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This is the future of testing if you ask me. I am very happy to see the number of testers in Sweden standing up saying that Exploratory testing was the solution to their testing problems. For the first time we have a true exploratory peer conference called SWET - Swedish Exploratory Testers in October 2010. The attending people have all tried Rapid Testing according to the context-driven school and gotten hooked. Now you have the chance to listen to what James has to say. It may confuse you, bother you, amuse you. I am pretty sure it will make you think about what you are doing. To me it is much more than just testing - it is about thinking, problem solving, questioning and philosophy.

After a long and cold winter this is the chance for you to collect energy and get a boost before summer. Join the context-driven community!

Now open for registration.


Update: This is what James has to say about his class

I am a self-educating tester. For the ambitious thinker, self-education is a way of life. For the ambitious tester in particular, it is indispensible. If you think about it, testing itself is a learning process (and also a process of unlearning what is not so). In this tutorial, I will tell you how I do it. My self-education system has been, for me, a substitute for institutional education and a competitive advantage. Although I left school at an early age, if you already have a higher education, so much the better! You get the best of both worlds.

I will explain and demonstrate the methods that I use develop ideas for my articles, books, and classes, so that you can use them draw out and codify lessons from your own experience.

I will discuss:

- The fundamentals of adult self-education
- Entry points for testing education
- A personal syllabus of software testing
- How to identify, articulate, and test your own heuristics
- How to assess your own progress

Tobbes Comments

James Bach is the person that has taught me the most useful stuff about software testing.  The first time I met James in person was at the Rapid Software Testing Class in Sweden about six years ago. I had earlier read articles and talked to colleagus about issues that sparked my interest. For three days he questioned many of our beliefs about testing in specific and reasoning in general. I started to think about why I had the knowledge I had and if there was any good reason for having it. I had a lot of problems applying a lot of common testing methodology but still tried since so many authorities stated that "this was the way to do it". I suddenly realised that not all testing experts had the same thoghts about what effective and effecient testing was.

JMBach-166x220A very important part of the class was James methods for learning. Experiental training inspired by Jerry Weinberg made the experience fun and easy to remember. He also talked very much about how we know what we know - also known as epistemology . He talked of areas I had never heard of before like Abductive Inference and told us to actively search for knowledge. James told us about his way of learning and I thought, Wow - it sounds like a treat!

From that day I started to buy lots of books and my self-studies increased in intensity. Together with that I started reading blogs and joined the context-driven testers discussion group. For me, reading interesting things is an enjoyable experience. Learning new things in the areas of Logic, Lateral thinking, Philosophy, Psychology and many more areas has benifited greatly to what I know today and I strongly believe that the success of any tester, or any other career for that matter, lays for the greater part in the hand of the person itself.

And now he has finally written a book about his self-study method.  ”Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar”  has references to the Buccaneers that pirated the South Americas in the 1600s and he compares their way of organising with his own search for information. He also has a dedicated website on the subject.

For the first time ever in Sweden he gives a Tutorial on Self-Education for testers. Anyone interested in educating themselves and thus becoming a more valuable resource should seriously consider this opportunity. If you have already taken the RST class and want to have som more inspiration - this is your chance to continue!

The tutorial takes plave 25th of march 2010 at SAS Radisson in Gothenburg. Take me to more practical information and registration detailsbuccaneer

The next available class in Rapid Software Testing with James Bach will take place in Lund. It is hosted by House of Test and has a very reasonable fee. I have not invited James to give any class in Gothenburg before summer but depending on what happens there may be one this fall.

Thanks to all the people that voted against the EURO in Sweden the dollar is now more than 50% more expensive for us swedes than half a year ago which does affect the possibilities to get trainers from abroad to Sweden.

Now is the time to sharpen our knowledge!

Thursday was tough, the most intense day of the class. When we thought we had learned the most we got to do the hardest problem. OR actually, since there are no hard problems, the hardest solution we did. We eagerly fell into every trap that was set up ...by ourselves. We had much discussion about process, confused leadership with telling others what to do, clinging to our own ideas instead of focusing on the end result. The funniest thing of all, I think, was that we ended up after three hours with a simplification of our zero-level solution. So waht took twelve peope three hours to do could very likely have been achived by three people in twelve minutes!

The other groups solution of the prolem we created. Solved with brilliance in 59.59 of the hour allowed. Stanley S Sczorcecode is a real S-person.


It was also fun to observe them solving the problem with elegance. Just as us, they solved the earlier problem the hard way and this the easy way. The result - well, the easiest way took shortest time and produced the better result! When people are having anjoyong themselves, that is when they are most effective.

The grand finale: Red Hot Party Poopers kicks ass with their first (and last) performance. On Youtube there is a video that shows how fun we had .


Some of the lyrics, adapted by myself from an old classic.


I rushed away in a taxi to try to get the train in time. I only missed it with a couple of minutes and watched it leave as I exited the taxi. The bonus fifty-five minutes I got were spent on re-writing next coneference talk completely.

I do hope sincerely that I will remember to apply the things I have learned and become a better leader. One of the best learnings for me as a tester was that the fact that in many cases the LESS detail we write in the requirements the BETTER the solution will be. The less we try to control, the better motivated, creative and often also organised the team will be.

There are still some places left on the coming class in USA in March.

For two days now we have been running a simulation and then analysing it. It has been a lot of fun and very enlightening. I am surprised that it is possible to get so much out of only one game. Without revealing too much, our task was to run a company for five hours. Our goal was to organise ourself and earn money. Sheriff Hi-Ho in his office is seen below.


Glittery Silver also played an important part.


Henrik Kniberg was one of the observers.


Day four has been a full day of analysis. First the observes showed us a time line filled with events, quotes, photos.


Then we started to analyse what had hapened and why. There is really a lot to learn about the organisation, leadership and flow of information. Far too much to put on the blog. Below, Jerry is analysing how Ola was in the middle of everything and thereby showing that if you do too much of a good thing it starts becoming an obstacle instead of helping. Esther tied us together with her brightly colored yarn to visualize the connections.

Tonight the rest of the class are enjoying themselves with games and hot tub while I am trying to cure my cold, which has now given me also an eye infection.