DEWT is born….

It started out on twitter: 7 passionate software testers meet with a great idea: start a Dutch version of peer workshops on (exploratory) testing. Inspired by American, English and Swedish examples: Los Altos Workshop on Software Testing (LAWST), London Exploratory Workshop in testing (LEWT) and swedish Workshop on Exploratory Testing (SWET). Our main goal: get together with like-minded, explore our profession, get inspired, have geeky conversations about our craft software testing and learn. After some tweets using the hashtag #NLET1, we doodled a date and got together in Den Bosch on 17th November 2010 for the first time. This first meeting was to talk about the idea: what are we going to do? A great evening sharing our ideas on what we could do…

Our first ambition is to organize a full weekend peer workshop in a hotel somewhere in the Netherlands, like our Swedish colleagues did. Ideas flying around the room: lighting talks, Testing Dojos, standups and retrospectives during the weekend, use the internet to gather extra information, share books and discuss them. Hopefully we can invite a “big name” to get us going.

After this inspiring evening we share a google doc to further brainstorm the ideas. Almost two months later, on 13th January 2011, we meet again. First we discuss the name we want to use for our peer workshop. Thirty minutes later DEWT is born: Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing. Borrowed from the London version. It sounds kind of cool, like dude!

DEWT founders

DEWT Founders from left to right: @MichelKraaij (Michel Kraaij), @ruudcox (Ruud Cox), @huibschoots (Huib Schoots), @JeroenRo (Jeroen Rosink), @TestSideStory (Zeger van Hese), @RayOei (Ray Oei) and @SimonSaysNoMore (Peter Simon Schrijver)

Then we talk about what we can do when we come together: again some nice additonal ideas go across the table: exploring tools like Rapid Reporter, discuss and share heuristics and do transpections.

We can’t wait until we get together for a whole weekend. After two sociable and very inspiring evenings we decide to start small: an evening in March somewhere to see how things work out. See it as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming weekend workshop.

We finish the second evening discussing some books we have read that inspired us:

Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude by David Hillson and Ruth Murray-Webster

Ruud:  This book explains in a very easy readable and concise way what uncertainty is, what risk is and how people respond to risk i.e. risk attitude. This book classifies risk attitudes and gives tips how these attitudes can be managed. A large part of this book describes the human factors like cognitive biases and emotional literacy in relation to risk. After reading this book I understand that risk is way more than likelihood x impact.

Mindmap understanding and managing risk attitude

A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design by Lee Copeland

Peter:  This book tells about the various test techniques which a tester can use for a test assignment he/she needs to do. It is explained in a simple and straightforward way. But the essence of the book is the parallel Lee Copeland explains regarding his son. Once Lee joins his son (he is a glazier) on his working day. What he recognized was that his son used a toolbox from job to job with several tools. For each job his son used different tools. Lee says that a tester must also have a toolbox with tools a tester can use. This book is one of those tools.

Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design by James Whittaker

Jeroen:  This was one of the First books I read about Exploratory testing. In my opinion the explanation about touring in one of the first chapters learned me that you should be aware changing your vision of an object occasionally and intentionally with such respect and awareness that others also make up their own vision about places and objects. Touring helped me visualize and explain to others some aspects of Exploratory testing.

Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar by James Bach

Michel:  “A buccaneer-scholar is anyone whose love for learning is not muzzled, yoked, or shackled by any institution or authority; whose mind is driven to wander and find its own voice and place in the world”. This book is about one of those buccaneer-scholars, named James Bach. In this book James takes you along his life, learnings, career choices he made, and many more. He shows you how he gained his knowledge and explains how you can gain yours. Celebrate your triumphs and celebrate your failures. I really enjoyed reading this book. It really reminded me of my own turbulent life. This book gave me the ability and the energy to look things from a different perspective… and it still does.

Now i know, i’m definitely a buccaneer-scholar!

Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully by Gerald M. Weinberg

Zeger:  This book is brimming with priceless advice for the (experienced or wannabe) consultant. Jerry Weinberg shares many secrets from his own consulting career in a humorous and often provoking manner. With laws, edicts and rules, he touches on a wide range of topics, like the toughness of the trade, resistance, change and how to gain control of it, pricing, marketing, trust etc. Highly recommended!

Mindmap Secrets Of Consulting

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

Zeger:  In this book, Jerome Groopman conveys the complexity of the physician’s role. He illustrates the uncertainties and difficulties that arise in understanding patients, eliciting their stories, making a diagnosis. The similarities with software development – and bughunting and testing in particular – were literally biting me in the face: heuristics, use of scripts… It reminded me of the Jerry Weinberg quote : “what is a tester but a software pathologist?”.

Perfect Software: And Other Illusions about Testing by Gerald M. Weinberg

Huib: This book was one big smile. A lot of recognizable anekdotes about testing. My life as a software tester comes with a lot of explaining why we should test, why we can’t test everything, people using fallacies about testing, etc. As Michael Bolton says on the website: “We’ll each want at least two copies — one for our own bookshelves, and another to hand to our clients so that they can better understand precisely how we can help them.”

Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach by Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord

Ray: A great source of inspiration for anyone interested in testing. Full of tips, tricks, insights, do-s, don’t-s, and most of all: experiences you will recognize or want to avoid. Not a book to be read from start to finish in one go, just open it somewhere and read a few lessons. It is also a fun read.

The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris, Daniel Simons

Ray:  When I did the RST course I was confronted with the ‘moonwalking bear’, and missed it. Many have missed the original ‘monky business illusion’ from Daniel Simons who did this first experiment. I am still reading this book – to be honest – but this book tells of how we are often not aware of what we see. The illusions in our reasoning and other ways our perceptions fools us.

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8 Responses to DEWT is born….

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention DEWT is born…. | DEWT --

  2. Simon Morley says:

    Congratulations all!

    It will be interesting to read how your next session goes, agenda and aims – and, of course, learnings.
    How long before a European WET is suggested (maybe along the lines of CAST)…

    I look forward to reports after your next meetings.
    Good luck!

  3. You have a great team at the launch and I will be looking forward to hearing more from you more. Good day for Europe and good luck to all. CAST is reborn.

  4. It seems that starting #DEWT got some of you people energized! Today i recieved an email from Remco Berendsen. He also did some reviews on his own. Alright, Remco! That’s the spirit! And thank you for sharing them with us all.

    And here it comes!:

    As an experienced tester, I think the following books give you insight into the further growth in the field. Quality is not just the technical part, there is much more to it. Through continuous learning to get more and more in your field.

    Gerald M. Weinberg is a great writer. I’m a fan of him. He has written many books that all ages are still valid and quite useful. His books are enjoyable and easy to read.

    Becoming a technical leader, An organic problem solving approach, Gerald M. Weinberg

    The books written by Gerald M Weinberg are easily readable. This comprehensive and practical book describes the styles and characteristics of a technical leader. Each chapter is followed by a number of assignments. With these assignments you can decide for yourself which styles and properties up for you. A measure of personal strength and weaknesses. With this book you learn about yourself again.

    I have found this book very useful in organizational changes.

    Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully, Gerald M. Weinberg

    This book provides insight into the (im) possibilities of consultancy. All facets of consultancy and supply come with nice examples. A consultant will be able to communicate well. In clear examples extensively describes what effects a consultant can bring. How the environment responds.

    The finesse is in small things. These little things are nicely portrayed.

    An Introduction to General Systems Thinking (Silver Anniversary Edition)

    Gerald M. Weinberg has written a useful book on systems thinking. This book makes clear that there are multiple ways of looking at things. In addition, you can look outside your frames. For most people, systems thinking something elusive. But systems thinking is simply applied in daily work.

    Handbook of Walkthroughs, Inspections, and Technical Reviews: Evaluating Programs, Projects, and Products

    The book reviews and inspections of Gerald M. Weinberg provides a very clear view of what is needed to do a good review. The book is written in interview style. For every question you can think of for review or inspection is worked out. Very useful as a reference work.

    A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Abridged Edition

    For the diehards among the testers, there is a book of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
    This book is hard to read. But it does give insight into how taxonomy for learning, teaching and Assessing can work. This book is actually designed for teachers. In a scientific way how a teacher can build his lessons and tests. Especially if you also have to deal with students at different levels. This book is an organization sui if you want help setting up testing.

  5. Excellent to see this get started. I must point out a problem, however.

    It is a principle of the LAWST-style or LAWST-inspired workshops that the abbreviation of the name of the workshop can be transliterated in an ironic or amusing way:

    Los Altos Workshop on Software Testing -> LAWST -> lost
    Software Test Managers’ Roundtable -> STMR -> steamer
    Workshops on Teaching Software Testing -> WTST -> whatsit?
    Toronto Workshops of Software Testing -> TWST -> twist
    Workshop on Heuristic and Exploratory Techniques -> WHET -> wet
    London Exploratory Workshop on Testing -> LEWT -> loot
    Swedish Workshop on Exploratory Testing -> SWET -> sweat

    Thus, I view “Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing” as an opportunity missed. I propose either “Netherlands Exploratory Workshop on Testing”, or “Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing and Investigation”.

    Other than that, it’s perfect. 🙂 Let us know when you’re doing another one.

    —Michael B.

    • ruudcox says:

      Hi Michael,

      I just finished reading the book The Unwritten Rules of Baseball: The Etiquette, Conventional Wisdom, and Axiomatic Codes of Our National Pastime. The idea is to replace Baseball by Testing and think of Unwritten Rules in Testing. Well, the principle you mention above might be one 😉

      Thx for the comment.

    • #DEWT, where’s my car!? Where’s that bug, Dude!? 😉

    • Simon Morley says:

      Suggestion: DEWT -> Duty or Due T or Jute or Joot (sounds dutch?)

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