Emmis Interactive: Test-A-Palooza
A week or two ago, I was added to a project that would later be called “Test-A-Palooza” (a name we voted on, collectively). We’re rolling out some new functionality and tools in our current sprint, and wanted to get more folks involved in the testing process. In particular, we’re adding in a newer version of Tiny MCE, so we wanted to make sure things were functioning as expected.
The idea for a company-wide test day came from Chantel, and a lot of work was done by Chris C, Chantel, Kashif and Dan – determining what areas to test, coming up with a list of test scenarios, creating and preparing the forms that people would use to report any bugs they found.
We began with an early 9:00 AM kickoff meeting, where Chris introduced the day’s schedule and Dan and I went through the general instructions.
A few fun bonuses that came with people helping us test – first, there would be pizza at noon for all testers. Additionally, there were a series of prizes that would be given out to random testers. The grand prize was a two-parter: first, the winner would receive a free vacation day (awesome). On top of that, they would also get their picture taken and would be placed in the forefront, on our “About Us” page. There is also to be one “Committee’s Choice” prize, after all the submitted bugs are reviewed. One person will be selected, based on the quality of their submission – thoroughness of the report, the degree of detail, and/or the uniqueness of the bug. This person will also be rewarded with a free vacation day.
And here’s how the prizes shook out:
I liked our Test-A-Palooza event for a variety of reasons – it’s been a while since we’ve done something collectively as a company, and it felt nice to have everyone pitching in, working on the same thing at the same time. We have some groups (like our Design Team) that are more involved with clients and the front-end, and less involved with sprints and deployments. I felt like our collective testing gave everyone more of a hand in our release process – not just the developers, but everyone in our organization.
On top of it all, I think going through the testing process gives other folks a taste of what the QA team goes through – the rigors of methodically going through things, step by step. It’s one thing to find a bug, but it’s an entirely different thing to accurately describe what happened and to detail repro steps. I like that our morning of testing gave folks outside of the QA department a glimpse into their world. I’d love more opportunities like this, being able to see and experience more of what other departments do, day to day.
Congratulations to everyone who participated, who won prizes… and most of all, congrats to Phil for being the grand prize winner. Look for him soon on our website.