I went to Manchester Test Bash, my first ever!

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My First Ever Ministry Of Testing TestBash & it was awesome!

If you have never been to a test bash, then you need to. I highly recommend it. I truly did not know what to expect, but the organisers have managed to create a relaxed, happy atmosphere where everyone felt at ease and thus ad hoc conversations were aplenty along with sharing twitter @’s and links to useful resources.


The talks were all very interesting and I loved how so many separate people all had at least one slide of a Star Wars character.

Critical Distance by James Bach

1. Social Distance – Absence of harmony & information flow – Can be harmful – Erodes Co-operation – Reduces social intervention.
2. Get ideas before a brainstorm session – Anchoring bias occurs when you don’t and your mind goes blank after the 1st idea is presented.
3. Reduces blindness
4. Prevents shared errors
5. Testing is not fortress but a villa. I live there, own it, but welcome guests from time to time.

To summarise, James was talking about how it is important to create more social, closer connections, as this is more important than a critical distance, which is more detrimental to the goals we as testers are trying to achieve and that is a smooth flow of information, co-operation between developers, project managers, etc.

There was a great analogy of we live in a villa not a fortress. We own it. We live there. We can happily invite guests there, unlike the fortress.

Psychology Of Asking Questions by Ian Bright

1. Question yourself – What are you trying to achieve?
2. If cannot answer the question, ask more questions.
3. Use psychology to ask questions and change behavior – Psychology techniques.
4. Answer with “Why not?” when receive a No.
5. Foot in door approach
6. Door in face (negotiate)
7. Get others to ask questions on your behalf
8. Challenge your own proposal – Objective – Why? – Benefits.

Turning a Frown from Upside Down by Kim Knup (Twitter – @punkmik)


1. Positive emotions
2. Study on moods in a morning – Good morning & smile versus a moan and winge.
3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (link to meaning)
4. Ted Talk “The happy secret to better work” by Shawn Achor (link)
5. Happiness = Wider perspective – Increased stamina – Creativity
6. How to become happier – Meditation – Random acts of kindness – Be grateful for 3 new things every day for one month.

Listening An Essential Skill by Stephen Mounsey (sketchandscrum.com)


1. Eyes are projectors adding to our point of view
2. More difficult to find the absence of something (Q vs O)
3. Listening – Redunctavily – Expansive
4. Patterns – Biases – Ignore constants – Modes – Limited auditory capacity – Thinking environments – “Make other peoples thinking better”
L ook & Listen
I nterrupt
S ummarise
T est
E valuate
N eutralise (feelings)

How To Be More Salmon by Duncan Nisbet (Twitter – @duncnisbet)

1. Shared documentation does not equal shared understanding
2. Go upstream and test earlier
3. Understanding needs of software
4. Squash assumptions

The Four Hour Test Experiment by Helena Jeret-Mäe and Joep Schuurkes



The Deadly Sins Of Acceptance Testing by Mark Winteringham (Twitter – @2bittester – mwtestconsultancy.co.uk)


1. Refucktoring scenarios
2. Example Mapping introduction
3. F.A.R.T. model regression

Great Resources by Huib Schoots (Twitter – @HuibSchoots)


1. Have passion and courage
2. Be curious & skeptical
3. Adapt to context
4. Test Techniques
5. Context Driven Testing
6. Social Science
7. Continuous Learning – Deliberate Practice
8. Write about what you do – blogs
9. Rapid Testing Framework – Rapid Testing Applied
10. BBST courses
12. CAT
13. SIBTM Exploratory Testing
14. Certified Agile Tester

Additional Stuff

1. Indian teacher teaching testing to a group of people – Funny – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53rohjWiAKo
2. FREE to skype with James Bach and Richard Bradshaw and Huib Schoots

3. The TestBash Manchester video courtesy of www.Ministryoftesting.com

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