Alternative Paths for Self-Education in Software Testing > Markus Gärtner #agiletd

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I can't believe I managed to beat Markus Gartner with a blog post from the wonderful Agile Testing Days conference here in Berlin. Oh wait a minute, that's because he's talking….and here's my blog post of his talk Alternative Paths for Self-Education in Software Testing.

Who Is In Charge of your learning?

Markus introduced his topic and asked the question

Who is in charge of your career?

Your boss, your employer, your family, your school teachers….nope…..you. Yes, just you.

Markus then made a very pertinent point "If you find yourself unemployed in a years time, things you do now will all be contributing to you being employed quickly again."

Markus suggested you could start by:

Creating blog or personal journal
Sign up to a community like the Software Testing Club, Weekend Testing, Coding Dojos
Markus also suggested that testers should start to learn how to program in languages like Ruby or Python or Groovy.

Markus explained that the brain has two sides: The Left and right sided brain.
Left – Hypothesis (books, Rapid Software Testing, Black Box software testing, Bucaanner Scholer)
Right – Synthesis (Black box software testing, Testing Dojos, Challenges, Weekend Testers, Miagi-Do School)

Markus then suggested some Books to read
Cem Kaner – Testing Computer Software
Lee Copeland – A Practitioners Guide To Software Test Design
Cem Kaner, James Bacj, Brett Pettichord – Lessons Learned in Software Testing

Markus then suggested the Rapid Software Testing course by Michael Bolton. "4th day free" Michael added in 🙂

Markus also explained that there is a wealth of excellent material on the AST website. Most of the content for The Black Box Testing is provided content by Cem Kaner and James Bach. Markus suggested this is an excellent selection of courses and there are about 60 videos to learn from as well as slides and other information. There were a wealth of topics introduced as being available in the AST course material including Bug Advocacy and various Testing Techniques.

Markus then introduced The Buccanner Scholar and suggested that there are lots of learning heuristics contained within the book. It's the story of James Bach and his approach to learning. Markus introduced some heuristics like 'SACKED SCOWS', 'Long Leashed Heuristics', 'Obsess and Forget' and 'Procrastinate and Push'

Testing Challenges – challenges to and by the Testing Community are very valuable ways of learning more about your craft.

Testing Dojos – Collaboration, Safe Environment, Deliberate Practice. Normally a mission with a challenge which allows the testers to practice their testing and learning. There can sometimes be observers or facilitators. Sometimes it is done using pair testing.

Weekend Testing – A few hours at the weekend where there is a charter or mission and the group work towards how to test it. It's a great opportunity to learn about the assumptions we make and the traps we can fall in to.

Miagi-Do School of Software Testing – A school founded my Matt Heusser. It's a non-commercial, zero profit school of learning where people can improve skills, learn from others and share knowledge. There is a belt system where people move through the belt ranks, like a martial arts.

Markus concluded that no-one is in charge of your testing other than you.

There are different styles, Feedback, Hypothesis and Synthesis.