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Trying to Teach Testing Skills and Judgment

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Since 2011, I have spent 1500 hours of actively teaching software testing to higher vocational students in Sweden. It is educations spanning 1 to 2 years aimed at providing professionals that the industry needs. My colleague Henrik Emilsson and I set out to enable the students to master the activity of testing, letting students capture both explicit knowledge like testing techniques, but also tacit skills and judgments like these:

– Asking the right questions
– Understanding what is important
– Seeing many perspective and test ideas
– Selecting effective test strategies
– Capturing serendipity
– Understanding which bugs are important
– Realizing when testing is good enough

In this presentation I will share our teaching philosophy and practice, including examples of real-world stories and typical exercises we let the students perform. I will explain why discussions among students are important, and how I as a teacher give feedback to drive the learning in good directions.

Key points:

– hear how a teacher of testing thinks
– see examples of challenging testing exercises
– get a better understanding of skills and judgement in testing

Editor's Image

Rikard Edgren (LearningWell, Sweden)

Rikard Edgren, a humanistic and technical tester since 1998, enjoying the dynamics between people/machines, objective/subjective, whole/details. After 2 years with Microsoft’s localized products, he spent 11 years with Spotfire, producer of interactive data visualization products. The generalized learnings resulted in the free e-book The Little Black Book on Test Design.

The last 3 years has been as a consultant with lots of education at companies and higher vocational studies programs. Teaching is a learning experience, with the number one testing question: What is important?

He is a regular at (inter)national conferences, with five appearances at EuroSTAR. Member of the think-tank The Test Eye, co-author of Software Quality Characteristics, author of Den Lilla Svarta om Teststrategi (in Swedish) and co-organizer of SWET, Swedish Workshop on Exploratory Testing. Currently working as test consultant at LearningWell, Sweden.

One comment to Trying to Teach Testing Skills and Judgment

  1. Torkel says:

    Thank you very much for this webinar. It was really interesting to take part of Richard’s experience as a teacher. I can assure you that Henrik and Rikard are excellent teachers and their approach to teaching is inspiring. I have been a student for them for two years, so I know.

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