How I got to Rapid Software Testing…

So not too long ago I tweeted this…

@martialtester: I NEED to get to the #RST class in Melbourne in June. Who will help me convince my boss?

The response was great.  Some good suggestions and many offers of assistance!  A few weeks later it was crunch time.  The boss asked for an informal business case (email).  So I emailed everyone that replied to the tweet, and also some extras.  ;0)  Once again, blown away by the help I received.  Great dot points for me to add to my business case.

I thought I would share the email I sent to the boss.  May be interesting, may also help others in the same situation.  Obviously I have removed all private information.

Hi XXX,

As promised here are some points as to why I would like to attend the course:

  • The art of Rapid Testing is critical in most (if not all) organisations.  The need to test something quickly, effectively, and with little information is more and more common (especially considering continuous integration, Agile, etc.).
  • The art of questioning is key in testing, and it’s also key in the role of a consultant.  To be able to critically think about the client’s problem, and ask important questions (that other’s haven’t) shows them you know your stuff.  The course focuses a lot on questioning and knowing when you’ve asked enough to be able to act.
  • The sheer number of positive experiences that are spread all over the net.  I haven’t read a bad report about the course.
  • It’s only available once a year in Australia, so if I miss this one I’ll need to wait for another year.
  • James Bach is a ‘legend’ in testing.  To be taught by him would be amazing.
  • There is an industry shift happening at the moment.  A lot of organisations are moving away from the certifications provided by ISTQB, etc. and focussing on context-driven testing as a more valuable skill/trait.  RST is the course of choice in this new world, so the more XXX staff get across it the better (in my strategic opinion).
  • I’ll get to meet (and exchange business cards) with like-minded testing folk.  Could prove very handy.
  • I’ll get access to the following private group on the STC – http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/group/rapid-software-testing-graduates
  • Selfish reason – I love this stuff and have wanted to attend the course for years!
  • Obvious reason – It’ll make me a better tester!

Also, here are some points on what I could do after attending the course:

  • Publish a course review post on the XXX Blog (I’m confident this would provide solid traffic).
  • Make the course material available to other staff members as required and obviously within the bounds of copyright (most are available anyway).
  • I understand that the course is made up of many exercises and challenges – I could share these (copyright approved of course).
  • If I feel I’m proficient I could deliver some aspects of the material to other staff members (once again, copyright approved).

Open to others if you have suggestions.  :0)

Here are some blog posts from attendees…

http://jarilaakso.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/what-i-learned-in-3-days-of-rst.html

http://jarilaakso.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/rst-required-for-all-software-testers.html

http://stephenjanaway.co.uk/stephenjanaway/ministry-of-testing/experiences-of-rapid-software-testing/

http://automation-beyond.com/2011/11/14/personal-recommendation-rst/

http://www.huibschoots.nl/wordpress/?p=86

http://bjosman.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/rapid-software-testing/

I’ve also had several offers from previous attendees, from across the globe, that go something like this – “Give me your boss’ email and I’ll tell them why you should go.”

One particular email went like this…

“If I as a tester were a lumberjack, you’d want me to do the best job I could right?  That means you’d want to provide me with the best tools for chopping down lumber.   For a programmer that might be an IDE, or some other tool, for a tester, the most important tool in our tool box is our brain, and the reality is the mind only knows what it has seen, heard, and experienced first hand.  Just like over time the Lumberjack’s Axe goes dull, the blade needs to be sharpened.   For a lumber jack they’d probably use a sharpening stone of some kind, but when it comes to intellectual pursuits, that’s why you look for courses like this, am I right?  The best way to get better at testing, is practice, and what better way to learn new ideas about testing, to find new knowledge that could give your team a jump start in another domain later, than to have spent some time training for just such an occasion.  RST is that training.”

So, I could keep going but will stop at that.  Please let me know if you need more information.

Cheers,

David

So there you have it.  The response was positive.  I’m going!  I can’t wait!

Credit to Tim Western for the quote that I used in the business case.  Thanks man!

Obviously I’ll be posting my experiences soon after.

One happy tester, signing off.  :0)

14 thoughts on “How I got to Rapid Software Testing…

  1. It’s James “Bach”, not James “Back”, hehe! Not a bad case made, though maybe a little gushy 😉 Rapid Software Testing(RST), though popular, is not a global takeover. And nor should it be – or it will follow the battered path of Agile.

    We always have to be careful when introducing new terminology. Rapid Software Testing is self-explanatory on simple level, but again too open to misinterpretation or even worse, becomes another vacant buzz-phrase. An important point to highlight is “Rapid Software testing” is not “new”, more a result of a culmination of years (decades) of experience in testing world (“Standing on the shoulders of giants …”). And it is important that testing adapts to different project environments, rather than adopts dictatorial approach.

    Having said that, I am always encouraging of any testing training approach, that avoids the (pointless) ISEB/ISTQB route! As good as RST is, don’t sell yourself up too much to just one approach – fatal. In fact, this is also a good selling point for the boss with the purse strings – the wider level of knowledge a tester gains, the more valuable and cross-functional they become.

    • Spelling fixed. Do that all the time dammit! ;0)

      Valid points, and I agree. So maybe lost in translation. I’m glad you put a wink after the word gushy, or I may have been offended. I’m pretty passionate about this stuff (testing) so it may come out gushy, but so be it. Got the response I was after anyway.

      First rule in sales… know your buyers. You can read between the lines of that one.

  2. Excellent write up, David. I’m honored that my lumberjack themed thesis was useful and helpful in this example. I hope the RST training goes over well for you, and I look forward to hearing your aftermath from it. I hope at some point I too can take a training like that.

  3. There are still a few spots remaining on this course and – news just in – due to some commitments in Europe, James won’t be returning to Oz until 2014!

    If you’ve been thinking about coming along to RST, now is the time!

  4. Great write up and glad to hear you’ll be attending.
    It took me roughly 2 years to convince management to pay for the course… 2 years well spent 🙂

  5. Hi David,

    Thanks a lot for sharing.
    I got a lot of inspiration from your mail and wrote an email in French to send to my boss.
    Guess what? I got to Rapid Software Testing 2014!! It was amazing.

    Jeanne

  6. Pingback: Should you take the Rapid Software Testing course? | Is it good enough yet?

  7. Pingback: Great Resources | Upskilling 4 Testers

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