Plans For Valentines Day

Today is my happy day! In autumn as we at trendig planed our activities for 2019, I shared list of conferences I want to attend. We are pretty diverse team with diverse interests, but us much as it is possible company supports our personal development. Most of events I plan to attend as a speaker, but there is one where I will be on receiving not sending side. It is European Testing Conference. I find keynote lineup very interesting, I love technical talks and I think it great idea to run the same workshop twice! Just look to this schedule – very inspiring!

Today is my happy day because I do planing around it. Flights, hotels and so on. I usually take my vacation together with my family. It is our quality time. This year I decided to have some quality time with myself, so I will fly few days before the conference and do some sightseeing. I always wanted to visit Spain, but somehow it never happened.

Another positive thing about ETC – that will be first time when whole SpeakEasy team will come together. Cannot wait!

#TestBash Germany – #PayItForward

Ich bin sehr stolz darauf zu sehen, wie meine Idee “Lass uns die Testbash nach Deutschland bringen” Wirklichkeit geworden ist. Diese Idee hätte ich niemals alleine umsetzen können. Erstmal Rosie hat mir ihr Vertrauen geschenkt, dann Patrick. Vielmehr haben Patrick und ich ein super Team bestehend aus Marcel, Vera und Daniel, die wie ein eingetaktetes Uhrwerk funktionieren. Das Gefühl mit dem Team zusammenzuarbeiten ist wunderschön!

Ministry Of Testing und TestBash haben einen besonderen Platz in meinem Herzen. Ich habe besondere Leute kennen gelernt und mich als Tester weiterentwickelt. Eine Lernkurve ist abgeschlossen. Aus diesem Grund habe ich ein TestBash München Ticket gekauft und suche nun jemanden der das Ticket geschenkt haben möchte. Es ist mein Weg von PayItForward und jeder ist eingeladen das zu nutzen.
Ich möchte jemandem die Möglichkeit geben in einem Raum voll mit lernhungrigen Testern zu stehen und das Beste für sich mitzunehmen. Sich über Testing Themen auszutauschen und ein Gefühl für die tolle Testing Community zu bekommen.
Wie kommst du an das Ticket?
Hier sind die Regeln:

Schreib mir einfach bis 24.9.2017 auf testretreat@gmail.com warum gerade Du das Ticket haben sollst.
Das ist die einzige Regel, es spielt dabei keine Rolle ob du Erfahrung im Testing, Support, Entwicklung oder Hauskeeping hast oder wie dein Jobtitel ist. Ich möchte nur sicherstellen, dass auch der oder die Richtige das Ticket bekommt und es auch einen Nutzen hat.

Find Courage – A #TestBash Story

tb_utrecht

On January I was on a trip to the Netherlands. I had an honour to support Rosie and Huib – people, who made another incredible Test Bash event.

I had much, much fun to run registration both days. I love to see new faces, to see the expectations in their eyes, I love to be the first one who meets, greets and guides them into TestBash world. I am kind of staying in the gates to the new knowledge and encouraging people to come forward. I met a lot of new people, had very interesting discussions and good laugh. But let’s start from the beginning.

Meet-Ups

In good old TestBash tradition there were a pre-TB event and pre-pre-TB event, a game night!

If you do not know what is TestBash meetup, then imagine crazy loud tester gatherings in some local bar, where over a drink you have a chance to have a word with a speaker or another cool testing personality. Sooner or later you will realise that all TestBash talks are keynotes and all testers who attend TestBashes are really cool testing personalities. Even yourself! Another very cool thing about TestBash meet-up is, that if you are in the area and can not make to attend the conference, you still have a chance to meet the test people.

Workshop day

Huib picked some very good workshops for the first TestBash Utrecht conference. I heard only good or excellent references.

After registration was done (and it took some time…) I participate in the afternoon workshop about exploratory testing by Jean-Paul. As a person, I am quite impulsive, but since I live in Germany and work as a tester, I work really hard to make me more organised to not to fall out too much. That is why I was expecting to get some practical tools how to do my exploratory testing. And I got them. Thank you, Jean-Paul!

Besides that, Jean-Paul gave me permission to think. This was so unusual, I am too much used to deliver, that I forget how it is to take a time and think. Explore slowly, for example, the room where you are sitting. In fact, everything in the workshop was a little bit like Zen. We tested applications, wrote test cases, documented our findings and let them go. No one wanted to know what exactly we found, what we thought. Very confusing and in the same time healing, because the process was the thing, not the result. Inspired by all that, in February I run my very first exploratory testing mini workshop.

img_20170126_180336

The day ended up with setting registration area and desks with swag. We learned from mistakes and rearranged place that people move faster to the rooms and do not stay in cold. It worked out good and in the next day there was no jam.

