Examine your testing skills

Alexandra-remake“Socrates said that unexamined life is not worth living. Perhaps it’s time to inventory the imprints and anchors in our own life.” Dan Ariely

Most of the times I do a testing activity, I face new intellectually challenging problems. Considering that there is no bullet-proof recipe for solving these problems, how can I improve in using my skills to find the solutions?

The key lies in reflection. By evaluating the skills we use, and how we genuinely use them when solving a testing problem without aiming to control their use, we can learn a great deal about our personal testing skills and get hints on how to improve them.

The premise I start from is that from your day-to-day experiences you can gather valuable learning material. This is why my goal is to provide you with a framework that you can use to examine this material, and what set of skills you employ in each situation.

In this workshop we will focus on doing, and on practicing with this framework.

In the first part you will get to work in groups of 3-4 persons and explore some black-box devices with the aim of discovering their pattern (based on James Lyndsay’s exploratory testing machines – http://www.workroom-productions.com/black_box_machines.html). During the debrief and feedback section, you will start building the map of your own testing skills.

In the second part you will practice reflection on a specific past experience you had in the realms of testing, in relation to your skills.

We will close by collaborating on creating a testing skills map with skills categories.


  • Instead of a standard set of needed skills in testing, we will discover how diverse the skillset of a tester can be
  • When solving a testing problem, you use a combination of skills, and their interaction can be more relevant and interesting than the individual skills you employ.
  • The skills you have available constrain your approaches in testing / how your skills influence your approach
  • You can grow your skills by using them

Equipment: Laptop is necessary.
Workshop will be in English.

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