Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend testing EWT09: Add value to a mission

Another session of EWT
This weekend I participated another session EWT09: The Imperial Strikes Back for weekend testing, again. You might say that you have something better to do during the weekends. Sure, we all have. For some people it might look like testing another application in your own free time. Others might see it as a waste of time. There are also people who don't understand it. And fortunately there are also people who share the same interest.

What does EWT values to me
Currently I attended already three sessions and each time I'm having fun an learning. as the title tells you, it is in the weekend and sometimes it doesn't fit within your daily schedule. This time I try t make it fit. Next to getting to know more people I use these session also to learn more about how they are approaching testing, how I am approaching testing and what I can learn from it.

As in the last session M. Bolton pointed me about building a model before you start testing. This was besides the mission of this EWT session a personal mission for me.

The initial mission
Before the start the following mission was stated.
"You are moving from lovely Europe with measurements based on the metrics system to the US with imperial units. Test Converber v2.2.1 ( for usability in all the situations you may face. Report back test scenarios for usability testing"

Looking to this mission is was about thinking about scenarios for testing usability. Basically I would fulfil the mission just by writing down scenarios. I have to admit, I didn't add scenarios to the bug depository. I failed over there. Was this session a of less value for me?

My lessons learned
Of course not. I choose my way in this EWT and use the mission as a boundary set. Boundaries should also be judged. I choose not to write down scenarios in front. I have done that in the past. I choose to build myself a model, define questions and think about what usability is for me.

I know that often we think about usability and actually we are checking functionality like: "Is the currency converted correctly?" Instead of terms like: "is the output readable for me?"

Based on the questions I used the application to provide me some guiding lines to define the type of tour I would be follow. This result in unwritten scenarios.

The questions I started with:
- Is the documentation was helpful and readable.
- Is the menu clear understandable and intuitive?
- Will the application fit the screen?
- Does it deal with the international settings?
- Can you be lost in this tool?
- Will it give value for me?

As mentioned I made my own mission also. I believe I am allowed to it because it is my free-time and I still kept to the original mission, define scenarios. for me the questions mentioned in the discussion were a bit the scenarios. Another way of writing down scenarios were the bugs I add to the repository. Based on type of issues you might get a picture of the route I followed within the system

Add value to a mission
Perhaps one of the main thoughts here is that you have to judge yourself if you are skilled to fulfil a mission. If not, perhaps you can define your own goals to gain those skills. If you are able to add value to a mission and you are able to explain this, you also should be able to add value to a customer. I can say that I learned again from this session.

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