Quick start guide to… Weekend Testing

I’ve recently teamed up with Neil Studd to re-launch the European chapter of Weekend Testing (WTEU). Both of us were inspired by Alessandra Moreira‘s excellent talk at Let’s Test conference in May. Weekend Testing, originally set up by Ajay Balamurugadas aims to facilitate peer-to-peer learning through monthly Skype testing sessions. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that before taking steps to resurrect WTEU I had never actually taken part in a Weekend Testing session, somehow I just always seemed to be too busy…

As a soon-to-be facilitator I stated joining testing sessions with the other Weekend Testing chapters in the vain hope that some of their experience would rub off on me. I discovered that not only is Weekend Testing great fun, It’s a fantastic place to meet like-minded testers from all over the world, and most of all, a great place to learn.

So what’s Weekend Testing all about?
Originally started by Ajay as a place for peer-to-peer test practice. There are now four chapters (India, America, Australia/New Zealand, and Europe). You are welcome to join in any session, the locations drive the session time rather than the entry criteria. I recently joined a fantastic session with the Australia/New Zealand chapter but it did start at 5am…!

How does it work?
Each session takes place over Skype (typing, rather than talking). Skype, Tweet, or email the chapter to let them know you want to join the session and be on Skype 20 minutes before the start-time to be added to the session. Each session has a theme or topic so keep an eye on http://weekendtesting.com/ for full details.

What can I expect from a session?
Expect to learn. Each session lasts for 2 hours and is roughly divided into four sections – Intros, an introduction to the session topic, some time to carry out the mission, a post-session discussion on what you learnt. Sometimes you’ll work in pairs, or small groups, sometimes you’ll be working alone and then re-grouping to share your findings. Each session is unique.

Who attends sessions?
Everyone! Each session has a mix of people from all kinds of backgrounds, most are testers but we welcome anyone who wants to learn about testing. You are not required to bring anything along other than your curiosity.

How do I know when session will take place?
Chapter’s generally try to hold their session on a regular slot but each session is announced on http://weekendtesting.com/ as well as over email and Twitter.

What if I can’t make the whole session?
That’s OK. Weekend Testing is very informal so feel free to come and go as you need to. Obviously if you can stay for the whole session you will get a lot more out of it but everyone understands that sometimes life has a way of interfering.

If you’re still not sure it’s for you then take a look through the write-ups of past sessions on http://weekendtesting.com/ or drop me an email at testingthemind@gmail.com

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