Wednesday 6 November 2013

QA & Test Conference Bilbao 2013

I went to the QA & Test conference in Bilbao and would like to share my debriefing.

Things that went well.

Met Pradeep, but I won't tell that story again.

Had a great conversation with Derk-Jan de Grood about how to get to international testing conferences, with some small tips for whose I am thankful.

Met Mauri Edo. I am a follower of this fellow tester since some time, and it was really nice to share some talks with him as well as Tony Robles, Luis Miguel Perez, Morten Hougaard and some other great people that attended this conference.

Things that I should do better.

Study the conference brochure, talks and talkers. I woke up, got a tube, flew a plane, a short ride, a cup of coffee and I got to the conference hall, and I realized that the tutorials had already begun, and I had to choose where to go and also, whenever you go to a conference with more than one thing happening at the same time, you need to have a plan BEFORE you choose, or you might feel stupid, as it happened to me. 

As for the talks, try to find some problem that you might have that could be addressed on the talk, be selective and remember to mark at what time and where the talk starts. I lost the beginning of Mauri Edo's talk because of my bad planning.

When looking for talkers, check if they blog, if they tweet and read a bit about what they write about, maybe you find some common topic that could come out if some conversation happens.

Things that I should not do again.

Go without contact cards. Kyungsoo Yang, who came all the way from Korea, was so kind to give me his contact card and I found myself without being able to respond with my own. Somewhere there was an blog post about this, I knew about it, so I knew it could happen, so its time to do something about that.

Three things I got out from the conference.

QA&Test is a nice little conference, where skilful and passionate testers have a opportunity to gather in such a nice city as Bilbao is. Also, sponsors don't have any speaking track, so you don't have this feeling about some marketing dude selling his motorcycle.

Involve in the business. I knew that our product is the sum of the code and the settings, and testing the code is quite what I do, but then there is another layer, how things are set up in production, and I think this is as important to test as many questions about the business might arise from a careful observation. Assisting to some talks confirmed to me this point so now I know I have a path to improve over there.

If you like conferences, submit a proposal for a talk. Because it is a cheap way to go to conferences, and a nice way to share your experience, so simple, so easy.

People to follow on twitter, At the end, I got a bunch of new people to follow, some I had conversations with, some I wish I had time for having some conversations, but hey, time is a limited resource.

I also got some nice pictures that I've shared over here.

Uh, that counts more than three, I guess I got more out of this conference than I expected :)

Saturday 2 November 2013

How I met Pradeep Soundararajan

When my friend +Tirtharaja Dasa and I started testing software, back in 2008, we started by doing what the previous two testers did before us. But since they got fired ( yeah, the same day we became testers ) we soon realized that we needed to do better... if we wanted to keep the job.

So we started researching what software testing was about and at some point we got to Alan Page and James Whittaker, who lead us to Cem Kaner, and then to James Bach and Michael Bolton.
We purchased and read books written by all of them, mainly because our company did have a budget for books and a pool of time to read those books, you know, it was like the Google 20% time, just in another context.

And then, we got to this blog, testertested and started reading the posts, of a tester from somewhere in India, who not only did talk about testing, but he also was telling 'Hey, if I can do this, it only means that you can do this too!". I remember spending nights reading back his posts, looking one more article just before I go to bed.

He was explaining why testers should blog, why they should get better testing skills, better writing skills, why they should have a social media presence, why the world should know about them... and not only talking about it, he was leading the way with his own example... And then, tired of working for other people, he decided to found his own company,

 That was enough for us. We needed to do something, so Tirtha started a blog in spanish and gave me access to write stuff too. This is how this journey started for us.

Some months ago, the people from SQS that are running the QA & Test conference in Bilbao did a competition to win a free ticket. All I had to do was to say why I should win this ticket, and if you have been reading so far, I hope you'll understand my reply:

 And :) they gave me the ticket!

I was amazed, I was going to attend a conference with Pradeep as a speaker, so then I decided to do the walk, and I asked if I could invite him to dinner the only night I knew I was staying in the city, and he accepted!

So we went out for a Beer at the Bar Muga and a nice dinner at the Restaurante Kasko, we talked, we shared stories, we had fun, we spent a great evening!

So that's how I met Pradeep Soundararajan.

I am a software tester, and I like the work I do. I know I can do better and there are lots of things I don't know about, or I don't understand. Some people write books or give talks that help me understand and know better. Some others lead by example, doing things that they think that can be done and explaining about it.

Good testers think that things can be different, and I had the chance of spending one evening with a great tester and a greater person.

Thank you Pradeep, It has been an honor for me.

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