Let´s TestLab 4.0

Let’s Test has from its start been different in the way of setting up a testlab. The energy, the focus and the commitment of the participants is astounding. There are few new, inexperienced testers who attend the testlab. Instead many are very experienced and enjoy showing their skills or sharing their experiences.

So far the testlab has been run during the evenings, competing with other events.

For 2015 there will be lots of events during the evening, some focused on puzzles which have previously been a part the testlab.

Based on our experience from previous years at Let’s test, there are two main reflections that stand out:
– Participants have always enjoyed testing together with others that they wouldn’t get a chance to work with otherwise
– Participants get more involved if they know that the test effort have meaning and it will be used in a good way.

One prerequisite for applications/systems to be part of the testlab has previously been to use open source tools and to avoid commercial products. For this year, we want to try something different.

Most of us have come in contact with start-up companies that show promise, but are in their early days in their process of developing a good product or system. Some of these start-ups have created systems that show great promise for testers. Out of necessity or budget constraints, a lot of these start-ups have only focused on the development of their product or system and have rarely had a chance to invest in testing.

The testlab organisers bring a small set of start-up tools/programs that they want to test. We also bring with us the regular bug system, wiki and tools to perform preparation, testing and test reporting.

We welcome our coming testlab participants to submit start-up products suggestions before hand. Closer to the conference we will “vote the most wanted” out of a list of possible systems. We will select a top 3 list and the test lab organizers would make sure we have all the needed software available for these top ones. We would prepare local/private servers, install needed products etc. and have these ready for the Test Lab.

The evenings will be focused on
test preparations, where we visualize our ideas on what we are going to do
testing, where we collaboratively test together
test reporting, where we visualize what we have found and why we believe it is important

All the test artifacts – from test plans, test sessions, bugs, test reports – would be then shared with each of the start-up products tested in the Test Lab.

By doing this, we would:
help the start-ups develop further, understand what the main problems might be in their current solution, understand how their product is perceived, come up with ideas on how their solution could be improved
give the Test Lab participants’ work and testing a meaning: our participants would know that their work will be appreciated and their findings would be put to good use.

We know that many of the experienced testers want to show how they do things.

Keep a lookout for coming information about the testlab and its setup and if you have any suggestion about an awesome start-up company that should make it to the Test Lab this year, email us at ru.cindrea@altom.ro and martin.jansson@qualityminds.se and let us know about it!

Warm welcome from your test lab rats,
Ru Cindrea & Martin Jansson

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