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…

6 thoughts on “Relating military patrol planning and techniques to testing

  1. Jokin Aspiazu January 27, 2014 / 5:09 am

    Hi Danny, I can hear you.

    Software testing might be a new job, as old as coding development is, but I also think that we can learn a lot from older professions that have been around for centuries like doctors and soldiers.

    So yeah, you sure got learnings to share, and I will be one of the listeners, keep on!

    • dannydainton January 27, 2014 / 4:23 pm

      Thank you. Great response so far – really need to do it justice. Loads of ideas in my mind that I need to keep writing down.

  2. Stephen Hill January 29, 2014 / 9:07 am

    Great to see you getting started on blogging about this Danny! I’m looking forward to reading more over the next year. Oh and I need to get writing more too 😐

  3. Julian Saunders (@juliansaunders) October 1, 2014 / 12:15 pm

    This is a really cool idea. I look forward to seeing what comes out of the exercise and will be sharing with our testing team, or should I say testing patrol!?

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