Due to COVID 19, all workshops and courses are remotely given for the foreseeable future.

Janet Gregory: Agile Consultant, Trainer, Advisor, Writer, Speaker

Lean Coffee at Agile Testing Days 2014, Potsdam, Germany

This is the third (maybe 4th) year that Lisa Crispin and I have hosted lean coffee in the Fritz pub. This year it was at 8:00 am which was a definite improvement from the 7:30 am time slot last year. Each year we seem to add an extra table so this year we had to add an extra host / facilitator for the third table. Thank you Gil (@gil_zilberfeld)  A couple participants even tweeted that the lean coffee was the best part of the conference – I’m not sure about that, but it is enjoyable …. except maybe the morning after the party.

I can’t talk about subjects from the other tables, but at my table we ended up having some consistency with the people, so ideas were shared freely. I tried to capture all the topics we discussed, and these were some of the ones at the top of the list. There were some very lively discussions around some of them. Remember, we only had 3 days, and 45 minutes each day, so I thought this list was amazing.

  • Can you switch contexts effectively, and if so how? (in the context of switching from one project to another in the same day).
  • How to feel proud of what you have done if the quality is not great?

One suggestion was to get out and visit a “real” customer to see what they thought. Sometimes we see all the flaws, and none of the good stuff.

  • Can I motivate my shy testers to step up and take the charge?

One experience that was shared was that they have the testers mentor every new programmer who starts about the domain.

  • Overcoming release testing pain – (long test cycle of manual regression testing)
  • Agile in a distributed team across time zones – (in this case, the company deliberately was creating this environment).

One participant shared how they just reorganized to bring feature delivery back to one team that was co-located, and how it seemed to make things so much easier.

  • Do you achieve ‘flow’ in your work? If so, how?
  • Tester’s career path – what are the options?
  • How to make retrospectives more fun and bring more value?

In answer to this, some people shared some great experiences. One person told us about her awesome ScrumMaster who changed up the format depending on what he was trying to focus on. Another said they changed who the facilitator was so they got different ways of doing it.

A couple of topics which intrigued me, and I would like to have heard the opinions and experiences around the table, were:

  • How to build a tester’s guild in an organization?
  • DevOps and Testing

There were a few books mentioned as we went on about some of these ideas so hopefully people got lots out of the conversations – I know I certainly did. You never know where new ideas will come from.


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