Thoughtworks Master Class Series – My Experience

When I first saw a post about "Thought works Master Class Series" on agile india group, I asked my whole team to attend the "Thought works Master Class Series" sessions on 19th May, 2007. The topics seemed to be very interesting and 7 of us attended it. There were Sessions on

  1. Database Refactoring
  1. Evolutionary testing
  1. Domain Specific Languages

I decided to attend the MCS because I wanted to get some inputs on "Evolutionary Testing" and "DSL". We are using WATIN in our application and I thought it will be good, if I can get some ideas on Selenium.

My likes and dislikes:

  1. The whole event was organized properly.
  2. Small Gaps in between sessions
  3. Learnt few Jargons … 🙂
  4. Evolutionary testing session by Vivek. Vivek explained the topic very well. He talked about the issues with traditional automated testing tools and why Selenium and he demonstrated it with good examples. It was a very good session overall.
  5. Database Refactoring: I guess the session was named wrongly. Pramod explained how to bring in agile practices such as continuous integration etc in an agile world. His examples gave me an idea of how to update our build scripts when we do an update release. It would have been really good, if he could have taken couple of refactoring(s) from his book and explained them. If someone knew how to integrate agile practices with DB, it was not a very useful one.
  6. Domain Specific Languages: I guess, this did not reach the audience. Hari started this session showing a clip from "CASINO ROYALE" to demonstrate everyone needs to have the same vocabulary. After the session, I felt that the common vocabulary is not established. May be, the organizers could have moved this session in the morning. Not an ideal one after lunch, especially when its not presented to the interest of audience.

What I learnt:

  1. Delta Scripts: Forward and Backward Scripts – I felt this one a very useful when we do maintenance and upgrade.
  2. Update Build Script, so that it gives you the list of files used(needed) for the build.
  3. May be we need to reemphasize this with our team. No body should check-in whenever they receive a "Build Failed" email. We are following this right now, but probably can be added in the RULES print out we have posted in the cubicles.
  4. DRY – Do not Repeat Yourself. Had a Refresher on Extract and move method

Testing Patterns

v      Screen Object Pattern

v      Data Template Pattern

v      Workflow pattern

Summary:

I always feel better when I get to listen from somebody. It helps me improve my listening skills. It was a refresher on all these topics for me. I would have really felt very happy, if the sessions were more in depth (Keeping the name MASTER CLASS SERIES). I could see thought works marketing their own products (which makes sense), but I definitely expected more from these sessions. They were targeted towards Beginners.

Another observation from my side is that, the speakers were not very friendly (May be its my personal feeling). Especially when its targeted towards beginners, you should not get frustrated with the kind of primitive questions.

🙂 

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One thought on “Thoughtworks Master Class Series – My Experience

  1. Prakash,Thanks for your comments  – I’m sorry to hear that you felt that the speakers weren’t too friendly, maybe we should have announced that folks were welcome to come up and and talk to us. It’s something that usually happens naturally at most conferences, so I was certainly taken aback when I was asked during lunch if it was ok(!) to talk to the speakers.We do take feedback pretty seriously – what are the kind of topics you’d like to see the next time around?Thanks,Vivek

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