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Rapid Software Testing Coached (RSTC)

In the technical world, everyone learns on the job. That learning process goes a lot better with good coaching. Coaching is more than giving pep talks, it is an interactive exploration and leadership of work in progress. A good senior tester needs to involve the whole team in testing, explain and demonstrate testing, learn from the testing of others, evaluate progress, and report status. Coaching encompasses all these activities.

In the typical project, the builder’s mindset dominates. Builders are optimistic, and that’s good. But the testing mindset has to be different. When you test you must look for trouble. Good test coaching can help people put on the testing hat when needed.

The RST method of coaching is not generic. It requires that the coach be a reasonably skilled tester. Using a framework of coaching heuristics developed by James Bach while helping hundreds of online testing students, Rapid Software Testing coaching is a systematic expertise-based approach that promotes a culture of craftsmanship and continuous learning.

This is a two-day class intended as a follow-on to Rapid Software Testing Explored. Online, we teach it as three 90-minute webinars per day.

RSTC Goals
  • The primary goal of the class is to give you practice as a testing coach, and a solid grounding in how to think about systematic coaching.
  • A secondary goal is to help you think and talk like a testing expert, so that you can proceed with confidence and gain the credibility you need.
Who Should Take This Training
  • If you have taken the Rapid Software Testing Explored class and wants to improve the deployment of those ideas across the organization.
  • If you want to deepen your expertise in Rapid Software Testing methodology.
  • If you are a testing specialist who works with part-time or otherwise amateur testers.
  • If you are a testing specialist who wants to help developers test their own products better.
  • If you want to teach other people how to test.
  • If you want to foster create a local testing craftsmanship culture.
  • If you are responsible for coordinating an offshore test team.
Main Topics Covered

RSTC is taught Socratically, with exercises, discussions and illustrations of the RST methodology. Class discussions and debate address students’ questions and specific needs. We all learn from the unique perspective that each student brings to the class. We’ll cover:

  • How coaching fits into an Agile project
  • Performing a “testopsy” (a close observation of tester behavior)
  • Applying the Heuristic Coaching Model
  • Using the Heuristic Test Strategy Model as a coaching aid
  • Interaction patterns in coaching
  • The dynamics of pressure and energy in a coaching session
  • Using “heirloom exercises” to help evaluating testing skill.
  • Creating a testing skills syllabus
  • The workshop is exercise oriented so there will be many opportunities to practice the art of coaching testers.

How RSTC Compares To Our Other Classes

  • Rapid Software Testing Explored (RSTE) presents the methodology of Rapid Software Testing with brief practical exercises and Socratic discussion. Since RSTC is based on the Rapid Software Testing methodology, RSTE should be taken first to get the most out of RSTC.
  • Rapid Software Testing Applied (RSTA) focuses less on the explaining and demonstrating the concepts and skills of RST, and more on practicing the core elements of it. RSTA includes long exercises where you will test part of a real product, followed by debriefings. The class is taught in an online format (ten webinars over three days) or in a classroom 2-day or 3-day format. RSTA is taught more in a coaching style than RSTE is, so it’s a particularly good companion class to RSTC.
  • Rapid Software Testing Managed (RSTM) is a class for managers and other leaders who seek to apply Rapid Software Testing methodology or are otherwise working to improve testing on an organizational level. It focuses on the deployment of RST, so it’s more focused on organizational issues rather than people issues. However, both RSTM and RSTC are about leadership.

What Students Should Bring
Bring a laptop, and have internet access. You will be doing at least two coaching sessions.

Download a two-page PDF of the RST Coached course description