Software Testing Lean Coffee @ John Harvard's, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

This is a past event

8 people went

John Harvard's Brew House

33 Dunster St. · Cambridge, MA

How to find us

T.J. Maher is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. He will be waiting in The Garage Food Court, Lower Level from 6:00 pm to 6:20 pm sitting at a table with a red MEETUP table tent.

Location image of event venue


Have you ever attended an Agile End-of-Sprint Retrospective?

My favorite part of the Agile Software Development ( methodology is the End-Of-Sprint Retrospective ( Every two weeks, the software development team gets to come together as a whole and reflect on just how much they accomplished. During the meeting, they discuss what went well, what didn't go well, what the team needs to work on.

• Each Participant writes down on Post-It Notes topics they want to discuss.

• After grouping up similar topics, each person votes on which topics they want to discuss. Each participant gets two votes to spend.

• "Timebox" how long you want to spend on a topic. Five minutes? Ten minutes?

• Time's up? Revote to add more time or jump to the next topic.

What If We Modeled Dinner Discussions on an Agile End-of-Sprint Retrospective?

If we did that, it would be called a "Lean Coffee".

"Lean Coffee started in Seattle in 2009. Jim Benson ( and Jeremy Lightsmith ( wanted to start a group that would discuss Lean techniques in knowledge work – but didn’t want to start a whole new cumbersome organization with steering committees, speakers, and such. They wanted a group that did not rely on anything other than people showing up and wanting to learn or create". - LeanCoffee.Org (

"The Lean Coffee format is both easy to follow and effective at facilitating learning and collaboration through group discussions. Although the name combines ‘Lean’ (eg. Lean Thinking, Lean Startup, etc.) and ‘Coffee’ (implying casual morning sessions), neither the topics nor the meeting times need be so rigid. For instance, I’ve attended Lean Coffee meetups held in mornings, afternoons and evenings. You can gather at a local coffee house, a pub or at your office. Most successful Lean Coffee groups maintain a reliable cadence, meeting at the same time and place each week or two". - (

The Ministry of Testing - London Meetup has been running events like this for a while. I wanted to try it here to see how it would work.

How to RSVP:

The Ministry of Testing - Boston Meetup has reserved an actual round table for this round-table discussion.

Unfortunately, the table at John Harvard's pub in Harvard Square only fits fifteen people. If you RSVP "Yes", and you find out that you can't make it, please change your reservation.

A wait list will be provided.

Where to Meet:

T.J. Maher will be next door to John Harvard's in The Garage from 6:00 pm to 6:20 pm if people wanted to gather early. We can head next door at 6:20 pm to see if the table is ready.

T.J. is five-foot seven with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and will be sitting in the food court on the lower level. There will be a red MEETUP table tent next to him, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag.

With such a large group, please try to bring cash to settle up the bill.

About John Harvard's:

John Harvard's is a brew pub, brewing their own beer, such as Brattle Blonde, Dunster Pale Ale, Imperial Stout, Be Hoppy, etc. You can see other beers they have listed on their website.


Dinner Menu:

With such a large group, please try to bring cash to settle up the bill.

About the Event:

T.J. will bring Post-It Notes and Sharpies for people to use.

• We can pick discussion topics -- loosely related to software testing or quality assurance -- while looking at menus.

• After reviewing the topics, grouping up similar ones in a "To Be Discussed" pile, we can vote on which we want to discuss. Each person can vote twice! Either twice on the same topic, or once on two separate topics.

• How long does the group want to talk about the topic? Five minutes? Ten? We can go around the table to casually compare and contrast different viewpoints about the topic. The Post-It Note is in the "Discussing" pile.

• Time's up? Do want to still talk about the topic? Extend it another five or ten minutes. If not, retire the topic in the "Topic Discussed" pile, and on to the next topic!