The Roaring Success of the First Ever Transpection Tuesday

I just like hyperboles 🙂

It was the brain that was roaring afterwards unable to flip the “Sleep” switch on. It was a success because I felt it’s going to help solve problems or clarify thinking. It was the first ever for me and Erik to do together. It had elements of transpection in it but the session definitely took its own path(s) (we can always excuse ourselves by saying we’re “young and stupid”… oh wait! We are adenturous and curious instead!). And finally, I chose Tuesday because of alliteration. We can make it a thing like #transpectiontuesday

This blog post explains and reflects on what the hell happened during Transpection Tuesday.

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The What and the Why

Since we chatted on Monday and I had to admit Erik’s insights helped big time to make sense of some stuff, I proposed this: let’s pick a topic and do a Skype session on it to dig deeper, question, learn from each other’s insights and see where we end up. Erik and me spent more than 3 hours discussing various threads that followed from Erik’s topic: why do we self-educate ourselves?

We didn’t set a time limit which is probably the main reason we clocked at 3 hours. The main reason we had to stop was because it was getting late not because we ran out of things to say and reflect on.

The collective notes are here: TTnotesSept102013.

Sure, there were plenty of things we didn’t come up with and the list of additional angles can grow long. But this is not the point… we weren’t trying to cover everything anyway.

As Erik pointed out, we could also try to stick to one topic better next time we do it. But it was fun to explore different threads that stemmed from previous threads that stemmed from preivous… and so on. We also ended up discussing a lot of things that didn’t make it to the notes but were relevant to us (personal experiences, some psychological stuff, giving feedback). So all those pages make up just the skeleton of the session. Since we didn’t record it, we don’t have more meat at this point. But I’m satisfied with the notes as they are.

What It Was Like

We took turns in presenting ideas and used short monologues where one was speaking and putting out ideas about our topic. The other one listened and took some notes, then responded by adding to points or throwing some more ideas on the field of discussion. We asked each other questions but it probably something to focus on more next time.

There were ideas we spent more time on than others and sometimes I felt like we’re moving pretty fast from topic to topic which, on some ways, is exactly the kind of conversation I enjoy. Such a discussion for me is about quickly mapping the terriory.

Erik kept saying” there’s something else”, so this was like a sign for moving on and finding new ideas.

There’s a lot I could say about the experience but I’d end up with a long rambling text. Therefore, I’m just putting down some key points only. I’ll probably have other thoughts on it later which may not make to a blog post so if the list isn’t profound, then let it be known that the cogwheels are still turning.

  • full acceptance of things said is key in order to avoid self-cencorship in discussion – “no bullshit” mode
  • be patient and have fun with jumping from topic to topic
  • somewhat outrageous connections may take place (randomly insert discussion of early Christianity)
  • good collaboration on listening and synthesizing
  • having fun, following the energy
  • quick summaries of “what we have so far”
  • having an “articulate mirror” provides surprising insights
  • ask “why”

Anything good?

Yes. I just feel like the good stuff happened in my head: some things clicked to places. I felt the thinking through of some concerns and problems helped me downsize them for myself. I feel like I have a better grip on the topic than before. Apparently, the results I can describe right now are more of a subtle kind than very concrete. However, in my personal reality, they’re completely relevant.

I’ll take a couple of more days but then take some action on my self-education plan as well.

One thing is certain – we’ll do this again. Excited to explore!

t+3: Three Months after Let’s Test

Let’s Test 2013 was a groundbreaking  event for me. When it was over, I realized it was going to change something for me. Therefore, I figured it’s a suitable time now to take a look back to the last 3 months and see what has actually changed.

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I made my conference debut after Let’s Test but I know it wouldn’t have gone so well if I hadn’t made friends at Let’s Test who helped, pushed and supported me. What makes me even happier is that I can return the favor now and help review a kick-ass presentation.

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I got over myself and signed up for BBST. Getting excited!

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I started using unscheduling as suggested by Zeger at Let’s Test. I haven’t been very consistent about it but it DOES help. I am less inclined to think “oh, I’ll read/write/watch that when I get home” and then forget myself in the office. If I know I decided to work on something and unschedule it, chances are much better than before that I will do that. Sure, there are unexpeced events like going to the movies at the last minute or ending up coming home at 5am if you only went out to have dinner with colleagues but hey… that’s life.

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I submitted another CFP to TestBash.

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I started reporting risks to decision makers based on test results. Now THIS has been a very rewarding experience.

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I have been a much happier tester and team lead. Seriously. It has been a complete turnaround from my gloomy spring. I’ve been better at choosing what I want to do or don’t want to do.

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I have started planning on doing an in-house workshop on testing for our developers.

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There are days now when I tell myself, “Shit, I’m only getting started!”

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I’ve expanded my horizon in a new direction: lean. Inspired by Tobbe I also started reading “The Toyota Way”. I’m about one third through it and it’s been a VERY interesting read. I recognized a lot of problems that we’re having with our software development process.

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I also learned that it’s difficult to actually FINISH a book if you have EIGHT going at the same time. Thankfully, GoodReads helped me realized this, so I need to cut back on books that I start reading. Though I do like to have a couple of books going at the same time, so I can switch.

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I started practicing sketchnoting. I’ll do a post on that one day. Maybe even show my sketches. Because it’s a lot of fun!

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I picked up SBTM again and we’re working on it with my team to find how we can implement it in a useful way. We’ve been creeping towards it for a while and in some form we’ve been practicing it all along. But I felt I have enough energy now to jump into it again and also experiment myself. It will be a team learning exercise and a team effort. Sure, I can read the articles and blog posts but I think we need to figure it out as a team, make mistakes together, discuss solutions.

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My mentor said he’s proud of me and that he didn’t think I’d make it that far in three years. Well… neither did I 😀

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There maybe things I’ve already forgotten…. Therefore, I should make it a goal that I’m going to keep a better log of the events. Writing something every day or taking notes more is something I’ve been thinking of: I realize how much I can forget and so I can’t recall all interesting cases and examples if I don’t have notes.

 

Anyway, this was more of a personal ramble. But those of you who attended Let’s Test – what has changed for you?