Lets Test South Africa – Day 1 – An Unintended Workout

Filed in Lets Test South Africa 2015 by on 15 November, 2015

Kloofzicht LodgeArrival (With an Unintended Workout)

Left home early in case I got lost. Did not get lost, so I checked in as soon as I arrived. My room was not ready, so I decided to locate it and then chill out.

Now the Kloofzicht hotel complex is built in the form of an arc. The reception and conference halls are in the middle, and the rooms are on either side of this main section. The receptionist informed me that I needed to exit reception, turn rigth, and my room was located at the far end. Unfortunately, the reception area has two exits on opposite ends and I chose the wrong one. Upon getting to the hotel rooms I searched and searched for my room, but it was nowhere to be found. Then I took the long walk to the other end of the complex and, lo and behold, there was the room. I walked a total of about 2km – this is my unintended workout. Keep in in that the previous day I had run 5km at the Roodepoort parkrun, so by now legs were stiff and I was in a foul mood.

Welcome and Introduction

We were all chilling out on the balcony, when the facilitator asked for our attention and then welcomed us and gave us an overview of the conference planning. This was rather unusual. I was expecting this to be done in one of the conference  We were experiencing blistering heatwave conditions with temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius and higher.

Two Hour Workshops – Sampling and Modelling

There were 2 options. The first one was "Excel in Testing". I imagined this to be on how one can be very good in testing. Later I learnt that it was actually the Microsoft spreadsheet software Excel. Anyway I had chosen the other track – Sampling and Modelling facilitated by Carl Steinberg.

We were divided into small groups, with each group looking at a model of a very old adventure game on a sinclair ZX  Spectrum. The software simulated the loading of the game from a tape and playing the game on a ZX spectrum. I initially battled because my idea was that of a modern game. My plan was to simply click on the game icon and play it using the controls. Once I realised my model was wrong, it became much easier when I  applied 1980s thinking.

The workshop emphasised that we build models and hope our samples are in alignment with our models. Sometimes we have more than one model. We need to be good at evaluating models and revising them when necessary, or discarding them when they no longer serve us

Track 1 – Lighter Session

Here I chose to attend "Yoga for testers". I imagined this to be some kind of a method to make us more effective at testing. Turned out it was real physical yoga practice session. Having run 5km the previous day and having walked 2km earlier, I decided to give this a miss and join the other session – "A testers walk in the park". The candidates were to walk around the dam in small groups and discuss their current testing challenges. They would share their challenges back in the conference hall with the other groups and then discuss possible solution. My tired legs forced me to also give this session a miss

Evening Test Lab

The evening sessions started quite late. I chose to attend the test lab. We were required to examine a project management tool, look for defects and log them. The software was humongous and not intuitive at all. For an hour I figured out some things about setting up new users and linking them to a new project. Eventually my concentration levels declined quite rapidly and I retired for the night without logging any defects. Needless to say, I did not win a prize for logging the most quality defects.

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