I was at STPCon a few weeks ago. On one of the evenings, we had been invited to a social event and were supposed to go to a place nearby. STPCon had arranged for buses that would take delegates in 2 batches. The first set of folks had left and as we were waiting for the bus, I met one of the attendees and began talking to him. Let’s call him John. John works for a company that provides testing tools to organizations.
As we loaded the bus for the event, John calls to me from the other side of the bus and asks “Excuse me, where can I learn what you taught today?” I am a little confused at the query. He quickly reads my mind and adds “I missed the workshop you were teaching on Context Driven Testing. I need to learn Context Driven Testing, since we see more people adopting it now. My company is planning to make required changes in our tool to accommodate the tester needs, and we need to understand CDT. Where can I learn it ?”
I get his point and I want to give a detailed response. So I tell him that we will talk once we reach the party.
While the bus is moving through the beautiful roads of San Francisco, I am thinking about context driven testing. What it is ? It is comprised of seven principles. I began trying to recall where I started my journey towards CDT. In my mind, I began thinking of the chronological order and thinking of everything that taught me testing. Remembering what taught me context driven testing, I try to determine what I should tell John to do. He appears to be very interested in learning and I want to ensure that I do justice to his request. As we are approaching the event, my uneasiness grows because I don’t have a satisfactory answer. Should I just ask him to attend my workshop in the STPCon Fall 2016 conference so that he gets a better understanding? But this would delay the entire opportunity to September 2016, and what if John no longer wants to learn about Context Driven Testing?
We reached the event and I still don’t have a perfect answer for John but I build my confidence up and talk to him. Strangely, I find myself questioning him instead of answering. Our conversation follows:
Me: John, what do you want to learn?
John: Context Driven Testing
Me: Yes, I get that but what about CDT?
John: I don’t know what it is. I want to know it in depth and how different it is from other forms of testing.
Me: Other forms of testing like? You mean different schools.
John: Like requirements driven. Specially because I think, only a fool won’t consider the context when testing . Its common sense. Once I study the project’s requirements, I always apply context to it to derive the testing to be done.
Me: May be that’s “Context Aware”. That is different than being Context Driven.
John: What’s the most important part of Context Driven Testing?
Me: The people.
John: Agile says the same thing. Then, Isn’t Agile the same as CDT?
Me: Both Agile and CDT have people as their core and are adaptive testing processes. However, Agile still needs a standard basic unit to build upon and has certain needs. CDT doesn’t.
John: Wow – I am beginning to get what you are saying. And I agree with it. This is exactly what I need. So, where could I go to learn more.
By this time, I have almost rewound the last 3 years of my life and played them back in my mind. I began to ask myself what was the most impactful session that I had, from the time that I started to think about CDT until now. And giving John the most honest and genuine suggestion, I shared my little secret with him.
Me: Dr. Cem Kaner coined the term Context Driven Testing while in the company of James Bach and few more leading testers. And now James Bach, Michael Bolton and Paul Holland teach the Rapid Software Testing – which is their propriety course that teaches Context driven Testing.
And just as I said this, I remembered that there is a Rapid Software Testing class happening really soon and James Marcus Bach himself is going to be the teacher! I immediately suggested to John that he join this class. And he took my advice and signed up. What a golden opportunity for him and the students. A chance to learn Context Driven Testing in the Rapid Software Testing class – and to learn it from one of the founding team members, James Bach.
As I returned from the conference, I realized that there are surely a lot more people out there who are not familiar with Context Driven Testing, but want to learn. And I wanted to write this to the testing community so that others can get a quick glimpse into the concept of CDT, and become hungry to learn more about it.
If you ARE one of these people, and you want to improve your testing practice (maybe even change the whole concept of testing for your whole organization) there is still time to sign up for the Rapid Software Testing class. This class is going to be in Charlotte, North Carolina from May 9-11, 2016. This is the only time it is being offered in North America – don’t miss out.
I can personally recommend this class, because it is a class that I have attended in Delhi, India, last year. It is a class that I strongly feel changed me as a tester. Context Driven Testing is not a technique. And it is not a framework. It is an approach. An approach that you CAN’T apply to testing, unless you apply it to your life.
If you have not experienced Rapid Software Testing, you CAN! Register today and learn Context Driven Testing from the founding team itself.
I wish you all the best!
Smita Mishra is the Founder of PoolWallet – an online expense sharing app and is the CEO and Chief Test Consultant at QAzone Infosystems, which is a software testing organization. She enjoys problem solving. She supports her customers in identifying the risks their applications are carrying and / or passing on further to their end customers, through carefully crafted skills of product development and software testing. She also engages with different forums to assist growth for women in her field and otherwise too.