Coaching Testing

This tutorial teaches you how to coach software testers and developers alike. In particular, it focuses on coaching testers on skill and developing a questioning mindset.

A lot of tester training focuses on explaining definitions. It explains testing by pointing to a test methodology, or a test case template.

Experienced testers know though, that there is more to testing than this. Give two testers the same test, one tester will find great bugs while the other struggles to find anything beyond the superficial. This is because great testing requires skill gained through experience.  Part of that skill is learning the ability to ask useful questions.

The coaching that I do, focuses on improving skill through questioning and practice to develop a deep understanding of testing and how to perform it.  In this new updated tutorial, the coaching context is broadened to include coaching developers in the context of a cross functional team.

A coach can learn how to help both testers and developers to:

  • Sharpen reasoning and critical thinking
  • Explain your testing and why you tested
  • Understand and deal with ambiguity
  • Deepen your understanding of the testing you perfom

The coaching model that I use is being developed by myself and James Bach. It uses Socratic questioning to probe testing  knowledge, challenging developers and testers alike to think deeper and through practice come to a greater understanding of what testing is as well as how to test in a better way.

The intent is for the team member to leave coaching feeling enthusiastic about testing, with the motivation to continue self-learning.

The tutorial will examine the coaching model. In particular we will look at the following:

  • Socratic Questioning
  • Coaching Task (in the context of a team)
  • Managing a coaching session
  • Evaluating Coaching

Attendees will have the opportunity to observe, analyse, practice and steer coaching sessions throughout the day.

This workshop is suitable for testers, developers and leads who want to learn how to coach team members in either a remote or local environment.