How do you make peer learning fun? Our attempt at this is the Unity Learning Framework.
We offer testers the possibility to serve as mentors for their peers in the team. A Mentor creates a Quest which offers takers the chance to learn a new skill, tool, trick or technique. The goal is to have a Master/Apprentice relationship with lots of direct feedback from the Mentor. A tester can be Mentor for multiple skills and a skill can have multiple Mentors. For different skills, the roles may switch so someone who is Mentor for one skill might be a student of another skill.
The skills are grouped into four categories: Product, Domain, Technical and Testing. We believe that these four categories of skills broadly speaking cover what it means to be a competent tester. To make this more fun, we have added a bunch of gamification. People earn points for completing a Quest based on its difficulty. Mentors earn points when people complete their Quests. The points can be cashed in for custom swag and we have leaderboards, achievements and other gaming tropes. We are building a portfolio of Quests within each of the four competence categories.
Not only does this give us a language with which to talk about tester skills. It is also useful for onboarding new employees as well as acting as a tool that can be used in personal development plans for current employees. Since the program spans the entire testing crafts group, people get to work together across development teams, offices and countries. Coaching/direct feedback of teaching is important for the Mentors. Not only because we believe it to be the best way of transferring skills, but also because it facilitates working together across offices and countries.