In June this year I will be attending the Rapid Software Testing (RST) Course with James Bach, through Testing Times in Australia.
To say I’m excited is an understatement. I have high expectations of this course, based on many excellent reviews that I’ve read in blog posts from testers whom I respect.
What do I intend to achieve from taking the RST course?
- Improve my testing skills, and add new skills to my testing toolbox
- Explain my approach to software testing in a professional way
- Discuss and debate various testing approaches with confidence
- Approach unexpected challenges with confidence
- Regularly re-prioritise my testing efforts towards areas of highest risk
- Learn to grasp the key elements of new concepts quickly
- Improve my critical thinking skills and questioning skills, particularly when faced with illogical statements that appear reasonable at first glance
- Write a blog post discussing aspects of the question in my blog URL: Is it good enough yet?
This is quite a list of things to expect from a 3 day course on testing!
From everything I’ve read about this course from past attendees it is also completely achievable, which makes this course unlike any other.
Why didn’t I ask my company to send me?
This question came up on Twitter. Adding course cost, international flights and 4 days off work including travel time, RST costs a lot of money. Yet I’ve chosen to send myself to the course. Why?
- Fear of being told no if I had asked my company to send me (i.e. I fear I might find out that I work for a company which doesn’t recognise the innate value of this course)
- Lack of confidence in my negotiating skills (James Bach is not usually mentioned in a positive way at my company, so I suspect that I’d have some convincing to do…)
- To prove to myself that I take my career seriously
- Knowledge that this is a worthwhile investment, and excellent value for money
How am I preparing for the course?
Wow. This started as a short list, and the more I researched, the longer it grew. If I do even half of the things on this list I’ll be a much better tester, without even taking the course! I need to remind myself that they don’t ALL need to be done in the next three months, and practise prioritising.
- Read some blog posts and resources on satisfice.com
- Read blog posts about RST experiences (- tick)
- Lessons Learned in Software Testing – flick through it again
- Read RST slides and appendices
- Keep playing the dice game
- Basically try to prepare myself so that James can’t catch me out. Then acknowledge and accept that I will be caught out, that I will feel uncomfortable, and that I’ll learn something from it
- Read ‘Thinking fast and slow’ (- in progress)
- Read ‘Explore It!’ and practice as I read (- in progress)
- Learn about experiment design
- Watch 7 Samurai movie (?? This came from David Greenlees)
- Read “Things that make us smarter”
- General Systems Thinking – read it again
- Bill Anders (Also from David’s blog post. “Failure is not an option”? I need to do more research here)
- Learn some basic Ruby. Everyday Scripting with Ruby: For Teams, Testers, and You, by Brian Marick
- What are Decision tables?
- Practise drawing State Models
- Brush off my dusty Unix shell scripting knowledge (I hope it’s still in there somewhere)
What do I need to remember most during the course?
- Don’t be afraid to fall into a trap and learn your way out of it
- Ask for help when you need help
- Ask questions when you need more information
- Verify or state your assumptions
- Don’t get defensive
- Don’t take anything personally
This post was written by me, for me. If you’ve also received any value out of it – awesome! Let me know in the Comments section.