30 days of testing are over and I certainly learned a lot by mastering some of the tasks, switching some of them around and failing at others.
My first point of advice to everyone pondering whether to take the challenge or not: Take it! You will have to fight, you will have to step outside of your comfort zone (not only on day 14) and you will most certainly invest more time than the minimum needed. At least for some tasks. But those are the tasks that will teach you the most.
My second point of advice, though: Don’t take the challenge in a release month or the month you are transferring your responsibilities to your successor… or both! Unless you absolutely do not want to sleep anytime along the wa… *chrr*… what? It would not be impossible to master the challenge but it certainly would reduce the gain compared to taking the challenge next month.
Here are my results (*sigh*):
And those would have been even worse if I hadn’t cheated. I switched some of the tasks (it is really hard to find someone for pair testing on a Sunday) and had some days solving 0 or multiple tasks (as mentioned above: having no time was a big factor).
So let me try to justify my shortcomings:
#1 Although I wanted to read How Google Tests Software for some time now, I just did not have the time to finish it. It’s a colorful book by now with all the Post-its marking the interesting parts, though!
#5 I could not convince myself to comment on some blog post just for the sake of having commented something. Despite that being a good decision it means that I haven’t looked hard enough for the right blog post.
#6 One man’s crazy is another man’s ordinary…
#8 I have to confess that I could not motivate myself to really investigate some app just for fun.
#20 A good place would have been at home with no distractions – but security testing was adjourned.
#29 Yeah well! Having really tight unit tests for the calculation service I rather reviewed those instead.
#3 That was an easy win as I listen to several podcasts on a more or less regular basis (maybe that’s worth a post…).
#21 As a tester you (should) look at things during your tests that others tend to overlook. But pairing with a really good developer for test automation is something you should always embrace!
#25 I was invited to a technical meeting of our dev team with the goal of gaining a shared unit testing understanding.
#30 That is something you should always have on your agenda! If someone delivers good work – let him know!
In terms of personal gain the challenge has been a success. Most of the tasks were interesting – either by making me learn something new or by making me share something with others. If you haven’t taken the challenge yet, start here.
Oh… and by the way: