Lessons learned from James Bach

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a full 3 day Rapid Software Testing course by James Bach himself. After the course I can say that course’s second name should be

  • how to clear out communication, avoid false assumptions and activities based on false assumptions
  • how to act good and avoid saying things you shouldn’t say
  • how to avoid waste and lead work in productive  direction
  • all this under peer and time pressure

According to James, it really is his goal to put participants think thoroughly before they act and to learn them not to fall for communication and logic traps.

This course would be useful not only to testers, but project managers, engineers and analysts too – all the people who have to make decision based on requirements and personal assumptions on this data. Moreover, James puts up nicely what testing is, what activities it consists of, and believe me – there are lots of hard, intellectual processes involved.

I can definitely say that it was very interesting to listen and observe – James speaks very good, he could become a good actor 🙂 The course itself is interesting too – participants are asked lots of obvious, for a first look, questions and answer obvious answers, often while doing exercises. Then James comes in with his questions and you realise you acted on wrong assumption and didn’t communicate well – you fell into a trap. You will realise how some obvious things are very complicated and how this complications can be easily avoided.

On the first two days you will learn about assumptions, how to avoid giving poor answers and avoid answering inappropriate questions at all. The last day was the most interesting – you will learn about exploratory testing technique and methods. You will hear stories and advices on documentation, automation and team work.

On the first thought I had mixed feelings on the course and was thinking that I didn’t learn anything useful that would change how I test things. But as two weeks passed, I realised that the course made me a whole better man (not only a tester) and things I’ve heard are still being processed somewhere in background of my mind. James’ bio and attitude alone motivate to become a better tester, better speaker, to be more proactive person. And hey, I’ve started blogging again thanks to it!

So if you’ll have a chance to take part of the course – go for it!


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