Helping Jim

Let’s take a look at a tester:
Jim is doing well in his current position, he is considered a good colleague (also by developers). No-one is saying Jim is lazy or incompetent. He browses a few blogs every so often and figures out how to slightly improve he performance at work. So why should he try new things?

I’ve found that in my work I deal with 2 types of situations:
a) Simple – something I can handle due to experience, skills, knowledge of the context, etc.
b) Complicated – something that I can’t handle easily. Due to new context or time/peer pressure or lack of skills, etc.
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PEST3 – Teaching to students

More notes from PEST3, for your pleasure.

People don’t go and practice what you taught the next day and then they forget 80+ %.
– If you only talk.

Best is to have narrow scope (to have less to remmeber) + practical examples.

Peer evaluation is very very good thing.
– Whatever the quality of thing – give 3 of good and 3 of “to improve”  That gives good feedback in the end. This helps to reinforce the knowledge they have seen/heard/experience

For me it means that they also see how others understood the same story and can compare and learn for themselves as well. Specially if its backed up with reasonable comments.

As a lecturer be prepared for questions – if you do you get much better at the area and in the end teaching it as well.

Use very real life exercises, practical

Regarding “exam” questions:
– Tell them to give me the answer according course materials but feel free to  write in the answer that you don’t agree with it.  And argument it.

How do you answer the question when a student asks “how do I use oracles in real life?” ?
– write oracles in bug reports

PEST3 – How to talk about testing?

Found some notes from PEST3, I’ll leave them here without more comments, might be helpful for someone.

Whenever talking about testing topic:

  • Add “What happens if you don’t do this”.
  • Add “why something doesn’t work, instead of just dismissing that.”
  • Craft exercises that help to reinforce the point with practical application to help  with “applying the skill”
  • Be clear and concrete. Even if you know that what you just said is not always true
    1. Deal with the questions (which is good, ergo someone in the audience is thinking) by agreeing that “very good, in that case you are right. Can you think of any other situations for that?”
    2. Otherwise you get will be confusing, by giving too much information.
  • There are 2 major ways of approaching teaching:
    1.  “Theory” first then exercise, exercise first then “theory”
    2. Basically, do whatever feel is more useful, both are good.
  • Always have a summary of what was said (that ties the story/example/lecture to testing skills).

Skype coaching on software testing

I can help you get better at testing, and help you to solve your testing problems.

Free coaching over Skype:

  • ID: kristjan.uba
  • I don’t schedule free sessions in advance. Contact me when I’m online.
  • We’ll work on testing aspects that interest you
  • I might give you homework
  • I expect you to want to learn and work on your testing skills
  • I want to help you become respected Context-Driven tester.


Or just challenge me at testing.




Peer Conference, 1st in Estonia

Yes, that’s right.

Estonian first Context-Driven Testing Peer-Conference takes place in Tallinn, 16 – 18. September.

The topic is “My worst testing moment (and what I learned from it)”.

And to make things even better, James Bach has agreed to take part.  See you there!

All questions can be sent to me or Oliver Vilson (oliver.vilson(at)