An Online Test Competition

b2ap3_thumbnail_competition.gifWhen the staff at NRGGlobal asked me to start blogging for them, they asked what we had in common, and what they could do for the test community.

Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to know the test community pretty well, and it seems to me there are really two test communities.

First there’s the folks I see a few times at a year at conferences, who work in big cities and have a reasonably large amount of personal influence and career mobility.

Then there is everybody else, the folks who say “that must be nice”, with maybe a touch of honest disappointment in the words.

Well, everybody else, this one is for you.

It’s Tough Out There

Maybe you are one of the smaller percent — your company never sent anyone to a software conference. In fact, you are more interested in making sure there are no layoffs or payroll cuts this year.  Conference?  GET REAL.

I hear ya.  It’s tough out there.

Or maybe you are in Australia, or Brazil, or India – maybe getting to the United States for a conference just doesn’t make any sense.

Sure, your continent has it’s own cool kids, but it’s a small world, but sometimes, just not small enough.

So here’s an idea.

In the summer of 2011, I participated in the Association for Software Testing’s Annual Test Competition.  Last fall, in 2012, I organized a similar event during the Software Test Professionals Conference.

What if we ran a competition online, all over the world, for one day in 2013?

Maybe not one day: Maybe just six hours.  Maybe four hours.

How would it work?

We’ll open registration to teams of 2-5 people weeks earlier, and the big day and time will be no surprise.  Then, on the day itself, (I’m targeting April 19, 2013), at appointed time, a blog post will appear here, on the NRG Global Blog, with what to test, how to report it, and rules of engagement.

Offhand, I’m thinking of three general categories of testing:  Functional, Security, and Performance/Load Testing.  For load, we’ll obtain a website to test, and teams will reserve blocks of three hours of time over the weekend to hit that test system.  (The good news is first few teams get to pick their favorite blocks.)

Yes, there will be prizes, and bragging rights.

What do you need, Matt?

Oh boy.   Thanks for asking.  To get this to work, we’ll need some software to test, which means companies willing to invite testers they don’t know to attack the software.  Plus a protocol to ask questions, a way to report bugs, some judges, some process … I have work to do.

But before I do any of those things, I need to validate the market — to make sure we’ll have enough people to make the competition interesting, and worth the time of the volunteers and sponsors.

So let’s start with a chance to hang out and talk about it.

Specifically, a IGoogle Hangout, January 17th, at 8:00PM Eastern, with up to ten people really interested and excited to learn about, possibly participate in, and possibly volunteer for, an online test competition.  If that’s you, follow me, Matthew Heusser, on Google+, and send me an email: – or leave comments here and we can talk through it a bit.

I know this is new.

I know, it’s scary.

I know, there are a lot of moving parts.

Let’s do it anyway.

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