Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Experience Report - Online Coaching Software Testers

Thanks to all the publicity about my course by my well-wishers, I received close to 60-70 emails. I was not sure how many will actually attend as it was from 10 pm IST to 11.15 pm IST, three nights a week for five weeks. It was a happy problem. I added everyone who emailed me before the deadline to a google group. Let me highlight the overall experience in different sections:

Preparation:
I added the blog post about the course, updated my status on twitter, GTalk, Skype and the rest of the publicity was done by the testing community. That is the best part of the testing community. It gives you much more than what you contribute to it.

By the registration emails, I was worried about missing anyone. Imagine if you registered for a course, you are excited and later get to know that you were not invited! I did not want that to happen. I created a filter for the subject in the email and all the email ids were added while creating a new google group. I did add those who had a different subject than what was asked for in the blog post. If you want to join the google group, here is the link: https://groups.google.com/group/ajsoftwaretestingskills
I added everyone manually on Skype (ajay184f is my id). Some pinged me, some were already part of my contacts :) Some gave incorrect Skype ids, some did not have Skype ids.

It is easy to think that the teacher is not responding to the student's emails or ping. If you apply Dr. Bono's OPV(Other Point of View) method, you will understand that the teacher has to reply to n students' emails, answer questions for every student, make sure each student is comfortable. This is one of the reasons, I have high respect for everyone associated with AST's courses. If you are interested in learning about software testing and not experienced the courses offered by them, you are MISSING something BIG.
You want to know more? http://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org/training/courses/

The TEAM
Diversity ruled. Someone who had never tested to someone who had tested for ten years, a programmer to a tester, different domains to different tools, different time zones to different languages and interests! Awesome diversity but everyone seemed to have one thread in common.
Open mind, patience, enthusiasm and dedication. I am sure that the team learnt something relative to the effort they put in for the course. I did not hear any complaints till date (tomorrow is the last class of 1st batch). I am assuming that there are no hidden complaints :) I believe in one thing for sure - Everyone is talented. Yes, everyone. It just depends on
a. Do they practice enough to keep the talent shining?
b. Do they recognize the talent and/or are they interested?

My only worry was that if there would be any fights or misunderstanding between the groups. There was none. Happy family :)

What did we discuss:
A lot.

What did we learn?
I leave it to the students to comment :)

Next batch? Interested? 
Date: June 04th to July 06th 2012
Time: 10.30 pm IST to 11.15pm IST (4.30 pm GMT to  5.45 pm GMT)
For other time zones, http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/gmt-converter/http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/gmt-converter/
Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

How do I register:
Please email me with subject "AjJun2012" and mention your Skype id in the body of the email.

Fees: Its free. Except for your time & effort of course :)

Thanks to
a. All the testers, programmers I have interacted till date and everyone who helped me spread the word
b. Dr.Cem Kaner for the comment on my blog post about my course.
c. Jon Bach for the encouragement that I can conduct this course and James Bach & Michael Bolton for the continuous support & encouragement.
d. Sirisha, Teri, Sudhamshu, Monirul, Narasimha, Satnam, Bala, Praveen and everyone else who participated in my course.
e. Tata Photon - for a reliable data card!

10 comments:

Jasminka said...

This is really amazing from you. That you do this just to help others. Incredible. Much respect to you Ajay. And many congratulations that all went well and that the course was a mega sucess. Hope your next course will be even better. You gotta envy those that participated and have had the privilage to be taught by you. Anyways, good luck with batch 2!!!

Prasanna said...

Good job Ajay.
There is a typo in the post:
Time: 10.30 pm IST to 11.15pm IST (4.30 pm GMT to 5.45 pm GMT)

Monirul Islam said...

I am one of the participants in this course. After seeing this announcement in twitter, I decided to join in the class but when I was sending an email to Ajay, I found that all the seats are filled up within less than 24 hours. Still I sent an email and luckily Ajay accepted my request.

During the preparation period, Ajay gave us some assignments. None of us was successful although they were not so much hard. We learnt about observation skill, proper questioning to avoid trap and few other things before starting the actual class.

When the actual class started, at the end of every class I found myself as a new tester. There are so many things I didn’t know before joining in this class although I am 6+ years experienced tester. I think Ajay was not the only coach; we all shared knowledge, discussed together, and performed testing together. It was real fun but very significant experience for me.

Bala Swaminathan said...

Hi All, Not only you learn what is being listed in the box, you can learn from others experience. Do commit mistakes doing the session. You will really learn from that and others too. The way things were explained during the session was really amazing. Anytime you are stuck with something or you cannot follow what is going on, you can stop and you can ask questions then and then. If not that time, your questions will be answered even after that class hours. Assignments are worth doing.. Do not miss such a wonderful opportunity. Good Luck for you guys.. Thanks a lot Ajay.

Sirisha Parsi said...

Monirul mentioned some points which I too have learnt in Ajay's sessions like Observation, Questioning. I joined as a beginner without any idea how to start and now I am happy to say that I am a tester. Everyone was helping me build my skills, asked a lot of questions to each one. Learnt a lot of things. Inspired to learn more!!

Teri Charles said...

I feel honored to be able to have participated in Ajay’s first class. I’ve been a Tester for several years, but I’m always looking for anyway to learn. I can’t even remember how I found out about his class, but I’m glad I did. It was a fantastic experience. Ajay not only challenges you (and he does!), but he really wants you to learn, he really wants you to get better, and he really wants you to succeed. He truly wants greatness for you.

Looking back on where I was before his class and where I am now, it’s like night and day. He helped me to see things in different ways, to go off and learn other things outside of the class, and to push myself in ways I haven’t before.

I’m very happy to not only have Ajay as a new friend, but a class full of people that supported each other on this journey. I am looking forward to work and learn with all of them. Good job, Ajay!

Neeraj said...

I missed up Ajay’s last class and I wasn’t even lucky to get a chance for it. But I hope this time I am lucky enough to get a chance. Seeing the response from the students, want say Kudos to Ajay for his efforts..Wish there are other testers who follow this concept!!!

Narasimha said...

I am one of the participants of Ajay 1st class.
Learn about observation, questioning, mind map creation, bug reporting and many more.
Every task is clear and helps us whenever we face problem to do tasks.
It was great learning experience.
Thanks Ajay for your valuable time spare with us for training.

Jasminka said...

Great course Ajay. Loved it!!!

software integration testing said...

I'm always curious about the testing coaching movement, but have not tried it. I guess the person, like you, doing the coaching, stands to benefit by getting more and more experience through facing others' problems. If you read 'Linked", you'll understand what I mean as you become a hub of knowledge. And, the person getting the coaching benefits as well. A win-win for all I suppose.