Relating military patrol planning and techniques to testing

I’m always looking for ways to relate the testing craft to certain things that I’ve done in the past, this is mainly due to basically stumbling into the testing world from somewhere completely random like the British Army Infantry. These two worlds are polar opposites and so different in so many ways….but are they?!

I’ve had a idea in my mind for a while now about writing a series of posts on how I think these two things relate – I did a little research into the topic to see if anyone else had attempted to make this connection and I came across this talk by Benjamin Yaroch. He gave an “Emerging Topics” talk at CAST back in 2011, entitled “Applying Military Concepts to Testing to Help Cope With Change and be a Better Leader” – It’s a great talk and well worth watching, if you have not done so already. His research was gained in part from his Brother, who was in the Air Force for a number of years and also from reading various Military documentation.

He started to look into patrols:

  • How they worked?
  • What they did when going into an area?
  • How they found information?
Ben found that patrols in general didn’t have as many touching points as the leadership aspects within the Military and favoured the latter as the theme of his talk.
I wanted to approach this topic from a slightly different angle, from someone who has been “on the ground” and been part of the planning phase of a patrol. I want to take you on a journey and let you view the surrounding world through my eyes, as me and my team patrol through an area of Afghanistan. I want to (hopefully) explain some of these points as we conduct our patrol and how they relate (in my opinion) to testing:
  • Pre planing
  • Equipment Preparation
  • Area brief
  • Threat Brief and Current Vulnerabilities
  • Initial Contact/Full Contact Report
  • Outside Resources Available 
  • Routes
  • Actions on
  • Withdrawal
  • Regular HQ Updates
  • Debrief
This is just a few from my ever growing list of Patrol considerations, I wanted to give you a taster of what I had in mind for the upcoming posts.
This is going to come together over the course of this year and I will have something new out at least every few weeks as well as other ideas for posts that come to my mind. I hope this will be of interest to at least one person, if not, it will be good writing practice for myself and give me a goal to achieve this year.
Look forward to the first of my many posts on this subject…

The week has flown by….

If you didn’t know already (may have mentioned it a few times….) I started a new job this week….I hate it when I say “job” to describe what I’m doing, that just sounds dull and boring – It’s so much more than that!! I’ve been very lucky to be given the opportunity to work with not only Rob Lambert but also his awesomely talented team at Newvoicemedia.

Starting at a new place can be a sometimes nerve-racking affair – the fear of the unknown I guess. From the first second I stepped foot in the office I knew this was where I wanted to be, I don’t mean the first day of work…I knew this from the tour of the offices that Rob gave me just before my initial interview. You know that feeling when it just feels right. My daily journey time is not great (just under 2 hrs each way in the car) but none of that even matters when you are driving to a place like NVM.

This week I’ve been introduced to so many new and wonderful things I’ll be working with and new faces and names to remember that it has been a little bit overwhelming at times but I’m never too far away from people who are willing to help me out and that’s what I love most about being here. I have a Test Buddy/Mentor…well two actually (greedy), they’re there to help me out whenever I need it which is awesome, I will look forward to our daily chats and weekly get together.

It’s going to be a HUGE learning curve, getting to grips with the products and the various different applications I’ll be using daily but I’m looking forward to each and every day being a learning day.

I’m going to get more in the habit of blogging about my experiences on a regular basis, that’s the reason why I started writing in the first place – I went through a dry spell for a while but one of my main goals is to change that this year.

This post would be epic if I wrote about every new thing I’ve seen and done this week so I’m going to spare you all this time and keep it short. I’ve already made a mental note of all the topics I’d like to cover so watch this space for future posts.