TestingCup 2019 – my biased summary

The best gift ever!

Last two days I’ve spent on a Polish testing championship and conference – TestingCup 2019 in Poznań. This event is one of it’s kind and gathers a lot of testing enthusiasts, who take part in the competition to prove themselves and be announced the Testing Champion. I took part in the competionion in 2016 as a member of a fantastic team, so I still remenber the pressure and emotions connected with the competition and results announcement. It was an amazing event for me.

I’m selfish, so about me at the beginning

Surprisingly, this year I was offered to be a keynote speaker on the conference. I had never been a keynote before, so I was extremely insecure and hesitated a bit if the opportunity is for me. Nevertheless, I took the challenge, and since January I was preparing myself to give THE presentation.

I was terrified by the size of the room

I was not alone, I got strong support and mentoring from this year’s TestingCup program chairman – James Lyndsay – who was a receiver of my moaning that I was gonna faint on the stage or just run away. Thank you James for being there for me. 🙂

I felt a huge pressure and expectations. “This is a keynote speaker”. It was not helping, but still we are the hardest judges for ourselves. Fortunately, I had a group of supporting people around me, something that is unique for the Polish testing community. I received a lot of support and friendly cheering, from people who know me for some time and from the testers, I’ve just met during the conference.

In the end, I did not faint, I was talking in the room filled with people and just few of them left during my presentation or were dramatically jawing 🙂 Some of them could even have fun during the talk, I guess 🙂

What about the conference?

460 people. This many participants, can you believe it? Most of them took part in the competition! Kudos to you guys, great job – not only for this year winners – DirectPL Continuation and Jakub Konieczka. One of the Capgemini teams – with a graceful name die Plausibilisierungen (#Capgemini #GermanForLife) :D:D:D – got their own victory as well! I am so proud of my folks!

It is not surprising, that most of the people go to TestingCup just for the competition – not the conference. It was visible during the talks. Rooms were not filled with people, who preferred to chill after the bug hunting, not to listen. On the other hand, some of the talks were great and worth mentioning, especially that they were given with hard technical conditions – e.g. with broken projectors and not working microphones 🙂

I’ve found people who found bugs

One of my favorite, and assuming basing on rating in the conference’s application, one of the best during the conference, was “House made of glass – how to live in the IoT era of wiretapping” by Marcin Sikorski. The subject is great and there is a lot to say about our reality filled with IoT devices. Marcin is also very passionate speaker, so it was a pleasure to be there and listen.

Conference speaker in his natural environment

We had also a privilege to hear a keynote talk by Maaret Pyhäjärvi – “Testing in the intersection between Automation and Exploration”. We’ve learned that exploratory testing is not only a part of manual testing, but could be a must in test automation as well. It is always great to listen to Maaret, her incredible knowledge and experience in software testing is something unique.

Maaret on the stage

I need to mention unexpected keynote presentation at the end of day 1 – “Improv(e) your testing” by Piotr Gasik and Agnieszka Matan. OMG it was great. We – the audience – felt like little children and had a lot of fun. It was a fantastic idea to invite people, who have nothing to do with testing and who just can cheer you up and improve your communication skills during just one talk. Amazing and inspiring.

Piotr Gasik on the stage

Less Waste

My talk was about zero waste in software testing. I am really concerned about how do people destroy our planet. I need to say kudos to the organizers, because there was no plastic during coffee brakes. There were bins for waste segregation and there was vegan food available. It is still not so obvious at various events I am taking part in, so I do really appreciate it.

Summary

I do realize that my summary is biased and written not from the perspective of competition participant. I’ve heard some rumors that the requirements were too hard and the organisation was not perfect, but still I think that TestingCup is a unique event and I think that every tester should try at least once take pert in the competition and fill it.

Please do share your experiences in the comment section below or stalk me on Twitter @KingaTest

Advertisements

Why you should always record your demo sessions

@KingaTest

Some time ago I had a pleasure to work with two brilliant teams as a Product Owner. The entire company was working on one product, so every team and the entire business was about to achieve a common goal.

Our cooperation was great, despite the fact that most of our business was working in different time zones.

It was quite a painful fact, because, the “common” time for demo sessions was outside everybody’s working hours – too late for us in Poland and way too early for the business. Everybody in the team were eager to present their fantastic work once per sprint, but at the same time the time was an obstacle.

It helped us came across a great and simple solution for demo sessions – recording. The tool was not so important, but we’ve been using Zoom meetings, if you’re interested.

How did it work?

We met at a certain hour, convenient for the team and did a proper session. If anyone from the business side was determined enough to take part – he could. If no one attended – the recording was sent to everyone interested. After that – we’ve gathered questions and comments after the session and explained them during the next session or during regular chats if they were straight-forward. It felt at bit awkward at the beginning, but after a few sessions both – the team and the business got used to it and felt comfortable with the solution.

https://www.zastavki.com/pictures/originals/2015/Animals___Cats_Cat_playing_with_a_camera_097377_.jpg

Of course, I, as a Product Owner, have been meeting the business anyway, so I was able to act as a middleware, if necessary 🙂

Additional benefits

There is more in the story apart from just recordings for the business. We’ve also archived all our demo sessions in Confluence to enable everybody to have access to it. Business, other teams, management and we were able to watch our recordings and learn from it.

Guess what? it started to work not only as a tool for demo and archive but also as training material for other interested parties – customers, support team, developers and testers. It was also fantastic for the new team members, as a base of their knowledge about the project and the product. This is great because our initial frustration was transformed into a valuable tool.

Since then I recommend everybody to record their demo sessions as the artefact they can be proud of. It might be not only evidence of their hard sprint work but also very beneficial for the entire organisation and yourself in the future.

Do you have any good experiences with recording your demo sessions?