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My First MEWT...

Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the image
A few months ago I got a very intriguing invite from a certain Richard Bradshaw to contribute to MEWT, an event I had been aware of out of the corner of my eye for a couple of years. The event is held at the beautiful Attenborough Nature Reserve and we delivered our reports within the Media Centre, perched in the middle of the lake. A stunning venue, and a great setting for learning.

As well as being my first MEWT, it was also my first peer conference, where experience reports are presented and then the floor is opened to questions, clarifications and comments. After the floor was opened to determine the running order, we took a vote. I'm not going to lie, I had a hangover, after discussing what the time "half eleven" means to a person from The Netherlands into the relatively small hours the night before. This naturally mean't I would be first up. Of course it did.

So I began to talk through my model for surfacing unrecognised internal models, inspired by a number of coachees who spoke subconsciously of their models, struggled to articulate them, and applied them unwittingly. To be honest, this was quite a nervous time. This model had not seen the light of day outside my brain and that of a few of my coachees. It is very personal, like anything one has created, and to expose to scrutiny can be painful. It was not however. Instead I received thoughtful feedback on potential improvements, also some of my less convincing answers prompted me to re-examine my own thinking on some aspects of the model. Areas of feedback which really interested me:
  • Being careful with goals - goals can drive behaviours, perhaps not in the way you intend.
  • Having a step to revisit goals on an iterative basis is valuable, as the world changes around the coach and coachee.
  • Sharing between coachees - all my coachees are on this path, so why not encourage them to share with each other, giving shared learning opportunities and empathy with the journey of others.
  • To visualise the model in some way, as opposed to the mindmap I had. Coaching ebbs and flows, so I think a means of communicating the model in this manner would be valuable.
MEWT has added the following to my blog post list:
  • Testers talking about truth - inspired by Dunc Nisbet, although I will need to take a week off to investigate, parse and articulate this one!
  • Testers improving themselves/awakening to a more intentional, thinking approach - inspired by Ard Kramer and Geir Gulbrandsen - at what point do we wake up and no longer apply rote models of testing to all problems? I know when I did, I hope to explore this further.
I could do them all as all the ideas presented certainly made me think. Maybe someday, but I'll start with those two. All that remains is to thank everyone. Those who spoke, questioned, organised, facilitated, tweeted, discussed and all the other activities that made MEWT 2015 a massive success.

Also see:

http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/

https://mewtblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/mewt-4/

http://www.steveo1967.blogspot.com/2015/10/mewt4-post-1-sigh-its-that-pyramid.html

http://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org/ - who were hugely gracious in their sponsorship of the venue for the event.


Thanks to John Stevenson for this great photo. Tutu's have been removed to protect the innocent.

Comments

  1. Your talk has given me a lot to think about Ash - thanks for bringing and sharing it! How are you continuing to grow and develop your model?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dunc, your talk also stimulated the grey matter, took me a while (and a blog) to get over it! :) So, in terms of developing the model, I will go back to first principles again and re-evaluate based on what I initially set out to achieve. Namely, helping testers to intentionally recognise and apply models, and start to increase their effectiveness and decrease the stress of applying ill fitting models to situations.

      I think I will look to target the questions contained within each pillar, great questions are what great coaches do best, so I'll start there I think. Also, just getting it out there and sharing with others is probably the most effective. I'll post an updated version eventually. Its on the lengthy list!

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