Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Thu, 20 Jul 2006

People who want to learn Ruby in Cleveland

Someone from the NOSQAA is being relentless about getting me to do something at their annual Quality Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in early November. (It happens that I have a client in Cleveland these days.)

That ties in with some thoughts about the long-overdue Scripting for Testers book. (Which is getting close, honest!) I'm not a fan of two- or three-day 60-people-in-a-room training courses. Even if there are lots of exercises, most of the course doesn't stick. It doesn't cause the kind of change that I want to cause.

So, when people call me and tell me they want me to train their testers in Ruby, I'm not planning on offering them such a course. Instead, I'm going to pattern my offering on the way I do consulting, which is to fly in for a week per month, sit down with people at computers and do work on their product, repeating the trips until they decide I'm no longer worth the money.

The Ruby variant would go like this: I won't train the testers in Ruby. I wrote a book that's supposed to allow them to self-train. So I want the company and testers to demonstrate that it won't all be a waste of time by working through parts 1 through 3 of the book on their own and starting to apply Ruby to their own projects. I'll come in, once or more, to help them with those projects, make observations, give impromptu mini-courses on topics I think they should know. That will be more expensive and time-consuming than a stand-up course, but it will have a much higher chance of working.

But I can do more, tying Ruby into my normal consulting. Suppose I'm flying to a city once a month anyway. What I'd like to do is organize something akin to a flash mob: a flash user group of testers (and others) who want to learn scripting. They'd learn it on their own, in concert or individually. When I'm in town, we'd have dinners devoted to the topic. At some point, we'd cap it off with a one-day mini-conference on Ruby and testing. I'm envisioning that the morning would be devoted to enticing beginners. Again, I'd downplay the lecture. What I'd want is the members of the existing flash user group to pair up with newbies and show them the Wonders of Ruby. In the afternoon, we'd have advanced topics. Perhaps something like RubyConf would work: have people present how they've used Ruby in their job. That way people would get ideas, hook up with people doing similar things.

Then, having gotten things going, I would ride off into the sunset.

To see if that works, I'd like to do a dry run in Cleveland. The question is whether there's interest. If you're near Cleveland and interested, drop me a line. Forward this URL to people in Cleveland. Let's see if we can get a critical mass going. If so, I'll tell Ms. Persistent-Far-Beyond-the-Call-of-Duty-They're-Lucky-to-Have-Her that she's won me over.

## Posted at 09:03 in category /ruby [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




Agile Testing Directions
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Working your way out of the automated GUI testing tarpit
  1. Three ways of writing the same test
  2. A test should deduce its setup path
  3. Convert the suite one failure at a time
  4. You should be able to get to any page in one step
  5. Extract fast tests about single pages
  6. Link checking without clicking on links
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