Test Competition Update

It has been two weeks since we announced the details and how to register for the NRG Global test competition.  Since that time, we’ve had three teams register.

No, I’m not worried, here’s why: At the same time I am organizing this, I am also co-chair of the test and quality track of the Agile Conference. That conference had almost no submissions, I was near despair until the submission deadline of February first approached. Now I have dozens of submissions to evaluate, which puts me in a different kind of despair. 🙂

No, seriously, it is alright, we have a review team that is slicing up the reviews right now.  I will be fine.

However, to make this work, we’ll need to set up a bug tracker by the team, with email addresses, send invites to the chat room, and so on.  We also need to understand the scope of the project — we can personalize the requirements-gathering aspect of the project a lot more with five teams than with fifty.

That tells me that we need a deadline.

Registration for the NRG Global Test Competition

To register a team, email me at the address Matt@Xndev.com.  Use ‘NRG Global Team Registration’ as the subject line, and include your team name, team members, email addresses, and, preferably, snail mail addresses, so we can send prizes if you win.

The registration deadline is March 10th, 2013, at the end of the business day, eastern USA time.  

But I Thought Registration Was Optional?

To some extent, that is true.  You could come on the NRG Global blog at 10:01 Eastern on the 19th of April and ‘just test’, but you’ll miss several elements of the competition, including.

– A group chat is your chance to discern the requirements of the system and your testing mission

– “Round Two“, where we reground, compare notes, and look at each other’s bug reports, learn by example, and are rewarded by improving the work of others.

– The end-of-event retrospective

– The chance to win – A public, external, portfolio-level demonstration of your test expertise that is objective and ranked against peers.  

Of course, winning will mean a little bit more if we have thirty teams instead of three.

A Collaborative Event

When it comes to this competition, our goal is not to have a knock-down, drag-out fight where people are sabotaging each other and hoarding information.  That might have a place (the security testing community comes to mind), but it is not here.

Instead, we want to create a safe place where you learn by testing and from other testers; that is the point of “Round Two.”  

Even if we only have three teams, this will be a chance to see how other testers think, in a safe environment.

About The Performance Portion

The performance portion of the competition will take place over the weekend; teams can select three-hour time slots to pursue an investigation of the performance characteristics of a piece of software against the customer expectations.  Yes, you can use NRG Global’s software to test with, but you can use any tool.  If you want to explore a free trial of AppLoader, you can download a free trial version at any time.  If your trial expires, email me, we’ll get you an extension code.  (The software does require Terminal Server to run; any Windows Server release from 2003 forward will have these features, and I will have more information to come about how to set up Terminal Server as a cloud compute instance.)

If your team has already registered, I will be in touch about your slot over the next week.

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