Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Sorry, I can’t offer anything that cool (LOL!).

For those who will be participating in our Weekend Testing session this coming Saturday, we will be working with a concept developed bye Elizabeth Hendrickson for her Agilistry classes, and evangelized by Jonathan Bach, called “Testing Vacations”. Before you think of a trip to Cozumel to examine and comment on SCUBA gear, this is actually an extension of “test tours” and fits in well with the context-driven approach to software testing.

So what, pray tell, is a testing vacation? It’s a short, focused goal that you can approach and that, when performed, can help you ask a product interesting questions. Since Jon works at eBay, he used eBay as the idea for this concept and using their search functionality for this. While it may seem like the ideas are specific to eBay, a little bit of tweaking and they will work with any site. Here are some eBay specific examples:

  • Try a search on and then try the same on your mobile. Any major differences that you can see?
  • What is the most expensive Buy It Now item for sale nearest to your location?
  • What was the highest bid for an item in support of any charity?
  • Which category has the most items?
  • Which queries yield no results?
  • What item appears most with no bids?
  • What is the most popular (trending) item for sale?
  • What is the most bizarre item?
  • What is the most expensive item for sale?
  • What item has been on eBay the longest? Is there a way to tell the age of the item ID?

These are small, quick “mini-sessions” of testing that can be performed. As you do them, you can ask yourself “OK, what does this little batch of tests to get this answer tell me? Can I develop a more focused and involved tour from this? Are there questions that come up that I’m not quite able to answer? What do these little tests tell me about the product, and where can I take that knowledge going forward.

Does this approach sound interesting to you? If so, then please come out this Saturday and join us. How do you do that? Simple.

Weekend Testing – Americas Chapter Session No. 22
Session type: Testing Vacations.
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2011

Note the session time!
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PST. Check in your time zone.

To join this session, please do the following:

1. Add “weekendtestersamericas” to your Skype contacts if you haven’t already.

2. Fifteen minutes prior to the start of the session, please message “weekendtestingamericas” and ask to be added to the chat session. Once we see you, we will add you to the session.

For more details, contact