TestBash Home: How Your Feedback Helped!
19th May 2021

Put the kettle on, we're coming over! 17-18 June 2021

If you’ve submitted an abstract to the Ministry of Testing before and been unsuccessful, you’ll know that we give everyone the opportunity to request feedback as to why their abstract was unsuccessful.

Giving feedback can be difficult at the best of times. We’re always looking for the positive points in each abstract and to highlight where the improvements can be made, to improve your chances of making it onto the stage next time! With the value of feedback so high, we had to find a better way to share.

For TestBash Brighton 2019, we had 54 feedback requests from 203 unsuccessful submissions.  Each feedback write up used to take me 2-5 hours depending on the number of community reviews each abstract had received. If the community had added comments, I added those in too.

So 54 requests at 2-3 hours per request, I was looking at 108-162 hours of work just to send the feedback out, plus any follow-up emails. This just wasn't sustainable so something had to improve.

In hindsight it's easy to see that typing up comments and adding our own into a feedback email – multiple times – wasn't the best use of our time. So how about we just let the abstract owner instantly see anonymous feedback?

With some magic from our development team, this faster feedback is now a reality! So, as soon as a reviewer clicks “Submit” on the review page, the abstract owner can log in, click “Account” and “Proposals” and see the comments that were submitted.

Now we can focus on adding our own anonymous comments to abstracts along with tips on how to improve.

Thank you for adding comments when you review an abstract. It makes all the difference to the author. And thank you to everyone who took the time to talk to us about the feedback review process and how it could be improved.

- Heather Reid CommunityBoss @ Ministry of Testing