus on the Requirement – tie your approach to the end result – set the Requirement Traceability – ask yourself at every stage for the destination – there is a saying about Destination versus Direction – know the end point

d. Estimate what it takes – look for the tools and resources that can be leveraged – when there are bunch of tools available, the challenge is to choose the “Right tool for the Right task” – a  hammer may not be a right tool to fix the book shelf.

e. anticipate risks and have the mitigation plan – it may or may not be required. 

f. be alert for information around the surroundings – helps in Execution towards the objective and to tell the stories back to the customers or your audience

Overall, it was a great experience chatting with great minds around.



1 Comment »

  1. WT28 – Meet the mission(by any means necessary)…

    Weekend again, time for testing This Saturday it was with the colleagues from India and all in all we were about 15 testers listed in the chat window. It was a good mixture of people and a very interesting session. So what did we do and learn? The Mi…

    Trackback by ^(testing yet)(!|?)$ — March 15, 2010 12:04 pm @ 12:04 pm | Reply

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