Weekend Testing – A Guide To Getting Involved

Weekend Testing is a free peer-to-peer learning network originally created by Ajay Balamurugadas. For 2 hours, attendees come together over Skype to learn and develop their testing skills.

I attended my first Weekend Testing session in July of this year. Beforehand I was apprehensive; 2 hours sounded like a long time. I would be testing on an unknown project with lots of testers who I didn’t know. I was unsure of whether I would have technical issues, or even more concerning (testing) knowledge issues. 2 hours later I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I was kicking myself – why on earth had I waited so long to get involved!!? On the other I was ecstatic – the session had been a revelation, I had learnt far more than I expected, I had “met” some fantastic testers from all over the world, and most importantly, it had been fun. I was beyond excited to get started with facilitating the newly relaunched Weekend Testing Europe Chapter.

That’s right. I had signed up as a facilitator, alongside Neil Studd, to relaunch the European chapter of Weekend Testing. Thanks to Alessandra Moreira, and a whole lot of tester inspiration at the Let’s Test conference I had decided that despite never having previously been involved, it was hugely important to have peer-to-peer learning opportunities with European testers.

On July 20th 2014 Neil and I had our first experience of facilitating a Weekend Testing session. Each session has a theme, we had chosen heuristics for our first session, and often a website, application, or tool for testing. A pre-session announcement gives you an idea of what the session will focus on but full details are revealed in the actual session to keep things exciting. The most important aspect of any Weekend Testing session is the peer-to-peer learning style. The facilitator is not the expert on the subject, in fact I’m enjoying planning some future sessions on topics which are most definitely not my strengths! The personal experiences, and opinions, of the attendees play a huge part in shaping a Weekend Testing session. From both an attendee and a facilitator point of view this is very exciting.

How does it work?

Sessions take place over Skype (typing in a group chat, rather than talking). Attendees tell the Chapter facilitator that they want to attend the session (via Skype, email, or Twitter). 15 minutes before the session start-time the facilitator invites attendees to join the Skype chat room.

When do sessions take place?

Each Chapter hosts sessions at different times. You can find out about upcoming sessions at the Weekend Testing website or by following Chapters on Twitter.

Who attends?

Hopefully everyone! There are no entry requirements, we simply hope to gather together a group of people who are willing to discuss and practice testing together.

Can I get involved?

Of course, everyone is welcome to get involved. If you’re unable to attend the session, you can still read our transcripts and post-session reports on the Weekend Testing website.

If you’re interested in session facilitation then get in touch or have a listen to Ajay’s excellent and informative EuroSTAR webinar on the subject.

Do you take part in Weekend Testing? We’d love to hear about your Weekend Testing experiences in the comments below. If you haven’t yet started your story then I really hope you’ll consider joining us at a future WTEU session (usually taking place on the third Sunday of the month). The more minds that come together, the more opportunities we have to learn from each other!

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