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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.

Thoughts On Tester’s Hierarchy Of Needs

2016-07-03_22h44_01

Since I saw TestBash talk “A Tester’s Hierarchy of Needs” by Stephen Janaway, I cannot forget it. I think it is a great tool to look at testing and career in it differently. Locate where you or your team are and what the next steps should be. Which parts are missing in your pyramid?

In testing we think that many of stuff, what we do is logical and common sense. But as years pass, I start to think that may be it is not so logical and self-explaining for people who work in IT, but does not focus on testing and quality, like I do.

We discussed pyramid in the team and brainstormed ideas how to reach the next level as a team. Our first idea is to make testing more transparent in the company. We start with explaining what we do, how we do and why we do. My second activity is to build the trust. It’s about people, not a software. So, it is logical to pay some attention to people with whom I work together.

It’s only week since there, but it is looking good so far.

Off-line readings on related subjects:

  • Management 3.0 Workout by Jurgen Appelo
  • The year without pants by Scott Berkun

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