I attended a local software testing meetup yesterday. Typically, I’d only join if the venue was near work, but I had the day off so stressing out over getting to the venue wasn’t an issue. What also lured me in is that there would be a talk on chartered exploratory testing and mind mapping. It’s not the first time I’ve ever heard of those things, but to hear about them in a local context was something that got me interested.
Actually, hearing things in a local context is why I generally bother to attend these meetups. You can google the concepts, you can google for tools, but you can’t google how other peers are doing software testing locally.
So the meetup had 2 parts — 3 if you count the part where we got fed free pizza and soft drinks. There was the talk on Collaborative Test Design by Ian Pestelos (I’ll link to the slides if the deck gets shared), and there was an Open Space discussion. Since “Open Space” was in title-case, I went ahead and googled it and found this (from Martin Fowler’s site) and this (how to run an Open Space event). An interesting take-away from googling about Open Space is The Law of Two Feet:
If, during the course of the gathering, any person finds themselves in a situation where they are neither learning nor contributing, they must go to some more productive place.
Overall, I enjoyed Ian’s talk, and I wouldn’t have second thoughts about recommending it to peers. The Open Space discussion, not my favorite thing. Would I go to one of these meetups again? Sure, if there’d be talks on topics I find interesting and if my schedule permits.
(Just some notes after the read-more)
Last Friday, a couple of friends and I headed over to the G2IX Techbar to attend a PinoyJUG meetup. It was the second time for my housemate and me, and I think it was a first for Renz. As with the last time, I had wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible. For one, I’m not a Java developer, and second, I’m not even a developer. Although I tend to rationalize (rather lamely) that it’s a Java User Group, and don’t we all use Java.
Anyway, there were two talks scheduled for that evening. One’s on Aspect Oriented Programming with Spring by Jasper Blues, and the other one which is more relevant to me was on Automated Testing with Selenium by Aaron Tinio.
I have tried playing around with the Selenium IDE before but not really in depth. I basically tried to create some tests on a login function using the record and playback feature. During the talk, the speaker demonstrated the use of Selenium RC which I’ve never tried out for myself or seen in action before. It was way better than the IDE since you can just issue out commands to manipulate and check your browser’s content. So that bit was really interesting for me. I also liked the faker gem he used to generate random data. That seems quite nifty.
The company’s intending to have some training lined up for the staff. I wonder if they (whoever is on the planning committee) are considering automated testing at all. Although I am not hopeful. But if they are, Selenium seems to be worth a shot.
My housemate recently RSVP’d to an invite to attend a PinoyJUG meetup held last Tuesday over at the Techbar in the G2iX office at the Orient Square Building. Despite not being a java developer, I tagged along to accompany my housemate. We rationalized my attending with excuses like it’s free anyway, I only had 1 small slice of pizza and half a cup of coke anyway, aren’t we all Java users, etc. It was also a nice opportunity to check out another company’s office. Theirs was also an open-plan office but it looked slightly more cramped than ours. On the upside, they have got that nice function room which extends to their kitchen / pantry area.
Anyway, there were three topics discussed that night. The first was sort of an introduction to the Google App Engine (GAE) by Melvin Vivas. The second was on Maven by Deng Ching. Among the speakers that night, she seemed to be the least assertive or confident but I’m just basing this on how shaky her voice was. Later on, I was surprised to find out and impressed that she has co-authored a book on her topic of expertise. Last speaker of the night with 3 years of experience (i think) under his belt was Franz See who discussed on automated testing (slides: here).
Despite the meetup dragging on upto past 11PM, the overall experience was rather interesting. Of course, it was inevitable that some stuff were Greek to me but I was glad that my ignorance didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. And thankfully, the talks were introductory. So for the bits that I could understand, it wasn’t half bad. Plus I picked up a new term — “sausage” — for code that works as expected / looks good outside but is all messy inside. A few things that struck a chord with me that night (not necessarily discussed in the talks):
- importance of company culture for fostering learning and trying out stuff such as TDD
- greater number of years of experience != mastery or expertise
- the need to look at where we are now and where we are going