Rapid Software Testing (RST) [RSTE] - EN
A course, a mind-set and a skill set about how to do excellent
software testing in a way that is very fast, inexpensive, credible and accountable. See also the logical continuation of 'Rapid Software Testing' [RSTE] - Rapid Software Testing for Managers [RSTM].
What Is Rapid Software Testing (RST) [RSTE]?
- Rapid testing is a complete methodology designed for a world of barely sufficient resources, information and time. It's an approach to testing that begins with developing personal skills and extends to the ultimate mission of software testing: lighting the way of the project by evaluating the product. The approach is consistent with and a follow-on to many of the concepts and principles introduced in the book "Lessons Learned in Software Testing: a Context-Driven Approach" by Kaner, Bach, and Pettichord.
- The rapid approach isn't just testing with a speed or sense of urgency; it's mission-focused testing that eliminates unnecessary work, assures that everything necessary gets done and constantly asks what testing can do to help speed the project as a whole.
- One important tool of rapid testing is the discipline of exploratory testing—essentially a testing martial art. Exploratory testing combines test design, test execution, test result interpretation and learning into a simultaneous, seamless process that finds a lot of problems quickly. Read more about exploratory testing here.
How Is This Course Different?
- 'Rapid Software Testing' [RSTE] is an intensive three-day, hands-on class in which you spend much of the time actually testing, working on exercises, puzzles, thought experiments and scenarios—some computer-based, some not. The goal of the course is to teach you how to test anything expertly, under extreme time pressure and conditions of uncertainty, in a way that will stand up to scrutiny.
- The philosophy presented in this class is not like traditional approaches to testing, which ignore the thinking part of testing and instead focus on narrow definitions for testing terms while advocating never-ending paperwork. Products have become too complex for that, time is too short, and testers are too expensive. Rapid testing uses a cyclic approach and heuristic methods to constantly re-optimize testing to fit the needs of your clients.
What Will We Learn?
- If you are an experienced tester, you'll find out how to articulate those intellectual processes of testing that you already practice intuitively. If you're a new tester, hands-on testing exercises will help you gain critical experience.
What If We Outsource?
- We (Michael Bolton and James Bach) have taught this class all over the world to offshore and outsource organizations on behalf of clients who want their testers to do a better job of testing, right away, without needing detailed test procedures. The rapid testing methodology is about getting a lot of value for the testing dollar—value that simply can't be reproduced by throwing untrained bodies at the problem—so that your top management won't see testing as a rote activity that any stranger can do as well as you can. If you do outsource, you will need a core team of testers back at headquarters who can rapidly test products to check the "testing" done by outsource firms.
What If We Work In A Regulated Environment?
- The basis of the context-driven approach, to which we subscribe, is to begin by addressing the needs of the project. Rapid testing is entirely compatible with that. We have taught this class to organizations pursuing the CMM, and in organizations subject to FDA and other regulatory requirements. Rapid testing is about thinking, so as long as the project owners still want you to think well and find important problems quickly, this is a class that applies to you. We don't advocate eliminating documentation unless it's wasteful and irrelevant. Yet we do advocate a lean form of test documentation, trimming it to the greatest extent you can while still fulfilling your project's mission.
- Interest within software testing (not neccessarily heavy experience within software testing).
- Training and materials will be in English.
Did you happen to know, that Michael Bolton is tester, consultant and trainer with more than 20 years of experience within testing, development, leadership and authorship and that he in 1998 established the (now) Toronto-based consultancy ‘DevelopSense’ – that joint with James Bach Satisfice Inc. – is leading within ‘The Context-Driven Testing School’?
Did you happen to know, that Satisfice Inc. and DevelopSense have chosen 'PrettyGoodTesting' as their preferred partner in Denmark, and that we jointly ran the first ever 'Rapid Software Testing [RSTE]’ -course in Denmark in 2011?
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Many thanks to my clients who are willing to share their experiences. For understandable reasons, some of them have asked that I use discretion in identifying them.
"The Rapid Software Testing course that I attended in June definitely surpassed my expectations. As an experienced tester I was becoming rather disillusioned of the so called "Tried and True" methods of software testing and was really looking for something that resembled, well, reality. So now, instead of spending my time writing test cases, writing reports that no one reads and chasing down Product Specs and Feature Specs I test. What an amazing concept—have the tester do testing! It has freed up an enormous amount of time and, therefore, the testing is far more productive. Potential "show stoppers" are being found earlier on in the test schedule and test coverage has also improved greatly. More time is spent on important matters and less time trying to hit a number target (i.e. 90% testing complete, 95% pass rate, etc.). The focus has returned to the task at hand (testing) and there is less focus on reporting (counting). That also allows for the tester to move into a more co-development role to assist with the implementation of new features and functionality. I'm happy, the Devs are happy, the customer is happy and the boss is happy—Thanks Michael!"
Blair Burke, B.Sc., Software Tester, Print Audit, Inc. - September, 2010
"Recently I finished a three day training course on Rapid Software Testing with Michael Bolton in London UK. This course was very effective and had elements related to learning, questioning and thinking all along. It reinforced my belief that testing is not a 'phase' performed towards the end or a '100% automated suite' as claimed by many Agile shops. Software testing is much more than that and it is extremely important for the successful delivery of any project... Overall this training and all the discussions we had during the course was an amazing experience. I would highly recommend this training to anyone interested in learning rapid software testing." More...
Anand Ramdeo, London, UK
"You'll be happy to know that my team has been actively meeting to implement changes for improvement, especially with the dashboard concept and that many of my folks are more engaged with their assignments because of their new outlook on the value they can add."
Leslie Berth, Milwaukee, WI
"Last week I took Rapid Software Testing from Michael Bolton. The three days of stuffing my brain in the beautiful downtown campus of the University of Toronto was loads of fun...If you don't go to play each day, or you don't think you can break the rules, or you simply want to become a better tester, give Rapid Software Testing a try. I think you will find, as I did, that it is three days well spent!"
Michael Hunter (The Braidy Tester), Microsoft , "This is your Brain on RST"
"I thoroughly enjoyed your class on Rapid Software Testing. The more time I have to think about the class the more I find value in it. It has really changed my approach and ideologies around testing. The only thing left now is to get everyone in my office on the same page... Before I thought testing was just a stepping stone to move into development but now that I have more of an appreciation for testers, I think I'm going to stick with it and try to get others to realize how important testers are to software development."
James Swanson, Minneapolis, MN
"We are already starting to put into practice what you taught us—here is a mini case study. Four of the group sat down last Friday and tested another product. Dan (name changed for confidentiality --MB) guided and made suggestions. None of the 4 knew the product under test. The product test lead spent half the day being a live oracle. Results: Another 50 defects. Several were crashes (buffer overrun—thanks Perlclip!). Many UI and usability defects. By the afternoon the team was starting to find more specific defects in what the product should do, but wasn't doing. However, by this time they were getting very baked. This sort of testing is really hard work! However, the product lead was amazed by what was found, and the defects found per hour invested was—once again—orders of magnitude more effective than the testing that was currently going on with the product. We are going to cycle this much more frequently, and the same four are going to dig deeper on the same product later this week as well."
A test manager at a commercial utility software company, somewhere in Canada
"The training was a great exposure to a lot of different concepts and methods of attacking problems, and the rapid testing strategy looks to be very useful. On Thursday a support issue came into the group that fell in one of my feature areas, so I replied. I did a little work before lunch, and while out at lunch I thought that this would be a time to try some of the rapid testing methods. Took about 10 minutes, noted steps and thoughts as I was going, and arrived at a cause and possible solution much quicker than I would have in the past."
A recent student.