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Pursuing a Quality Programme…(2)

  • 27/08/2011
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Last May I wrote a blog about persuing my own quality programme for EuroSTAR (/blog/2011/5/19/pursuing-a-quality-programme.aspx), since then I’ve been busy trying to figure it out and in the last month I really had to re-think about what topics to visit.

To be honest, I’ve never perceived myself as a very die-hard ‘Agile’ fan, it interested me and yes, I’ve also done some development and set up some initiatives in this area regarding testing, but I realised I almost never attended a track specifically for this subject. I now realise I’ve been arrogant and ignorant.

To explain; When I attended my higher vocational education in IT, I did a variety called ‘Interaction Design’, which did all this exiting stuff on new developments in IT. This also meant that we used Extreme Programming, Iterative Application Design and Object Oriented anaylis, languages and databases as basics. So I’ve been ‘freeweeling’ all this time, relying on the knowledge I gathered back then. Till recently I was convinced that all this Agile stuff was just a big marketing fuss on stuff I already was educated on years ago; ‘old wine in new bottles’ as I put it.

Untill recently I pretty much got away with this attitude. I hadn’t been involved in a fully agile-set-up project and only had some high-level discussions. I could still use my knowledge and practice I had gathered; my educational basis (which also included some practice) still sufficed. So why bother to really go into all this ‘SCRUM’ and all; the basic principles I learned still applied and there really seemed no need.

Perhaps you already figured it out; things have changed. I got involved in a project where SCRUM is used as development method, and although I come a long way with my current knowledge; the details make it a challenge and I’m suffering the consequences and currently I’m reading all the stuff I can find on the matter of SCRUM and Software Testing (at this time I would really want to thank al you software testers and expert who have published on this!)

Now back to my persuit of my own quality programme at EuroSTAR. Untill now I had been puzzeling the tracks together in my usual way, which goes somewhat like this:

Step 1; pick the things with catchy titles (:-) )  and individual tracks that ‘pop out’  and put in the stuff that are ‘mandatory’ for me to attend on request of colleagues. ‘Like factor’ is important.
Step 2; fill gaps with things that I like in relation to track-topics (people/ innovation/ management) and pick some stuff that is related to my current work.
Step 3; plan some free time in between for ‘conferring’; (which I must admit was mostlyat the expense of an Agile related track)
Step 4; use a coin for choices I can’t make myself.

Now I’ve added one other criteria: Do not exclude stuff that MIGHT occur as ‘I already know the basic principles’, especially when the market seems to move to that direction. You might not have a project YET related to that topic, as was my case in May and ‘Agile’ wasn’t work-related yet (if it was then I would have chosen it within step 2 :-) )  but it soon might be and then you might ‘miss out’ and have a lot of cathing up to do.

If I had attended a bit more ‘Agile’ or ‘SCRUM’ tracks (or even conferences) in the passed I would have perhaps not been an expert, but I would certainly have known some newer additions to my basic knowledge and I would have heard about solutions especially in relation to testing.

This does not mean I’ll be attending all the Agile and SCRUM etc. tracks at EuroSTAR, but I’ve sure been integrating some of these tracks into my programme now and will be probably trying to catch up with some people who ARE more involved in this topic to ‘pick their brains’. And this meant – for me – a serious re-shuffle of my Quality-programme.

I’ve learned my lesson to not exclude stuff for ‘arrogant’ reasons anymore. It’s not all about ‘Girls just wanna have fun!’ (or boys, but Cindy Lauper doesn’t sing about that…).
So in your own persuit of a quality programme; be sure to include a couple of tracks that wouldn’t be in your ‘normal criteria’ but perhaps are just the opposite of that; THEY might be the ones that are most educutional!

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