All-remote for better communication

All-remote retrospective

In February I wrote about the experimental retrospective format for our team’s “cross-pod retro” (so-called, because our large team is divided into smaller pods). Since then, my manager Jo Webb and I have continued to tweak the retro format, based on feedback from surveys done following each retro. Building on feedback Our teammates said they […]

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Mob all the things!

Mob all the things!

I’m so excited that I get to participate in the Mob Programming conference next month- April 12-13 –  in Burlington, MA. Check out the program and registration details. This is an amazing opportunity to work in small groups with leaders like Lisi Hocke, Woody Zuill and Llewellyn Falco. An even better way to learn about […]

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Courage to coach

You might notice that my posts here aren’t necessarily about actually doing testing activities. For the past several years I’ve been one of only three testers on a team of 25 or more coders. Currently, I’m the only tester spread across several mini-teams that add up to around 17 coders. I can’t possibly test every […]

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Ways to improve listening skills

Retrospectives for large teams with many sub-teams

My team has 40+ members, distributed into seven or so “pods” and across several locations. It’s a challenge to communicate information among the multiple pods. In addition, we often face obstacles that cross over multiple pods. We usually have a “cross-pod retrospective” once a month. It’s typically in the “Happy/Puzzler/Sad” format. We collect items in […]

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Fern Cats

Telling stories together while practicing critical thinking with VTS

We use our story telling and critical thinking skills constantly as we test and develop software. How often do we practice those skills on something other than features we are going to release to production? Musicians practice their craft. Even coders can practice their craft with katas and code retreats. How can we practice telling […]

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Guna Petrova, my husband Bob Downing, Marianne Duijusst, Gitte Klitgaard, Jack Gregory, Janet Gregory, Stephan Kämper

Wrapping Up Agile Testing Days 2017

Eeek, 2017 is over soon and I have one more post about the Agile Testing Days 2017 conference! Yes, it has been quite a few weeks ago now, but like most of you, the combination of work, side projects and holiday merriment have meant a lack of blogging time. I’m just going to squeak this […]

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