Friday, May 4, 2012

Mind Mapping

In my journey of always looking for more knowledge on Testing, I am taking a wonderful 5 week testing course from Ajay Balamurugadas, a very well-known Tester, trainer/coach, and author from India. If you've never heard of Ajay, get acquainted at his blog titled Enjoy Testing. Ajay is a pure teacher, a believer of passing on what he knows to others. 

We started the training this week, this merry band of a mix of experienced Testers to people just starting out.  I have to say, I've never been involved in a large Skype group discussion before.  It is fascinating watching everyone trying to ask questions and getting their ideas out there at the same time.  But the best part is watching Ajay trying to manage the craziness!  He has a gentle hand that keeps the group going and in check.

This week we're mostly focusing on mind mapping.  I've done some mind mapping before, but I'm quite fascinated in becoming more of an expert in, so the timing is perfect!  Ajay had us download FreeMind, a free mind mapping tool.  I find myself taking to mind mapping quite nicely because I am very visual.  I am known with co-workers for drawing out my "blobs" on large pieces of paper as I'm trying to figure out how something works, the flow, and how things are tied together.  So mind mapping is perfect for me. 

Ajay had us go to two websites, and  We each had to look at the website and create a high-level mind map.  It was not only an opportunity to learn more about mind mapping but a great way to start learning to use a mind mapping tool.  In today's discussion, Ajay said something I found very valuable.  Since I can be a bit anal (but in a good way!) and very detailed, I could see myself going overboard and making my mind maps too detailed, too complicated....too much.  More is NOT always better.  Here is an example Ajay gave us.  Let’s say you have ten features to test on several browsers.  Instead of making a node for each features (on the right) with the same browser child nodes for each, you could have one node for browsers.  Everyone will have their own preference, but it’s good for me to see possibly a different way than what I would have done.
A few of the things Ajay talked about to the group this week about mind mapping is breaking down requirements, test strategy/ideas, test cases, etc.  We will be delving into these in more detail in the coming weeks.  I am definitely looking forward to the next lessons to see what Ajay has up his sleeves!  Below are my two mind maps for and  I’m putting these out here because I will be curious to see how they evolve the more skilled I become!

1 comment:

  1. “It was not only an opportunity to learn more about mind mapping but a great way to start learning to use a mind mapping tool.” Test software not only for you, but also for other users who can use and/or give some tips and ideas from. Anyway, mind mapping helps us to brainstorm for ideas and solutions, by narrowing down one giant concept into a singular exact idea, or multiple concepts into one main idea by incorporating different concepts into the whole.

    Alexandra Gale