Last week at the QUEST 2010 Conference, Nancy Kelln and I enjoyed challenging fellow conference participants with a variety of testing games and puzzles. By mid way through the week we had established a reputation for our testing challenges. At lunches and other conference events, fellow participants were seeking us out to take on a new challenge.
For those who have met industry thought leaders James Bach and Michael Bolton, you are likely well acquainted with their testing challenges. My first exposure to their games was in 2006 when I sent one of my team members on the “Rapid Software Testing” course. After attending the course, my tester was keen to share his new insights on testing and also to challenge the rest of the team with the dice game he had learned. I have since had the opportunity participate in testing challenges with James and Michael at conferences. I find the games interesting, insightful, and admittedly frustrating at times until I get the answer. I highly recommend you seize the opportunity to participate if you have not already done so.
At the conference last week Nancy and I played a variety of games and puzzles including dice, playing cards and the SET card game. In order to play more challenging versions of the dice game I had to expand my dice collection. After an evening of hunting for dice on Amazon, I eagerly checked the front desk of the hotel each day to see if they had arrived. Nancy and I even designed a new card challenge during our flight to the conference which we were able to test out. On the last day of the conference Pete Walen gave Nancy and I a brain teaser challenge. It was great fun although there was some serious pressure to get the answer ASAP by those around the table who had seen us challenging everyone else all week! Thanks again to everyone who participated throughout the conference.
I look forward to sharing more testing challenges this year. I am hopeful both James and Michael will be at the upcoming CAST 2010 Conference armed with a variety of challenges to stump me and other attendees. I also plan to post a few challenges here on my blog for you to try out. I will not be including any answers on the site. If you think you have solved a problem you will need to contact me to confirm if you got the answer right.