The conference day

My day started after 5 am. Very first thing was to move the car. Then I headed to the old church – TestBash Utrecht location. Punctuality is not my thing, that is why for important stuff I work hard to break my habits. As the result I was the very first one, the church was locked, no lights to see, freezing cold. Ha ha, next time I will take it easier on myself.

The conference started with Alans talk about misuse and fun, which unfortunately I did not hear it in Utrecht because people were coming in late for registration. Luckily my boss got for us Dojo access, talks are now uploaded and available for watching. Jipī!

The second highlight of the conference for me was Gitte talk about courage to be yourself. I met Gitte shortly during ATD and she heard pieces of my trust talk, we share similar values and some of experiences as well. I was thrilled to hear her talk. I can imagine that some felt uncomfortable and some could think that it is not a proper talk in tech conference. But it is proper and it is important! It is the blessing that we have people among us, who dare to remind us – we are humans, we are different and it is OK.

All other speakers were amazing too, but I will highlight only one more – Mary. Her talk about “Just enough security” had huge amount of information and I will rewatch it on Dojo to make some notes. Mary, you gave me the push to participate in #30daysofsecuritytesting. Thank you!

I like to talk to speakers after their presentations and take photos of them. The atmosphere of sharing is amazing!

I also like to take group photo of all lady speakers to show role models and inspire more women submit their stories, but in Utrecht they were too many to organise in one photo. Good job, Huib!

99 sec talks

Another tradition of TestBash is 99sec talks. Never participate? You should! That was first stage experience for several presenters, me including. The idea is to give a 99 seconds long (short) talk about testing related subject. As I first stand on the TestBash Brighton stage, I was surprised that the lights are not so bright as they seem to be and I could see all attendees. Before that, in my imagination, I thought it will be like a crowd of wolfs starring on me from the darkness. But instead of that I saw bunch of friendly faces, some carefully listening, other checking or typing something in their digital devices.

Utrecht

Usually, I do not have a lot of time to see a place where a conference is happening. This time I came by car and had no time pressure for leaving.

At the end…

In few days TestBash Brighton will start. If you are going – I wish you joyful learning journey! If you just got to know about TestBashes – I guess there are still some tickets left – invest in your future, you can afford it yourself, if your boss does not see value in sending you to the conference. I fund most of my activities myself and look where it brought me!

Women In Agile

atd_womenleancoffee

Agile testing days organized this year something new: “Women in Agile Summit”. Great idea, difficult subject, wrong conference day – night after the conference has been closed. Not enough public information that without men, discussions are meaningless. And in fact, the person, who closed the conference, forgot to mention the upcoming event!

I arrived late but brought seven men with me. They had a hard time between choosing to drink a beer and guiding me to something-with-women-thingy. All of them chose to be brave and face the difficult topic. Bravo! But it is getting better – as we started our lean coffee session we got another member. We collected our topics, voted and as we just started our discussions, time was suddenly up and all teams were asked to present their results. So we did not really have a chance to discuss our topics as a team, but to our surprise, we got unexpected feedback to our presentation:

  • first of all because of men: women ratio in the team
  • gender of the person, who presented the team results
  • discussion topic “beer bet”
  • usage of the word “female”

No matter that the conference was extremely friendly and Maaret as Women-In-Agile facilitator was very inviting, the atmosphere was intense and spiky. Yes, we were late and yes, we did not have a lot of time, but as I talked to Garreth afterwards, we both had a feeling that no matter what would our team present, we would do it “wrong”. Even during open discussion about women role in tech, we still try to mould participants in old stereotypes.

Before I continue to share my personal views about this difficult topic, I need to share some background facts:

  • I am a woman
  • companies where I worked and work, male are a majority. In two companies I was the only woman with ratio 1:15 and 1:50.
  • the most terrible thing what can happen to a woman in tech, that she is invited/promoted because of her gender, not because of ideas she present

For example, my personal aim for this year was to become a testing conference speaker. I accomplished it with the talks at Belgium Testing days and Agile testing days – both are women friendly conferences. I am very proud of myself, but in the same time, because I know about women-in-tech-promotions I cannot be sure that I got my chances because of my stories or because of my gender. My hope is that time will show what is what. But for now, for 2017 I set another aim – to talk in non-testing conferences. Till now – only rejections.

