Monday, 21 February 2011

WTA #7 - Down to the river

Took part in the WTA #7 ( Weekend Testing American chapter ) hosted by Michael Larsen and Albert Gareev.

Michael has already done a good write-up on his TESTHEAD blog so I'll give some of what I took away from the session.

( if you want to try out the app then try here - or the puzzle can be found here

Basic mission was to see if the program would help find the smartest candidates.

Almost immediately it did seem to find a not-so-smart candidate...

"Clicking the picture only does copying the file to Excel nothing else and I have 20 odds in my downloaded folder"

There was a debate on 'smart' - IQ smart, street smart ?
I went off to Google and found the solution to the puzzle - does that count as smartness ? The Google factor cannnot be discounted - even if a candidate taking this test had no access to Google it's also possible that they would have googled 'interview questions for Company X' beforehand and known that they would be getting a puzzle. Again, does this make them street smart ?

One of the great things about the Weekend Tester Sessions is what when a bunch of testers get together then things can go off on all sorts of tangents that one person alone might not have thought of.

If illegal combinations were put on the raft then there would be a bubble showing it was wrong - example is shown at the top of this post.
Now the Japanese with their anime culture might see nothing wrong - but as Justin Byers pointed out

"A father punching his daughter... even though it is cartoon violence, is this the kind of program you want to associate with your business? "

The app itself wasn't really tested but we did find holes in the puzzle.
There did not seem to be a rule about the prisoner being alone - in fact to solve the puzzle he was left on his own so why wouldn't he run away ?

If we were being brought in to test to see if the app was a good test of smartness then shouldn't we first be tested to see if we were smart ?

We found a way to get in a dig about certifications.

"Also, the customer can simply see if there's a "Family Raft Crossing Certification" on the CV/Resume. No need to use the app!"

The basic premise behind the mission was challenged rather than finding bugs in the app. This was a good thing and summed up in this great phrase ( that I think I'll be re-using )

"Like finding that the logo on one side of the sinking Titanic is the wrong color."

The session itself did seem to indicate that giving this entire mission to a tester ( rather than just the app ) might make a good audition for someone hiring a tester.

"For me, if I were the hiring manager, I think I would be more impressed if they were to have asked some of these questions during their session."

Great session, cannot recommend these sessions highly enough.

Thanks Albert and Michael !!

1 comment:

Albert Gareev said...

...And thank you, Phil!

At WTA07 we had a terrific team of testing experts who nailed down every single false premise of the mission.


Here's the backtrack to my experience report.