I was so excited to see A Coach’s Guide to Agile Testing from Samantha Laing and Karen Greaves of Growing Agile. I don’t know of any other book to guide coaches in helping agile teams learn good ways to succeed with testing and build quality into their software product. Here are my immediate thoughts after reading it.
The book is useful even for coaches/trainers who don’t themselves have a lot of
knowledge of or experience in testing. The authors use the “4 Cs” from Sharon Bowman’s Training from the Back of the Room, and show how to apply them. Newbie coaches and presenters usually make the mistake of wanting to deliver a lot of information via lecture and slides. Bowman’s techniques have helped me make my own training classes and workshops much better learning experiences for participants, so I’m glad to see them incorporated here.
It’s so helpful that the guide includes a training kit, and advice on what supplies are best, even the best markers to use. I liked the idea to send participants photos of the workshop, though I might ask up front if everyone is comfortable with having photos taken.
Sam and Karen give options on how to schedule and organize a class or a shorter workshop. I’m betting that readers will find this incredibly helpful.
The visuals in the book are terrific. We know how well pictures help convey concepts!
One thing that bothered me about Training from the Back of the Room was that I’m not comfortable asking participants to do some of the exercises. I’m an introvert, and I find it hard to ask people to do something I wouldn’t feel good doing. The exercises here are well within my own comfort level, which is great.
Most importantly, the content is spot on. It is SO wonderful to read a book whose authors truly grok the testing mindset. Karen and Sam understand what teams need to know about testing, and how coaches can help them learn those things.