I’m in the process of writing marketing copy for a series of public classes that Dale Emery and I will be offering on April 22 – 24 in Pleasanton, CA and April 28 – 30 in Portland, OR.
(I am also still working on getting the registration system to bend to my will, so you can’t register just yet. I’ll post something here when the registration system finally goes live…soon, soon…)
I was wondering if I could impose on the collective wisdom of the general community to help me hone my message?
First, some background…
The classes are a 3-day series of Agile Testing related classes.
- Day 1 is “Adapting to Agile,” also known as The WordCount Simulation.
- Day 2 is “Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) in Practice”
- Day 3 is “Exploratory Testing in an Agile Context”
The classes can be taken individually, or in combination.
From a marketing perspective, I want to include a little Question and Answer style blurb about what days someone should plan to take. For example:
I’m in a QA/QE/Testing group, and my organization is adopting Agile. This is all new to me. Where should I start?
We strongly recommend that you take all three classes in this series.
The first day, “Adapting to Agile,” will give you an opportunity to experience an Agile transformation and see how the whole team (not just testers) adapts testing-related activities as the context changes. Along the way, you’ll learn how test activities can support Agility by increasing visibility and feedback. And you’ll learn how to spot waste and focus on customer value in testing.
The second day, “Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) in Practice,” will give you an understanding of how test specialists can contribute throughout the development cycle. ATDD might also address the concerns you might have around how you’ll be able to derive tests without having requirements documents.
The third day, “Exploratory Testing in an Agile Context,” will teach you about applying Session-Based Exploratory Testing as part of a sprint or iteration. It will also answer concerns you might have around how an Agile team tests for the risks and vulnerabilities that are not covered by the automated tests.
And as long as I’m doing that, I wanted to extend the idea to include questions and answers aimed at convincing team members that Agile Testing classes aren’t just for testers. To that end, I wrote the following:
I’m a Developer. Are these classes just for testers?
Nope! We want you to participate! Please join us!
As a Developer on an Agile team, you contribute a great deal to the testing-related activities. These classes will help you learn how to collaborate with testers and business stakeholders on various testing-related activities to ensure that the whole team is getting the feedback they need to keep the project moving forward. These classes also might help you convince other people in your organization that testing activities are a shared responsibility on an Agile team.
I’m a Business Analyst/Product Owner/XP Customer. Should I come to these classes? If so, which one?
If you are responsible for defining what the software should do on an Agile project, then you are also ultimately responsible for accepting the software. And yet you don’t have time to test it thoroughly by yourself. You need the help and support of the technical team to be sure when you accept software that it meets your expectations. The practice of Acceptance Test Driven Development is particularly important for that. So if you can come to only one day of these classes, we recommend you come for Day 2, the ATDD class.
If you can come to two days, we recommend that you also take the “Adapting to Agile” class because it will allow you to explore the connection between stories and acceptance tests in a microcosm.
Of course, if you can come for all three days we think you’ll find it very worthwhile. The third day on Exploratory Testing will give you ideas for ways to explore the emerging system to ensure that it really does meet your needs.
Really? I should sign up? But I’m not in QA, and I’m not a Tester. I’m a …
Please excuse us for interrupting.
We hear this a lot: “Great! You have an Agile Testing class! I’ll send my QA department!” There is an unfortunate implicit assumption that the only people who have to worry about testing are the designated Testers or QA people.
In an Agile context, everyone tests.
So no matter what role you play, if you have a role on an Agile team, you have some testing-related responsibilities. Whether you are an Architect, Developer, Database Designer, UI Designer, Technical Writer, Product Owner, Scrum Master, XP Customer, Tester, QA Manager, Quality Engineer, SDET, Build Meister, Configuration Manager, Team Lead, Test Lead, Development Manager, etc., if you’re working on an Agile team that delivers software, you need to know how testing activities in Agile help move the project forward. And you need to be prepared to play your part in ensuring that the software is adequately tested before calling it “Done.”
And by the way, if you are thinking, “I’m not a tester, so I don’t need these classes,” then you REALLY need these classes to find out what you’re missing.
Before I publish all this prose as part of the marketing materials, I would really like some community feedback. What do you think? Is it worth publishing this kind of thing? Is that last little bit too harsh? Too annoying? Is it convincing? What would make it more convincing?
Thanks for any feedback you care to give me.