European Weekend Testing – 4 December 2010

Due to various commitments over recent months I have not been as regular an attendee at the Weekend Testing sessions as I would have liked.  However the session this afternoon was a great one to come back on.

Our mission was to devise a ‘cheat sheet’ to be used by Helpdesk staff to help them improve the quality of their defect reports.  A lot of questions were asked to clarify what the problems were at the moment, what sort of environments the Helpdesk staff had available to them, whether there were any language issues to be considered, etc.

Ajay Balamurugadas ( and suggested working on this in teams and I had the pleasure of working with him during the course of the afternoon.  We quickly got down to drafting our cheat sheet, starting off by each typing our ideas for what should go into the sheet using a brilliant tool which I had not seen before,, which allowed us to both work on the same document and see what each of us was doing in realtime.

Ajay asked me to note down the sort of information that I would ask for if he called me for technical support.  My answers spurred us both on and we became much more productive in thinking up the things that would need to go onto the cheat sheet.  Similarly I asked Ajay about how he deals with severity.  In some ways our conversation reminded me of James Bach and Michael Bolton’s work on Transpection ( which is a technique I am trying to master.  I really need more practice…

We categorised and smartened up the cheat sheet and Ajay prepared it all as a PDF that we could share with the other weekend testers.

Following this we had the de-briefing session which, as always, was as informative – if not more so – than the actual mission itself.  I find I learn so much from hearing about how others have tackled problems and finding out how they have put their knowledge of the testing craft to good use.   We had all taken slightly different approaches depending on how we each viewed the audience and what they were trying to do.  Ajay and I had focussed on the Helpdesk staff writing bug reports but others had concentrated on helping the Helpdesk staff get the right information out of the customer in the first place.

The whole session was really enjoyable.  “Thank you” to Anna Baik for facilitating the session and to all the contributors for their help during the afternoon.  I look forward to joining future sessions as time and circumstances permit.


3 Responses to “European Weekend Testing – 4 December 2010”

  1. Darren McMillan Says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Sounds like a fantastic session, I really wish I could make these weekend sessions, only the new midweek ones are suitable for me.

    I can’t wait to read the transcript when it appears.

    I’d be interested in hearing if you’ve learnt anything new which you haven’t stated here.



  2. Transpection Explored « Stephen Hill's Blog Says:

    […] Stephen Hill's Blog The musings of a pedantic tester from the UK « European Weekend Testing – 4 December 2010 […]

  3. Reading « Readings Says:

    […] you who were at the European Weekend Testers session or who have read my write-up of the session (here) will know that I attempted a technique called Transpection (…) #testing news: Transpection […]

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