It’s been an intense time for me recently.
My very fist testing conference abroad. My very first testing conference abroad with me as a speaker 🙂 And – again – speaking in English (which is obviously not my first language) in a country that I have never been before. Sounds exciting, isn’t it?
Where are we?
Bulgaria -> Sofia -> Hotel -> original conference rooms with sparkling crystal chandeliers(!!!!)
I was very looking forward to the conference and was not disappointed in the end. I have to admit, that the organizers did a really good job, both – speakers and attendees – felt comfortable and were provided with any necessary piece of information. Props for that!
Bulgarian coffee is really black and strong though – I don;t know how they prepare this …. anyway 🙂
The spot was tremendous – really.
You would probably like to know how it was. Let’s do pros and cons then.
- awesome tutorial sessions
- great mixture of ideas
- people from several countries discussing testing
- different point of views
For me, the most inspiring thing within the hole conference, was a tutorial session run by Maaret Pyhäjärvi – Exploratory testing explained and experienced. OMG – it was so good. I’ve learned much about teamwork and exploratory, that I’m about to start a revolution since Monday (prepare yourselves, team!).
At the beginning of the class people seemed shy, but after couple of exercises everybody got open and share their ideas about exploratory testing.
Maaret did a keynote session on the next day, which was inspiring as well. We’ve learned a lot about Making team awesome during that session. For example – how to improve your value for the organisation you’re working in – and for your team at the same time.
I’m really happy that I had an opportunity to meet her in person.
This two-days conference was fully packed with technical, agile and exploratory sessions. It is good to hear different approaches to the same problems.
I had a chance to speak as well. I think that my session – Yes, you need time for bug fixes -energized the audience and made them think more about scheduling their project time. We had a lot of fun (again) with my funny exercise, so I think it went well. Great energy, fantastic testers and nice comments / notes afterwards.
Could it be any better for a newbie on an international software conference?
Unfortunately, each software conference has it’s cons as well:
- too many sessions in a row
- too little time for questions/discussions and leisure
- time tracking 🙂
As I said in my session – Not to track time is a crime. It’s bad for the projects and for such events as software conference as well.
In my opinion – schedule of the conference (day 2 – sessions) was so filled with sessions, that it was hardly possible to even notice what’s next. There were no brakes between some of the sessions – so we ended up with delays or speakers getting upset about their session times. It was also tiring – at the end attendees felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of sessions.
It was inspiring
Having a chance to attend this event was extremely beneficial for me as a speaker and as a software tester. I find it very useful to talk to people from different countries – struggling the same problems as you do on their daily basis. It gives you an impression that software industry is nowadays a one living organism.
Additionally, it was also a unique opportunity to meet people that I know from Twitter in person. It was really fun!
I hope to meet at least some of you soon!