Bug advocacy covered:
- Basic concepts
- Anticipating and dealing with objections
- Effective advocacy
- Credibility and influence
- Writing clear reports
Part of the course required us to register as testers for Open office and evaluate and improve on bugs that had been reported there on Open Office Impress. This was a whole new world and challenge for me. When I evaluate bugs on my projects it’s with a quite comprehensive knowledge of the domain and the applications within it. It comes almost naturally. Here, I had to first really try and understand what the person was reporting and try and recreate it. The bugs we were working on were also those that were unconfirmed. If they had been easy to reproduce, they would not be sitting in this queue very long. For one of the assignments, I spent more than 4 hours just trying to find a bug I could vaguely understand and try and reproduce.
So - What was different from the first time?
I didn’t feel quite as nervous about what other people would think of me or what the instructors would think of me.
The fact that I knew what the pace would be like and how much work was involved meant that I planned a little better – although still not well enough. I still didn’t manage to do much on the exam cram and I should have.
I studied in a much more structured way this time for the exam. Went back to my old favourite – Mindmapping each section and learning it from the maps.
I was more familiar with evaluating other people’s work and what that entails. I think that my feedback may have improved a little… but still needs lots of work.
What do I still need to improve on for next time?
My planning needs to improve - I think next time, I am going to try and produce the Mindmaps with each section’s video session. And then (as suggested) try and answer the exam questions each week.
My feedback can always get better. I am going to practice a lot more in my everyday work and try and improve that way.
How have I used it?
I had a little “talk” last week with some of the team at my current project. I discussed some of the concepts and that way, re-enforced them for myself.
I have encouraged one of my mentees to use the evaluation techniques so that we can then discuss the process.
I have evaluated a number of bugs and practiced giving feedback.
I have logged some bugs recently with a whole new perspective.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. This to me is far more valuable learning than I would ever get paying thousands of Rands for a “certification”. I am really extremely grateful to all of those at AST and especially Cem Kaner for spending so much time and energy on improving us and thereby lifting our profession. It makes me want to do the same.