At the beginning of the year, I attended TestBash in Brighton and there was a talk that just stuck with me with practical application.
This was the talk by Katrina Clokie on Pair Testing. She even outlined how she trailed it in her job.
I recently got a buddy at work and we were talking about sharing knowledge. I really wanted to try pair testing, so we did a version of it.
Step 1 – finding the right task
The team did some work on a tool that I wasn’t too familiar with and as part of our development process we created a testing mind map.
During coding the developer will use this mind map to test his code and depending on risk and sadly often time, the tester will also do some testing using the mind map.
In my pair testing example, the developer had done some testing and so had I, noting down some questions before involving my buddy. I then walked him through what we had tested so far and how the application was working.
Step 2 – What happened
Just due to different experience and knowledge he asked some other valuable questions which aided my testing to go a bit deeper and got us thinking of other testing types such as performance and database behaviour.
For me this was an invaluable experience, as I learned to think about other testing types and techniques and scenarios and I think for my buddy it was also a great experience as he got to see bits of the company’s product catalogue he wouldn’t necessarily get to see on a day to day basis.
I want to try and make this a more regular thing, and also try it before I test something and let the other tester drive.
The other side of this is, that we have a weekly test team meeting and I will try to show features or functionality that the other members may not necessarily see but may have to pick up, when I go on holiday. During this session we can also ask valuable questions of the new feature or product. Which is easier than listening to a monologue when handing something over. I think!
As testers I feel we generally want to know about the company’s products and about all the things they can do for customers and ourselves, so that is also why I envision this knowledge share to be good.
Do you do regular pair testing sessions? How do you structure them? Do you do knowledge sharing sessions with other team members?