Free option for improving testing skills

You want to improve the skills of your testing team, but you don't have money in your budget. What can you do? Software testing expert Karen N. Johnson has an idea.

How can I improve the testing skills on my team without any funding?
Here's one idea: host interesting brown bag lunches. Ask everyone on your testing team to bring their own lunch and host biweekly lunches to talk about an aspect of testing. Plan the lunch theme in advance and invite your team to bring in articles, book citations, tools or techniques. Lead the effort, but don't be the only one to share content. Enthusiasm for the lunches will grow as the team understands the purpose and the value of the lunches.

Encourage people on your team to own a lunch by rotating host responsibilities. Once the process is established, you can invite other people in your company to join in, such as database administrators, developers, etc. They can attend as "guest speakers" and talk about relevant topics or join as participants to hear about different aspects of testing.
This was first published in February 2007

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