continual improvement

Tina Toucan provided extra diversity and fun!

Diversity in conference speakers == new ideas, more learning

I attended my first testing conference back in the early 90s. I can only remember one woman speaker, and she made such an impact on me, I still remember the session well – it was about how to test requirements. I have used those ideas ever since! Thanks in large part (in my opinion, anyway) […]

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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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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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Adventures in Retrospectives: Helping a large team focus!

I’m a tester on a (to me) relatively large team. Recently I was asked to facilitate an all-hands retro for our entire team. I’d like to share this interesting and rewarding experience. It’s not easy for a large team to enjoy a productive retrospective. I hope you’ll share your experiences, too. At the time of […]

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