A few days ago, Michael Bolton, Pradeep Soundararajan and I were sitting around talking about software testing. (Shocking, I know.) Pradeep brought something up that has been on my mind lately: we need more testing videos.
Importance of Visual Examples
Several years ago, I spent a good deal of time with James Bach over a period of a few days. This experience involved a lot of testing exercises, but I learned the most by watching James solve problems and test software.
When I first saw him invoke SFDPOT in real time, while testing an application (instead of as a preliminary thinking tool before hand, which is what I had been doing) I was blown away. I immediately wanted to do that myself. I’d been reading and following James’ work for several years up to then, but seeing him put his ideas into practice was a huge lesson for me. My testing benefited greatly.
Fast forward to my own consulting career. I frequently do live exploratory testing demonstrations during or at the end of my talks. Sometimes they crash and burn and I feel foolish because I said something dumb in the moment and was wrong (Heavens! Can you imagine?) and it was captured on video, and what will people think… but, even when that happens, a small number of people come up and thank me. I’ve even had programmer colleagues attend a talk and say that it all fell into place when they saw me do the demo at the end, and it all made so much sense when they saw it in action.
I’ve seen some recordings that are pretty good that use a screen recorder like Test Explorer or BlueBerry Test Assistant. These aren’t bad, but they lack that human aspect and prevent me from completely identifying with what is going on onscreen. I propose that we have demos that use screen recording, but also show different perspectives of the tester sitting at their machine, with audio of the demonstrator expressing their thoughts, perhaps prompted by a narrator. I want to see someone sitting at a computer, and hear them talk about what they are doing and why, as well as the recordings on the screen. I’ve seen some videos similar to this from one of the CASTs, but I want more.
We Need More Testing Videos
I don’t have the time to invest in this right now, so I’m asking people in the testing community to record demos, and make them available. (Maybe we could see if Antony or Rosie could host testing examples for learning, or link to them? Or perhaps someone would like to start a hosting service for example videos?)
I don’t care what flavor of testing you subscribe to, just show us what you enjoy. Show us how you think and test. Demonstrate your skill and use it as a teaching tool. Surprise us. Inspire us to try out your ideas for ourselves.