Deliberate Practice In Testing Online Test Conf 2018
Deliberate Practice in
• Team Lead ofTesting at 1-800 Contacts located in
• 10 years of industry experience and has a passion for
developing skills in testing.
• Active in local development and testing meetups.
What Problem Am I Trying Solve:
How do I train testers efficiently and with great skill?
How do I help create experts?
Empower others to manage their own learning!
What Is Practice?
• “Repeated exercise in or performance of an activity
or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.”
• Oxford Pocket Dictionary
• Why is practicing a benefit?
• What are some examples of practice?
• Examples of “naïve” practice in real life:
• Driving a Car
Capability & “The Gift”
• We are capable of more than we think
• The Gift:Adaptability
• Well defined specific goals
• Get Feedback
• Get out of your comfort zone
• Same as Purposeful Practice Plus:
• Takes place outside the comfort zone and requires effort just
beyond current capabilities
• Helps build and adjust mental models
• A teacher or coach is needed for practice activities that are
designed to improve performance
• The field of study needs to be well developed where there are
experts that have superior performance
• 4 seasons in a year
• 12 months in a year
• 52 weeks in a year
• 7 days in a week
• 24 hours in a day
• 60 minutes in an hour
• 60 seconds in a minute
• 31, 30, or 28 days in a month
Deliberate Practice vs Purposeful
Practice in Testing
• Skill Identification
• CoachingTechniques and Feedback
• Mental Modeling
How to create an inventory of skills and
• Tester Skills
• http://www.satisfice.com/rst-appendices.pdf (pg 23)
• Testing Exercises
The importance of Feedback during
• You can do this on your own, but you may want the
feedback from a person who has the skill you are
looking to acquire.
• These are some of the individuals I consider as
• Joel Montvelisky
• Robert Sabourin
• Anna Royzman
• Perze Ababa
• Simon P. Schrijver
• Tony Gutierrez
• Matt Heusser
• Michael Larsen
• Justin Rohrman
• Richard Bradshaw
• Dan Billing
• Alan Page
• Scott Barber
• Dawn Haynes
• Lee Copeland
• James Bach
• Michael Bolton
• Griffin Jones
• Paul Holland
• Huib Schoots
• AND MANY OTHERS
*These people listed have had some impact on my own learning and skill improvement and
are people “I” consider an expert in some way.
Why we need to create mental models
• THINKING EXERCISE!!!!
• As a car connoisseur, I would like to have a picture of
a car so I can show others what a car looks like.
• AcceptanceCriteria:The car should have 4 wheels
and tires, at least 2 doors, windows, hood, and look
like a car.
How to Practice
• Create a specific goal for skill improvement
• Get feedback on your performance for the skill
• Build upon foundation skills to build into higher
• Get out of your comfort zone!
What about Expert Performance?
• What if Expert Performance is not required, but
could be an end goal, an ideal to reach for…
Meet The 20 hours guide
20 Hours Applied
• Use the 20 hours rule to “Use the Hackerrank website to solve C# problems to gain more
proficiency with the C# language and decrease the amount of time to solve the problems”
• hour 1.
- a very large sum - from 23min...to 16min - 7 min.
- diagonal difference - from 13min...looked up Math.abs; Looked at discussions to try to solve
error...to 0, and then the next timer to 7. So, 31min.Turns out the error I was hunting down
was copy/paste error, I hadn't changed a variable name. Lesson - read more carefully! Cutting
this effort 5min short, as I actually spent some non-recorded time resting and thinking
(during problem 2) and do not want to start the next problem with too little time. Good
baseline for hour 20 to sit against!
• hour 2.
- plus minus - thought I had this in maybe 10minutes but got stuck looking at something
trivial, and realized my solution was COMPLETELYWRONG. Realization 2 - I wasn’t
completely wrong, but I hadn't dealt with data types. Back to the original plan, plus the data
type handling. Ultimately, I looked for answers ~3 different times, and hacked together a
working solution with 14 minutes left in pomodoro 2, so in total - 36 min:/
- staircase - starting at 11 min...went 5min overtime and have a broken algorithm. out of
time, cant finish today...
20 Hours Applied continued
• hour 18 - going back to the start, in order to gather metrics.
- compare the triplets - 25 to 20, so 5 minutes.
- a very large sum - 18 to 17, 1 minute.
- diagonal difference - 16 to 5, 11minutes.
- plus minus - 3 to 0, plus the next 25. Got super hung up on precision, as well as float division vs. integer
division.Things to remember - dividend must be a float, then useToString() and string.Format to get the
• hour 19.
- staircase - 18min, looked at the solution shared in discussion again, got hung up on what .PadLeft() was
actually doing again. Did not read documentation completely, assumed I knew what it was doing.
- mini-max sum - 6 to 0, then 25 to 21, so 10 minutes in total.
- birthday cake candles - 20 to 14, so 6 minutes.I think I solved this differently than last time. Had to look up
some linq stuff on msdn. Much more familiar with this stuff, brain has places to go now.
- time conversion - 13 to...0 Looking up StringBuilder...Messing around with logic...out of time, to be continued.
• hour 20. no time this morning due to packing for trip.
- time conversion (continued) - 25 to 0, then 25 to 15. With yesterday's 13,That's 48 minutes. Also, looked at my
previous solution for a data conversion piece, after that just messed around till it worked.
- grading students - 12 to 0, 12 minutes.Time up!
How to impact the culture where you work
• Start small – create practice opportunities
• Obtain buy-in
• Be a role model
1968 – Navy dogfights were about 1:1, AirForce 2:1 1970 – 1973: Navy 12.5:1, AirForce 2:1
Lead with Steve Faloon started out by being told that most people only remember 7 – 8 digits, but there was a study that had shown that people could learn to repeat more. The previous record for digital recall was 18 digits, set in 1911 2011 World Memory Championships – Feng Wang 300 digits at one per second
These people listed have had some impact on my own learning and skill improvement.
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