Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Testing with the stars

On 15th and 16th May there was the coolest conference I have ever been to: Turku Agile Days 2012!!! There were great speakers from around the world - Lisa Crispin, Elisabeth Hendrickson, Linda Rising and many many others. But in addition all the talking and workshopping, there was this competition called Testing with the Stars. This was the first of its kind and I had the privilige to be invited to be the star tester in the competition: I also had the most amazing pair from F-secure St. Petersburgh office, Sergey Moshnikov (@dan_dandelion in twitter). He was a great sport to tolerate all my rantings about exploratory testing and he did an amazing job with all the sessions, especially on the subject of BDD in which he appeared to be a huge talent! It was an honor to be paired up with a talent like that.

You can read more from here but here's a quick summary of how it went.

The competition had originally 6 pairs of testers consisting of a star tester and the guest tester. The teams were

  • Ru Cindrea & Ulrika Malmgren
  • Anssi Lehtelä & Tom Leppälahti
  • Petteri Lyytinen & Jenna-Riia Karhunen
  • Pekka Marjamäki & Sergey Moshnikov
  • Maaret Pyhäjärvi & Henrik Juvonen
  • Juha Rantanen & Anssi Kinnunen

The first day was spent doing 3 ten minutes sessions each about Testing strategy, BDD and Exploratory testing. After the ten minutes session our "dance" (as the concept was borrowed from the Dancing with the Stars TV-program) was judged by Lisa Crispin and Elisabeth Hendrickson (who were the guest judges of the competition) and finally also by the audience. So basically there were 18 dances from all the six teams and three got to the semi-finals on the second day. Me and Sergey were lucky enough to get into the semi-finals along with Juha Rantanen, Anssi Kinnunen, Anssi Lehtelä and Tom Leppälahti. The first day was great fun and the contestant did an amazing job with the little time they were given to prepare to the show.

The second day began with a dance free of choise. Me and Sergey did a BDD-dance on how to introduce value to the BDD process. We had help from Jenna-Riia (thanks for all the help we got!) and we managed to pull together an act with the score of 21. Juha Rantanen and Anssi Kinnunen dazzled us all with a BDD dance where thay demonstrated the story building process and included an example of how it could have been done using Robot framework. They got a score of 26. Anssi Lehtelä and Tom Leppälahti did an amazing job visualizing test strategy building using Anssi himself as the test object! It was hugely entertaining but got a score of 16. After the audience had voted the teams' performance Anssi's team and ours were tied with 29 points each (Juha and Anssi had 34 so they were going to the finals anyhow). As the audience was the ... urm... audience of the dances, it was their word that settled the tie and Anssi and Tom went into finals.

Anssi was however not pleased with this as he kinda liked our show, se he insisted that we would team up and do a double dance! So we did a testing competition within a testing competition and we let the audience decide which team won the exploratory testing duel. It sounded like the audience was leaning against Anssi's team but we had a blast doing the duel. Then Juha and Anssi came with their exploratory testing dance and blew up the bank! Dancing robot testing to the beat of Scooter's "Move your a**". With which they won the competition.

I really enjoyed myself during the conference even though I didn't get to see too many talks. I however got to hear the great Linda Rising do a keynote on Agile Mindset and a talk from Elisabeth about test automation. I am definitely going to attend the next TwtS that is going to be arranged as it was so entertaning and good learning to all the participants also. If any of you want to see the video recordings from the sessions they can be found from Bambuser but be warned. ;)

As the Linda Rising's talk was so inspiring, I'll finish this time with a quote she mentioned in her keynote:
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." -Samuel Beckett


Anssi Lehtelä said...

Had a blast! And thanks for the double dance again, it was awesome!


Pekka Marjamäki said...

DUDE! You and Tom were awesome! I'm really looking forward to get to do some team work with you! Some conference or event perhaps, a debate of some kind, you name it!

I wish the video quality could have been better in the live stream so more people can enjoy the raw fun of doing a competition WITHIN a competition! It's almost like a testing wormhole to Testing planet! :) "What? 42:00 a clock?? That must be afternoon in the Testing Planet!" (Only an idiot would quote himself!) :D

- Peksi

Anssi Lehtelä said...

Yea the video didn't really work out that well. And it didn't include our glorius entrance to the scene :)

Man, have a information hang-over from the conference. Kind of hard to get my bloated ego back into this tiny little cubicle of mine ;)

Yea we have to be starting that team-work soon! We'd need to think about something were we don't agree so that we could have a good debate though..