I recently had the absolute pleasure to work with Duncan Nisbet on another Miagi-Do challenge.  Sorry, no details forthcoming as it’s a new challenge and will be used for a while yet.  We haven’t even got any feedback as yet as we only submitted it today!

What I wanted to express in this post is what an enjoyable experience it was to work with Duncan from the other side of the planet!  So, a massive plug for Duncan but also a massive plug for collaboration.

Duncan and I are the newest members of the Miagi-Do School of Software Testing and after our initial challenges to become members we were both keen on another.  We thought it might be cool to work on one together, so we asked… and yes, it was agreed!

Obvious challenge for us was the time difference.  When I’m coming home and having dinner and time spent with my family, he’s getting up and heading to work, and so the reverse is also true.  This meant that there wasn’t too many times where we could actually chat real-time.  A lot of email back and forth was the order of the day.

At first we checked out (which Duncan started looking at).  My initial thoughts were positive.  It looked cool and was very simple to use.  However, get more than a few sticky notes on your board and things get scary.  The pro version may be better, but we both wanted a free solution.  We thought it best to move to a mind map.

We both use XMind so that was a logical choice.  The free version doesn’t allow collaboration, so Duncan suggested as a cloud storage solution.  I was cool with that as I already had an account!  So I guess all in all we had:

  • XMind
  • Dropbox
  • Skype
  • Email

A nice little collaboration solution.  Another bonus with Dropbox being the ease to allow our instructors access to particular folders (to help with their assessment of how we performed).

I love working with others on tasks like this.  Especially when they’re cool like Duncan.  We both thought of things that the other hadn’t at various stages, both had our strengths to add, and both had the same goal – To do well in the challenge while learning as much as possible (hmm, I may be speaking for Duncan a bit here but I’ll acknowledge that as a pretty safe assumption).  ;0)  What you’ve got to remember is that this was the first time we had ‘met’ so speak.  I think we had read each other’s blog a few times, but not much else.  There is a certain amount of confidence that can be taken from fellow members of the school.  We all know that you need to be passionate about our craft to gain entry, so I think I would happy to work with any member.  Was just a bonus that Duncan and I got along so well.

So, if you’re in the UK (well around the Liverpool area I guess – not sure how easy it is to get around over there) and you need a solid context-driven tester… look up Duncan!

Absolute pleasure to work with you mate.

4 thoughts on “Collaboration…

  1. Hi Dave!

    It was a great introduction to the MiagiDo school getting to collaborate with you!

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the statement “…passionate about our craft to gain entry” to the school – completing a challenge defintely feels like a better ticket of entry than just a certification. We’ve both proven that we can apply our skills, as opposed to just regurgitating facts & knowing this going into a collaborative challenge sets the bar that little bit higher for each of us.

    I will of course be posting something similar on my blog, so I’ll go into more detail there about how well this collaboration went, largely (I think) because we’re likeminded fellows with similar lifestyles (except I don’t get to swim with Dolphins).

    It was an absolute pleasure collaborating with you Dave & I wouldn’t hesitate collaborating again on another challenge & I would thoroughly recommend Dave to any fellow testers or future employers

  2. Well this was an interesting read 😉 but the most interesting part is what isn’t allowed to be said.

    What is the first rule of Miagi-Do club? Lol it seems very secretive.

    Collaboration is a hard thing to achieve, even whilst in the same city, let alone Internet only across the globe.

    David, no wonder you have been so busy!!!

    Is that you in the martial tester image doing a high kick?

    Duncan, I will definitely be checking out your blog.


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