Testing tours – Testing to learn Slack’s configurations

It all started with an e-mail. It was that time of the year and we were anxious for it. What would be the challenge this year? Who will rise from their chairs and demand a place in the team?

The quiet settles and a new email asks shyly, “Who wants to be in the TeamStar competition this year?”. The possible contenders are partially known – Dorel and Dolly. Both of them have been on this path before. Later on, they are joined by Oana and Elena.

Continue reading

Testing tours – what is there more to add?

We recently had a meetup in Cluj focused on testing tours, with the occasion of Eurostar’s contest Teamstar. As part of their contest entry some of our colleagues decided to create a workshop in which we would practice with tours. They prepared intensely for a few weeks: searched materials on this technique, picked a list of tours, practiced with them, and created an exercise for the meetup.

The first thing I realized from this experience is that there is a lot out there about testing tours. The organizers kindly provided some materials to read before the meetup, from diverse sources. Going through them, I found references to even more materials on tours. (You can find them at the end of the article). So it seems to be quite a known technique.

But why all this focus on testing tours? In what ways are they valuable?

Continue reading

Insights from a Test Lab facilitator at StarEAST

I felt honored to have been invited to facilitate the Test Lab at STAREAST. Being my first Lab at this particular conference, I was lucky to have Bart Knaack, James Lyndsay and Wade Wachs there to ramp me up. They told me about their experiences with the Lab at STAREAST and gave me valuable insights from their personal kit of lessons learned. Their input helped me change the regular approach I had when running other Labs at EuroSTAR and BTD. Once again, context wins over pre-established “how to”s.

Continue reading

Fireflies by the river – a pet project to learn from

Last weekend me and 3 other Altoms participated at Somes Delivery, a local event in Cluj that wants to present different ways of integrating the local river(Somes) into the lives of the city’s inhabitants. We applied with a project that proposes to bring digital fireflies on the banks of the river. They would be lights that react to noise and light.
The “fireflies” placed in two trees above a resting place by the river would light up only when the noise was under a set threshold. We wanted to encourage people to sit quietly and contemplate the river in the evening.

Continue reading

Another perspective on Citcon 2016

I recently attended my first fully open-space conference, CITCON Europe, which conveniently happened in Cluj-Napoca (where I live) this year.
I had experienced a bit the open-space format at European Testing Conference earlier this year, in Bucharest, so I had some expectations set: I knew everyone would be able to propose topics, I saw how the “marketplace” would work, and I had used the law of 2 feet before.
However, some things surprised me about how the conference turned out, and I’d like to share them with you.

Continue reading

Volunteering for CITCON 2016

The Continuous Integration and Testing Conference, abbreviated as CITCON, is an OpenSpace non-profit conference which for ten years has been organized in various cities around the globe. Currently, each year there are four editions taking place on four continents: Europe, America, Asia and Australia & New Zealand. The previous editions in Europe took place in London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, London again, Budapest, Turin, Zagreb, Helsinki and this year in Cluj-Napoca.

Continue reading