As a swimming trainer I was taught that I reach some of my students with some exercises, some of my students with some tactile impulses while some others need to be taught the model by showing them my movements. Keeping in mind that “correct” is an interpretation from some human, I don’t think there is one and only one correct path to teach anyone anything. People vary in their ways of getting the hook on something.
That said I don’t believe in the single solution of a training model. I believe that we need multiple ways in our toolset to teach people what we’re actually doing. People perceive some of the lessons we teach them by one or more of the following:
- formal training classes
- reading a book
- failure on the job
- failure in some save environment like a training session
- watching an experienced professional doing some work
- (positive) on-the-job experience
Though we don’t make much use of tactile experiences in the software world as I may need as a swimming trainer, there are multiple facets of learning. Based on cultural aspects and diverse background from people there is multiple responsiveness to certain aspect on software development education. This also holds from my perspective for software testers – and I believe for nearly all jobs.
Over the course of this year I got to learn about Coding Dojos. The arrangement there is to have people from the audience brought in to some time-boxed hands-on experience in a save environment. The second aspect is watching two experienced developers developing code. This arrangement sets up people for various learning facets. The more ways we try to set up the learning, the broader our learning audience will be.
The interesting part here is that people can gain experience while they are work. They can be taught what they may need tomorrow. Since the learning is based on a broad set of tools enabling learning, we make sure to include more people – more people that may need more diverse techniques for learning. The concept behind Coding Dojos is very impressive, and it works.
The question that struck me nearly all year is, “May we use this idea also for training testers?” For quite some time I knew there is some way, but I didn’t know my model about. Then something happened that made it very clear for me. More on this in the next blog entry in this series on learning and education.