About 6 months ago (I think) I saw a tweet from Huib Schoots stating that he was now a student of the Miagi-Do School of Software Testing. I replied asking how one gets involved? I was pointed in the direction of Markus Gartner and Matt Heusser.
After a few rounds of contact with these gentlemen and the inclusion of Michael Larsen it seemed that an initial challenge was a long way off. What I had to understand is just how busy these guys are! That, and giving some random dude from Australia a challenge was completely in their free time.
After the festive season had passed I contacted again to get the ball rolling, and this time Markus got straight to it with my first challenge. I won’t go into the detail as this particular challenge is still in use. It will be made public soon at which time I may share some of the transcript (if I don’t mind embarrassing myself that is).
Initially it seemed pretty straight forward… “test this product” so to speak. It was only after some initial questioning from me and answers from Markus did the challenge really take shape. I highlight ‘answers’ as it could be argued that they weren’t really! Well, they were, but boy was the detail lacking. This was good though; as how many times in real life testing situations do you have all the detail? None.
We undertook this via email. That was good as it allowed me to keep the transcript really easily and I could reflect on previous communication that we had. I wondered how I would have gone if it was undertaken in person? Maybe quicker, but not so different. I purposely didn’t research anything, or Google anything, or hit mates up for any kind of help. I wanted this initial challenge to be just me. Via email was also tough. I was pretty excited to have this opportunity and was keen to learn, so waiting for responses was difficult. Full credit to Markus though. He told me right form the get go that it may take him some time to respond as he was quite busy. At most it was only one or two days. Very impressive.
I felt quite good about it until towards the end where I got stuck. I really wasn’t sure what to do next and finally grabbed hold of one of Markus’ hints. After this we finished up and organised a debrief via Skype. This was the next challenge… finding a suitable time! 8.5 hours difference is going to make it hard. We settled for 7pm Germany time, which was 430am Adelaide time. Ouch! But really I was cool with that, as I was eager to see how I went. So the alarm went of at 415am much to my wife’s delight (ha) and after throwing some water on my face we got underway.
This was a great session as Markus asked me quite a few questions about how I felt it went, what I could have done better, what assumptions I made, etc. He then gave me some pointers on different ways to look at things.
Like I said previously, I hope to share more of the detail once the challenge goes public. This will make the read more interesting. I guess from this post I just wanted to share my gratitude for what these guys are doing! It’s inspiring. Along the same lines as my coaching session with Anne-Marie Charrett. I’ll post about this one too soon as I kept the transcript from it also. Their sole goal in all of this is to help people, and how little of that is left in the world these days? It is amazing.
So I’ve fastened my Brown Belt and I’m ready to get involved! Bring it!