Hackathon – How can testers take part?

Dan Billing and Jenny - Testing

I often get asked how Hackathons work for the testers in the team.

As it happens, not all of the test team can code, so it’s natural to wonder what they do during the Hackathon (formerly ShipIt days). If you’re interested in what a ShipIt day is then check out this post I wrote about ShipIt days for the NewVoiceMedia blog.

So what do testers do during a Hackathon?

Well, this week during the Hackathon we’ve got a mix of activities being done by our testers.

As you can see Dan (@thetestdoctor) and Jenny are doing some paired Exploratory Testing. Check out the Ministry of Testing signage, and yes, a Goonies mug.
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They’re testing some new functionality being built by Lyndsay P (@Lyndsp).

We’ve got four of the team doing some of their on-going learning via Coursera. We have a new addition to our technical test team and he’s busy learning the ins and outs of our stack and our test process.

Some of our other team are testing project work still and not working on the Hackathon stuff. Others still are hacking around with their own pet projects or learning to code. There’s loads of stuff going on and loads of different levels of involvement in the Hackathon.

The nature of a Hackathon makes it harder for testers to join in, although we are exploring ways to make it more engaging for the testers.

Do you have any ideas on how testers can become more engaged in a Hackathon?