At the beginning of March Matt Wynne and I ran another very enjoyable 3-day BDD Kickstart course in Edinburgh. The course was hosted in the Edinburgh Training and Conference Centre in the heart of the old town which, despite its historical location, is a thoroughly modern venue.

There’s a lot to cover in the three days, so we’re careful to ensure that everyone remains suitably snacked and caffeinated throughout the day. And when you’re learning intensively it’s crucial to move around and take regular breaks, so we  decided not to have lunch inside the training venue, but at local restaurants. Forcing everyone to go outside at lunchtime was a bit risky because the weather in Edinburgh has been particularly aggressive this year, but we all survived unscathed.

BDDKickstart Heatmap

All 7 delegates enrolled for the full course (rather than opting for the 1-day BDD Fundamentals or 2-day BDD Applied modules). This gave us plenty of opportunity to get to know each other, especially since we regularly swapped teams and pairs while working through the practical exercises. Having both Matt and I there for the training also meant that there was plenty of time to focus on the specific questions and concerns of each delegate.

Both Matt and I live in Scotland, so the original motivation to run BDD Kickstart in Edinburgh was to try and make it more practical for local practitioners to attend. It surprised us that most delegates weren’t from Edinburgh, or even Scotland. Three flew up from the south coast of England, two came from north-east England, and one was from Canada (though he didn’t fly over just for the course). We also had a great mix of disciplines with testers, developers and project managers all represented on the course.

To track how effective the course is we got the delegates to self-certify their level of BDD confidence at the beginning and end of the course. They choose a score between 0 and 100, where 0 means you know nothing about BDD and 100 means you could teach the course yourself. At the beginning of the course the average score was 50, rising to 70 at the end of the first day (BDD Fundamentals) and 90 by the end of the third day (see picture). So, it certainly sounds like the delegates were getting the information that they needed.

Other feedback we got:

  • “Great fun!”
  • “Group working and discussion worked well”
  • “I learnt a lot from pairing with other people”
  • “The show and tells were surprisingly informative”
  • “It was nice to have testers and developers treated equally for a change”
  • “The course needs to be longer”

If you’re thinking about learning or improving your application of BDD, then why not book yourself onto BDD Kicksart London, running 22-24 May.