Involving Your Team Through Play

Once in a while I would find a bug in a new feature just by looking at it. Clearly the information in the user story was incomplete, the developer misinterpreted the information or didn’t have a look at the final result. I wanted to eliminate these situations so we could spend less time on testing and fixing bugs, and could create a better product. My goal was to involve the developers in testing, create awareness and ownership of the bugs in the application and have them engage with the application as a whole.

Awareness and engagement are best advanced through playful, practical exercises. One example of such was an exercise which worked well for my team is a bughunt. My team gained hands-on experience with the whole application and got a sense of its weaknesses from the functional perspective and user experience. As an important extra, my team raised a lot of questions when they did not know how the application should behave.

In the next sprints the application improved a lot. Bugs were included in user stories beforehand thanks to improved awareness. Even bugs which were not included in the sprint were picked them up thanks to a better sense of ownership. The UX of several features was improved because so many questions were raised.

A bughunt is one example of a playful exercise to involve a team in testing, improve awareness and ownership over bugs and have a team engage with a whole application. Other possible ways are a quiz about requirements, an interview with another team member about the working of a part of the application or a stakeholder analysis to find shortcomings and opportunities. During this talk I will share multiple playful, practical exercises with the community and invite the fellow testers to share their own ideas and experiences.

  • Speaker

  • Franka Buurmeijer MSc - Tester, VX Company, Netherlands

    Throughout my career I have been combining science and technology with creative activities such as writing, presenting and creating teaching materials. As an science communicator and astronomer, I started out in the field of astronomy, but I gradually expanded my field of expertise to physics, mathematics and computer science. As a tester, I now combine my knowledge of communication with automated and manual testing to improve the results of software development.