It’s a new year, and one of my goals for this new year is that I want to see Weekend Testing Americas be a little more consistent. What do I mean by that? I mean that I want to be able to have the ability to regularly, with ease, tell people when a session will be. In 2010 and 2011, that was a bit challenging for me to do, as I often had to juggle other commitments to be available, and it also followed another reality. If a session were to happen, I had to be there.

Fortunately, that has been somewhat rectified by my partner in crime, Albert Gareev. Albert has agreed to be co-facilitator and my official second in command for WTA (he’s been the de-facto co-facilitator and 2nd in command for a long time) so it’s no longer tied to just my schedule specifically, but again, it requires now that Albert also be available.

The biggest frustration, though, was the fact that the sessions floated a lot, sometimes they were every other week, sometimes every three weeks, sometimes once a month. The net result was that it was hard to predict when sessions would be held. I couldn’t commit to a twice-monthly schedule, but I felt that once a month was too little. I’ve since reconsidered that position.

Thus, for the year of 2012, there will be a dedicated Weekend Testing Americas time. Barring a reason to pre-empt it, we have decided to go with a calendared slot once a month, and that will always be the first Saturday of each month. In short, if the first Saturday of a month rolls around, and you haven’t heard differently, you can expect to see a Weekend Testing Americas session take place.

There may well be “bonus” sessions in a given month (a guest presenter, a special topic or something timely that would make sense to do it at another time) and we are open to holding those sessions when they make sense.

The bigger questions, though, needs to come from those who actively participate in these sessions, and here’s where I’m hoping to get some feedback:

  • If you come to Weekend Testing Americas sessions, why do you come out to them?
  • If you used to come out, but don’t any longer, what is the reason you stopped coming?
  • If you have never participated before, but have had that tickle in the back of your mind to still want to try it, what has stopped you from coming out?
  • If you have had no intention at all to participate and still don’t, why?

Additionally, regardless of where you fall on the “session attendee continuum”, there is the never ending question of “what do you want Weekend Testing to be?”. We who facilitate these sessions ask this a lot, and we try to anticipate what others might like to do and what might be interesting and helpful. Sometimes we hit home runs. Sometimes we strike out. Most of the time, we have good interactions and we all learn a lot, but after several dozen sessions, we’d like to have more input and feedback from those who are our customers and clients, i.e. our active test craftsman who come to our sessions to learn, grow and perfect their craft.

So, in the spirit of this post, I of course want to make sure everyone is aware that this Saturday is the first Saturday of the month. As such, we will be holding a Weekend Testing Americas Session.

Weekend Testing – Americas Chapter Session No. 23

Session Type: Game Play, Brainstorming, Bug Hunting

Date: Saturday, January 07, 2012

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST. Check to see session time in your time zone.

To join this session, please do the following:

1. Add “weekendtestersamericas” to your Skype contacts if you haven’t already.
 Request to have us add you as well.

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, or to be added to our regular distribution, please contact WTAmericas ( at ) gmail (dot) com.

Hope to see you there :).