The thing about diversity is the same with excess weight, you close the eyes and hope that one day it will disappear just like that, without any effort. But deep inside you know that if you want a real change, you will have to work hard and disciplined. And it will take some time until first results become visible.

Conferences are mostly organized by men and mostly men are invited to present. They speak in one language and have a similar set of values. But men are not only one to blame. Women need to lean in more and not get scared by the first decline. I know what I am talking, I heard a lot of NO’s. But the only way how to keep going is to keep going.

This is my pattern how I do it:

  1. do not wait for permission
  2. do not think what others will think of you/your work
  3. do not give up

Some of the companies, where I worked, had no-feedback-is-good-feedback policy, in other rules of procedures. In both of the cases you can get old while waiting for permission to work on something. So I started the following pattern: inform the manager about solutions or ideas and if there is no immediate feedback, like “NO, DO NOT DO IT!”, then I proceed with implementation. With a time I learned that that was exactly what was expected from me after informal part. No feedback is approval!

Other two things mostly are supporting the first one. To imagine what others will think about my actions takes too much time and energy. Time and energy which I need to proceed with my aims. Reduce the waste, get rid of everything what is holding you back. And just keep doing what you love to do.

At the end, dear men, do some fact checking from your past and present and recall when did you last time thank or praise your women colleagues for a good job?

Special Announcement

testbash-germany-adverts-05-1

My dear friends,

Today I’m announcing something I’ve worked on for almost a year – we are bringing TestBash to Germany!

