Sunday, April 1, 2012

What I learned in 3 days of RST Training

I'll start be noting this post doesn't include a complete list of things I learned in the training. The reality is that it's been 4 days since the training and I keep learning and understanding things differently. This describes the RST training really well. This course is not just about information and tricks. It will lift you up on a whole new level.

Testing is often understood as asking questions of/from the product. The course will give you hands-on exercises around questions. You will learn what to ask, how to ask, how to find information etc. You will also learn how to deal with situations when the replies are vague or non-existing.

Testers often need information and help, but feel alone with their challenges. You will learn to use resources in a creative manner. As an example, in one testing exercise, I realized I can gather information faster by asking from others what they found out instead of trying to solve the puzzle by myself. When time is limited, you need to be able to be creative with information gathering and this you will be learning each day on various exercises.

Software testing without tools can be a fun thing, but you will limit your testing if you do everything manually. This course will show you diverse tools, including for example randomizers and hacking applications, that help you along the way. When this happens, people will start telling about the tools they use in their testing. If you listen carefully, you will learn about many tools that help you in your testing. As an example, I taught a course colleague to use 3 different tools in one evening while we discussed about philosophy and ethics around web service testing.

Many times we see testers having fights around ethics in testing. RST includes a lot of philosophical discussion and examples about ethics. Not only you will learn what things to avoid but you will also learn how to deal with those situations and what things you can offer instead. You will learn to say no and advice what else to do.

Testers often find themselves in situations where they feel their words were taken out of context or misinterpreted. In RST you will learn to use safety language more effectively and you will learn why it's important to be used. You will not say anymore silly things like "we can ship this product", but you will advice the manager in charge to understand the results of your testing. You will not say "the product doesn't have bugs" because that could result in losing your credibility 5 seconds after a public release.

Commonly testers are talking about boundary testing, BVA and ECP. You will learn what boundary testing actually is. No, not the ISTQB version where you have a formula that fits in all situations. You will learn what it actually means, what is required from a tester and why it's simply wrong to say "most bugs are found around boundaries". You will also learn that the reason to this claim is because you are mostly testing around the boundaries! By clever examples and exercises, you will learn how this goes in real life.

A big part of tester's work is reporting. RST will teach you the different levels of reports, how you should do the reporting and what will give the most value to the stakeholders. After the course, you will see all reports with different eyes. Reporting used to take a big part of your time, but you will now be ready with tools and techniques that help you to minimize "waste work".

Often testers say their work is repetitive and doesn't need creativity. Yep, you guessed correctly, RST will teach you to think and work differently. You will learn to do testing in the hard way, which is also the most rewarding way. You won't anymore see the fake simplicity in software testing problems. Your eyes will open and soon you will find yourself doing the kind of testing that the big guys were talking about.

Oh yeah, and this is pretty much the first day!


  1. Hi Jari
    RST has always been on my wish list for things to do. You writing about it makes it even more desirable. I liked your conclusion that a lot can be gained by asking good question and approaching problems collaboratively. Great post!

  2. Hi Ilari,

    Thanks a lot for your comment!

    In case you haven't already participated in an RST course, I strongly recommend it.

    Best regards,