Is it Nerdy to Test on the weekend?

I’m talking about the European Weekend Tester Sessions that have just started up.

This was an entirely different kind of testing. The kids were screaming and running in and out of the house as I sat down on my computer on a beautiful and warm Saturday afternoon to join in with a group of people loosely called the european weekend testers. I shrugged off that feeling that perhaps testing on the weekend was a slightly nerdy concept and opened up Skype in preparation for a couple of hours testing.

Of course, there was completely nothing nerdy about the whole thing. Only a great bunch of people wanting to share and explore. Some testers such as Phil Kirkham, Anna Baik and Thomas Ponnet I already knew from the softwaretestingclub, but I didn’t know everyone.  Ajay Balamurugadas our facilitator, was one of the original organisers of the Bangalore Weekend Testers. We were set a mission, warned about some ‘traps’ and then basically were left to work our way through a problem.

After the testing, there was time for discussion on how the testing went and what each tester learned from the experience. Some great insights in particular on test management and how testing could have been planned more appropriately.

I liked getting to know everyone better. Perhaps it was the fact it was a weekend, but it seemed that everyone was very relaxed and easy going. Plenty of jokes were cracked and the whole experience was fun.  I felt I got to know other testers a bit more. I liked this a lot, as normally I work alone, so I guess this is the closest I get to working in a team environment.

Anna describes the event perfectly in her quote “But I will say it’s the perfect antidote to 6+ months of project deathmarch. Testing is fun again!”

Many thanks to Anna Baik and Markus Gartner for starting up this chapter.

11 Comments

  1. Thanks Anne-Marie Charrett,

    It was really a good experience. Looking forward to your participation & feedback in the upcoming sessions too.

    Happy to know that you liked the session.

    Regards,
    Ajay Balamurugadas

    Reply

  2. Hello Anne-Marie,
    It was indeed great. While you were lounging in that sunny weather we were trying to keep ourselves warm in winterstruck Europe :-)
    I agree that the kids thing is a potential issue. My wife was so kind to take them on a shopping spree, so I could concetrate on the session. I wonder what the effect of an attentionseeking two-year-old will be on my exploratory testing. I will have to practise my ignoring skills as well :-)

    Regards,
    Zeger

    Reply

  3. I’m intrigued!

    You start by talking about kids running about the house whilst you’re trying to work. Yet by the end you explain how testing is fun again.

    For me, trying to work at home with my kids running about is one of life’s toughest challenges. To find a group of people explaining how testing is fun again is something worthy of further investigation though.

    Sounds like there is a lot that could be learnt here about working in remotely distributed teams too. Thank you for sharing this.

    William Echlin
    SoftwareTesting.net/blog

    Reply

    1. Hi William, well, I’m not getting paid for the weekend testing work, and so I don’t feel the same pressure and commitment. I have no problem (and did) tell others that I was stopping testing for a while to deal with some kid emergency. Yes, I may not have tested as thoroughly as I would have liked and could have probably found additional bugs, but it’s not a competition. Perhaps that’s why the event was more fun, I was more relaxed….

      I think also it depends on the ages of the kids. Mine are at an age where I can shout at them to shut the door, they understand a little bit more about what I do.

      Maybe even next time I will get them to join in!

      Reply

  4. I have my own business doing contract/freelance quality assurance and testing, and I work on week ends all the time. I work from home, so a week end is no different than a week day–i might take my Saturday on a Friday and my Friday on my Saturday! Testing is my passion–it’s what I love doing, so I always enjoy working on a week end.

    I have a 2 and 3yr old but a loving husband who keeps them occupied so I can work! Can’t beat that!

    Would love to learn more about this Weekend Testers groups!

    Reply

  5. Hi Anne,
    nice post. I agree somewhat with the “weekend feeling”. My wife needs to get accustomed to me “working” on the weekend again… even if i explain, it is *not* working, but fun and learning.

    Btw. family running around, dog barking occasionally and the daughter listening to rap music^^ … a lot of reasons i prefer CHAT instead of CALL for the group discussion.

    Cheers,
    Maik (from windy/rainy/stormy Hamburg)

    Reply

  6. Hi Anne-Marie Charrett,

    Good to know you liked the session.

    Remember me? I was with u in BBST !

    Regards,
    Shaham

    Reply

  7. Testing with small people running around can be done as long as you do not have to watch realtime information streams.

    Personally, Scooby Doo has had more than his fair share of facilitating urgent weekend work that had to be started while it was too early for the small people’s bedtime.

    They are never too early to be trained as allies either. My daughter’s ideas on GUI design may lean a little more towards pink and glittery for the sombre website of a collaboration software company but she did observe quite rightly that one of our product icons overly-resembled a snowman. (Frozen and snow, not good associations with a browser based viewer :)

    Reply

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