Hmmm the list of stuff to take a look at is getting longer by the hour for me.
I was truely inspired by Ola Ellnestam's keynote this morning. I LOVED the fact that his presentation was a serie of handmade drawings in black and white that totally supported his story. I was slightly disturbed by his unicorn though ;-)
The focus on fast feedback is crucial to make agile work - and the illustration of the different feedback cycles he described makes sense, going from the very code near feedback of XDD, over acceptance test to release and last but not least the feedback of the end users. How do we improve our way of working so that we get the cycles shortened as much as possible. The suggestion is to start from the inside out - how can we improve the feedback cycle on the XDD level?
Also the approach with building a small application first, get feedback and then iterate and let it grow after the needs of the business. All to often we are still struggling with something that can borderline water-scrum-fall - that all the thinking about what is needed is done right from day number one - and that no one really questions "do we really need ALL this". We just start cutting it in small nice pieces (user stories), prioritizes them and starts building it from an end of.
The concept of SLACK is something I hardly ever see practiced in the agile projects I have participated in. We sprint like something with very big teaths are right behind us, always focusing on the next sprint the next delivery. Lloyd Roden illustrated this perfectly and got the message through - we need a break, just like athlets we need to restitue in order to get better, in order to perform. Maybe we can do a bit ourself to? maybe we can speak up and say "I need a break" or "wouldn't it be great if we took some time to look at X, this might actually help us perform better in the future".
Combining the role of requirement engineer and test engineer was up for discussion in the presentation from Jan Jaap. I don't know whether it will be possible to do this in every project, but I really like the thoughts about testers for REAL being involved from the beginning, helping ensuring that what we say we are building is really what the business asked for. Whehter that is by taking the role as TE-Tester or it is by taking the battle to get involved for real in the definition of user stories. But I know that several of my collegues back home would love the combined role.
Scott Barber kept us very much awake during the keynote - following the evolution of software - and I really liked the fact that he did not "do" agile, he "is" agile. I think that experience shows that agile for many is a state of mind, a way of living - it is not something we sit down and read a book to learn to be. Of course a lot practical stuff can be learned but the basic or rather fundamental stuff is something you have within you - it is who you are.
My Agile testing days 2012 ended with a presentaiton by Huid Schoots, and a fine finale it was :-) Some good stuff was e.g. Learn by getting together; learn from each other – being a context driven tester is not something you do from 9 to 5. And be carefull with templates, they can limit your thinking. Especially loved the quote "There is no more fun than making mistakes. That way I learn something".
I actually think this has been one of the best conferences I have been at ever! The fact that the theme of the conference is "limited" to agile testing compared with many of the big conferences where "testing" is the theme made the discussions in the breaks so much more engaging - we all focused on how to learn about testing in an agile context, about improving the way we work in that context - LOVED IT.
Think I will try to discuss some of the stuff from the conference in the coming blog posts - need to dive in, dig deeper.