I hope you share my excitement and will consider participating in the event as either an attendee or as a speaker. If you have any questions or suggestions for myself or Patrick we would love to hear it!

 ~~~

Meine Kollegen und Freunde,

Heute ich habe eine ganz besondere Nachricht für euch: Patrick und ich – wir haben fleißig gearbeitet mit dem Ziel die einzigartige TestBash Konferenz nach Deutschland zu bringen.

Jetzt ist es so weit – am 6. Oktober 2017 in München werden wir die allererste TestBash Germany feiern! Bitte nehmt das in euren Kalender und Jahresplanung auf und ich hoffe euch persönlich begrüßen zu dürfen als Besucher oder vielleicht auch Redner.

Für Fragen stehen Patrick und ich sehr gern zur Verfügung.

Link to official MOT announcement

Pay It Forward

I am currently working on my Agile Testing Days talk, organizing MeetUp event to celebrate one year of Test Paradise and another bigger testing event which we will announce very, very soon. In the same time, my little daughter and myself got cold and had to stay in beds. We were watching a lot of Frozen.

Elsa in Let it go sings following lyrics:

“And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.”

Is she singing about boundary testing?!

Albert Einstein Elsa of Arendelle

 

Why am I writing about children’s cartoon? Because I like the idea about gaining confidence and it makes sense together with one of my current read – Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun. To acknowledge consequences and be yourself. It is scary to stand in front of people and be some kind of an expert, even if only in your story, in one particular situation. Much safer it is to stay quiet in the crowd, that no one gets an idea to question your expertise. 

I know that because I was quiet myself for a long time. I felt very inexperienced, no matter what I learned or delivered. So why I finally left my fears behind and dare to step up? Did I suddenly become an expert? No. Really no. I know there is too much out there what I still do not know. I am on my way and now I know that my stories can help those who are just starting. Or as Albert Einstein put it together:

“Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

Belgium Testing Days 2016

Kristine at BTDconf
I am back in paradise from Belgium Testing days 2016, time to write down my impressions.

I was for a first time in Brussels, so I was very happy that part of speaker dinner event was guided tour in the city. We had the very best guide and I learned a lot of interesting facts about Belgium, Brussels and people who live there. Big surprise was people – young couples, mother with children, tourists – everywhere in the old town sitting on the ground and having their desserts. Other thing – police – it is everywhere and guns are very present. I witnessed arrest of two guys. It is very stupid to make jokes with police these days. If at the beginning it was alarming to see so many armed people in the streets, than afterwards I felt guarded.

If I would need to express my impressions about BTD2016 in one word it would be DIVERSITY. And by that I do not mean only gender diversity, but age as well. During open sessions and lean coffees at the conference we talked a lot about testers career – patterns and anti-patterns. Many of us have noticed that oft promising testers leave the field. One thing that testing as profession is not an easy one and in the same time testing is missing challenging path. At the conference was several “seniors” with 5 and “lead” with 3 years of experience. To take myself as an example – since 8 years I work as software tester and last few month I keep asking myself – what’s next? I have at least 30 working years waiting for me to fulfil, the question is – with what? So for me Isabel Evans lightning talk “I was so much older then…” was like a balsam and wake up call in the same time.

My talk “quality mini sessions for stakeholders” went well. I got valuable feedback from attendees and have several ideas how to improve my talk. I got a lot of questions to answer and inspired Debbie to make her lightning talk. To those who currently work on their first presentations – I was prepared to many things, but not for broken air conditioning… but we all survived :) and I will buy my own clicker! Thanks Mark for suggestions.

It was real pleasure to meet known faces and learn new ones. Thank you for sharing and till next time!

Imagine A Conference

Imagine a conference. What do you see? Expensive hotel… companies with big names… people, who all pretend to be extremely successfully… small talks about titles and budgets? Yes, there are many conferences of this kind. Test Bash is different. Test Bash is all about people, about testers, gate keepers, working in pairs or solo, trying to understand customer needs and to build the right thing. Being human and accepting ignorance. Working with smart algorithms, web applications, or taking care of security tests. Manual or automation. Everyone is welcomed!

This is a place where you can stand on the stage and share your story how you failed… and audience will understand you and support. Because we all failed once. No need to pretend. Together we are stronger!

You don’t believe me that such conference is possible? Only chance to verify it – buy a ticket to the next Test Bash conference and see it yourself!

Note 1: Wanz is a software tester. Cool, right?!

Note 2: I cried in the conference. I heard stories similar mine. I was not alone any more.

TestBash – I am finally coming!

This week is TestBash week. I know about the conference since its beginning, but until now did not managed to go there. This year is different! I bought the ticket as present to my birthday, company where I work offered to pay hotel and travel expenses. So here I am – with empty suitcase and head full of thoughts and heart full of expectations.

My TestBash schedule looks like this:

Wednesday

  1. arrival in Brighton
  2. Pre-Pre-TestBash Meetup – Games with Michael Bolton and John Stevenson

Thursday

  1. Workshop1: Testing the Bigger Picture – System Architectures by Ash Winter
  2. Workshop2: You Love Load Testing? So, what’s next? by Mark Tomlinson
  3. Pre-TestBash Brighton Meetup

Friday

  1. Lean Coffee at Testbash
  2. TestBash Conference

Saturday

  1. Post-Testbash Coffee Morning/Brunch/Breakfast
  2. leaving Brighton

I installed slack and twitter on my android. Will try to reflect for my dear colleagues. Let’s see how I will do it :)

Blog post from another TestBash newbie.

Where Are We Going?

Some use Twitter to keep up with latest news, I like to read newsletters. Already long time ago I subscribed to several local testing & co newsletters. Here are two conference posts who made me think lately. Is this where we are heading?

The first conference is/was Swiss Requirements Day.

It was huge surprise to receive the last newsletter with subject “Rest in Peace Swiss Requirements Day” with the message:

“Dear Swiss Requirements Community
In acknowledgement of the changing environment, the Swiss Requirements Day lays itself to rest.
Digitalisation marches swiftly on; delivery times are getting shorter and shorter; agile is on everyone’s mind. There is no time for a thorough analysis and documentation of requirements. Or is there? What preparatory activities are needed before coding can begin?
Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, UX, Business Analysis, Systems Engineering and yes, also Requirements Engineering, are central elements.
Against this changing backdrop, we say goodbye to Swiss Requirements Day and proudly welcome its successor, the Upfront Thinking conference.”

OK, they are kind of closing one and opening another conference… if it would be just a change of name, than why so alarming sentence: “There is no time for a thorough analysis and documentation of requirements.”? Is this agile? Do we really want to have software which is made without thorough analysis?

The second conference is Topconf Linz 2016, will be held on February 1-3, 2016.  If you wonder what is Topconf – here is what they say about themself:

“Topconf Software Conferences are premier international software conference designed for Developers, Product owners / managers, Architects, Project Managers, Methods- and Process-Experts.
Our speakers are authors, experts and practitioners across various areas of software development.”

I find it quite interesting – various areas of software development and all kind of job titles but nothing related to testing.

Any way – my attention got something else – Talk by Louise Elliott Punishment Driven Development. She got me! I really want to go to the conference and to see how she will put that all together – punishment, guilt and agile. Interesting that this talk is on New Ways To Manage track.