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I had the absolute privilege of attending the lightning talk sessions at Agile Testing Days. This is not something I usually go to, but Concetta (my wife) was giving her first talk, so I went along. I was blown away by the great talks and ideas I got – and all in less than an hour! I think it might be my new favourite “conference talk” style: 7 minutes talking, 3 minutes questions – next!

ATD_Lightning ATD_Lightning2

Here are some of the talks I attended and what I learned from them:

The MAGIC of scrum by @tamaradepaus

MAGIC stands for “My Alternative Guide Is Communication”. Tamara shared her 7 key aspects for making the best of Scrum.

  • comfort
  • listen
  • respect
  • flexible
  • time
  • collaborate
  • communication

Tell me what you think by @rgute

This was a great talk about how they got user feedback on their product without a big budget for formal user research. Her tips were:

  • 1) Think as a user – run a bug bash day with the team
  • 2) Invite Guests – have and open day
  • 3) Encourage colleagues to give you feedback
  • 4) Canteen research – bribe people with a dessert voucher for participating during lunchtime
  • 5) Observe users – take videos of people using your product
  • 6) Cookies – Never underestimate the power of getting people involved by providing free cookies. They went one step further by baking cookies in their office kitchen. People just follow the smell 🙂

The Ladder of Inference by @tomMantsch

Tom gave a great talk explaining the Ladder of Inference, and how you can use the ladder to make your reasoning and thinking more visible to others. Understand where others are on the ladder and where you are. In the Q&A an interesting idea came up about using the Ladder of inference a a way to discuss user stories. Definitely something worth trying.

The Testing Developer by @concettaIsolano

Concetta told us how she become a developer in her in 30’s after changing her career from being an HR Manager. She explained how TDD helps her understand and read code, as well as making it easier to write because it forces her to think in very small pieces, which makes any problem seem easier to solve.

Test Mind Maps by @carolinLunemann

I love this idea. They used mindmaps to create their test plans, as well as documenting their test findings. They were easy to read and easy to update. The best docs are the simplest ones for the job! The mind maps get checked in and versioned. Best of all they are using these in the pharmaceutical industry which has strong audit requirements, and auditors are happy with this form of documentation. Brilliant!

How I became a tester’s worst nightmare by @pinqapinqa

This was a story about a tester who became a developer and didn’t collaborate or test! She quickly realised her mistakes though 🙂

Evolution of the Test Manager Role by @valeriy_burm

Another story about what happens to the test manager now – what can they become? Ideas were to become a line manager and look after people, to be a test practice leader or to try a different job.

Making Tough Decisions by @schumitza

A story about performance biting you in the butt. She talked about the importance of having metrics around performance and alerts set up to notify you of problem areas, before they become an issue for clients.

Centipede by @umpirsky

This was another tool talk – it’s a fairly simple tool and he didn’t do a demo, instead he spoke about the need for a tool like this. I surprised myself by wanting to try it out. Basically it checks that all the pages of your website are up and running.

Lessons Learned in Mobile Development by @susie13

Susie shared a great story about a mysterious bug that they couldn’t replicate because they didn’t have games installed on the work/testing iPads 🙂  They also have great big visible boards of reviews from IOS and Android so that they can see what users like and hate. They started a Fun Friday – where anyone can work on  “I’m missing…” or “I hate it when…” items. Love this idea!

All in all – these Lightning talks was the best learning I got from the conference – highly recommended!

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