The BBST Foundations course: Week 1

Experience Reports, Software Testing

The Meet and Greet forum has exploded.
100+ messages talking about all sorts of topics.
It’s an information flood about metal music, cars, toy rockets, nature, the outdoors and where everyone’s based.
I can’t wait for this to overflow into an abundance of testing knowledge.


The waiting game

And so I waited. Pressing F5 on the discussions forum to catch the occasional test-centered post that could become a testing discussion. This took a while.
4 days, I believe it took, before the first assignment was picked up in earnest.

There were a few interesting discussions, mainly on quiz questions that are designed to get you doubting, thinking, discussing and learning. Excellent!
Even Cem Kaner himself joined in.

Today, the last day of the first week, I’m feeling a bit disappointed. As a whole, I think the students have written enough to fill a small book. There’s a lot of good stuff, but also a lot of not so good stuff. There’s also input that is in complete contrast with what the course teaches (and what I as a tester believe in).

The format of a forum, limits us and the instructors to effectively enter in a discussion.
Answers are long, try to answer multiple points at a time and don’t do a good job at getting the right sentiment across (be you angry, annoyed or patient).
Because of this, I noticed a tendency to walk between the boundaries of “What the course is trying to teach you” and “how can we best pass the course” instead of doing earnest, in depth discussion.

I would love setting up a Slack for this course. A multi channel, multi person, immediate feedback, chatting tool with possibilities for one-on-one chatting, group chatting and complete class testing.

At the moment, I’m learning a lot from the course, the exercises and putting what I learn to test. The online course format, at the moment, isn’t adding much value to it though.
I’m hoping that will change.


One thought on “The BBST Foundations course: Week 1

  1. Hey Beren,

    It’s great to see you are writing about the class, and we totally appreciate the feedback – it’s the only way for us to improve the course.

    I understand your feelings and I do sympathize with you. You are probably one of the few students that have worked ahead on the class materials and, during the class, we try to set a pace that suits the students that are working through and struggling with the materials for the first time. We hope the wait will be worth it 🙂

    We have thought about somehow integrating Slack in the course many times and we are still trying to understand how we could best use it without compromising on transparency and accountability. There’s also the challenge with different timezones, which would also have an impact on instant communication. Even in this class, we have students from the US, Europe and Middle East… Canvas and the discussion forums have limitations, but they are useful in that sense as well.

    At the end of the course, I’d love to hear your ideas on how you think we could best use Slack (or something similar).

    To improve the online experience, we try to organize one or two online session on Skype with the instructors (and Cem whenever possible) where students can (virtually) come in , talk about their worries and confusions, and hopefully find answers to the questions they have. I hope you’ll find those useful, I’ve just set the first one up, so you should have an email about it! 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing how your second week goes!



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