Lean Coffee is a coffee brand that I like the most. It is time-boxed (usually 45 minutes) discussion, where facilitator times each session to five minutes. After that, participants vote using their thumb. Thumb up is for continuing with the topic, the horizontal thumb is for indecisive, and thumb down is for a switch to the next topic.
The usual group size is up to six participants. In my experience, this is an optimal size that enables each participant to contribute to the discussion. If the group decides to continue with the previous topic, time is extended for three minutes.
I found lean coffees ideal for breaking my introvert box. When the conversation has defined “rules of engagement,” it is easier to participate.
Lean Coffee starts with a five-minute session where participants put on post-its topics that would like to discuss. I learned from the facilitator Marianne Duijst how you should tear off the post-it to keep it flat when you stick it somewhere. Of course, somebody did the Youtube video about it 🙂
After five minutes, participants vote three votes on topics that would like to discuss. The only limit is a number of votes. The group starts with a topic with most votes.
We had time for two topics, Learn/Work Balance and Roles In Software Testing.
The problem was how to learn Ruby and Ruby On Rails. She is currently in a tester role, and for her, it is tough to find free time for learning. The advice was to first talk to her manager to get some working time for that. Next is to approach developers and ask them for a pairing session. After those sessions, try to find your free time to recap what was the topic of those sessions.
In Roles In Software Testing, we discuss how to advance as a software tester in the company. My opinion is that best thing about what you can do for your software testing career is to try to create a software testing tool.