Friday 19 June 2015

Nordic Testing Days 2015

Last month I went all the way up to Tallinn in Estonia to attend the 2015 Nordic Testing Days Conference. 

The trip was nice, but it took me 12 hours to get from door to door. Tallinn happens to be (almost) at the other end of Europe.

I went there for two reasons:

First was to meet with other testers, and this went just fine! Even that the staying was short I managed to get nice conversations about testing related stuff that is actually keeping me busy, and also about future talks I would like to deliver.

The attendants at the conference seemed to gather in three groups, some spoke Estonian, some did Russian, and some others had English as common language, but whenever I tried to start a conversation in English, I found that people in general was open and willing to follow.

Another thing I noticed about the delegates is how young they were, (and no, it is not me getting older!, I been in other conferences and this one is a bit different, these young people are going to rock hard the testing scene in some years, just wait and see.)

The other reason was that I was going to give a talk. This was my very second time I gave a speech (yes, I count my 99 seconds talk at TestBash as the first one).
And how did that go? Uh, I have mixed feelings...

It was cool, because I managed to submit a proposal, it got accepted, and I made it to the stage with my story to tell, you can check my slides here.

It was not cool because I need to get better on this if I want to do it right.

If testing is something you perform, giving a speech in English, well, that IS a performance, and I got a lot to improve there.
I found out that my level is so low, that improvising won’t just make it. It happens that if I want to perform a talk in English at a similar level that if I do it in Spanish, I need to practice, a lot.

I need a good story, or at least, a better way to tell my story, just as a rock star has good songs to perform once he is up on the stage. And then he knows how to do the performance.
Rob Sabourin gave a wonderful talk the day before, almost with tears in his eyes. Rob Lambert also gave a great talk about Why remaining relevant is important. If I want to get there, boy, I have a long way to go.

But that way is going to be walked one step at the time, so I’m terribly grateful for this chance to the Conference and to everybody involved, Guna, Helena, Rudolf and Grete among others, thank you, You all rock!
Thank you!

Sunday 7 June 2015

That Finnish Dude

I work a lot with mindmaps, they have become my basic memory repository, so when I need to remember some logic or how some artifact is expected to work, I go to my existing list of mindmaps and search there, because it is probable that I wrote one at some point, when my understanding of that artefact was recent and clear.

And it's because somehow I have learnt how to use them, and I learnt that out from somebody else.

When I joined peerTransfer, as I was going to be the only tester, I found myself with a wide open space to define how the testing will be happening, and soon I decided to try using mindmaps.

I allready knew about them, and remembered to have readen a blog post about how to use them.

But at the time I first saw that post, I didn't really have the need of learning that. I was working in my previous company, and was not really aware about the future changes that were going to happen.

Four months later, I had joined peerTransfer and now I really wanted to read that post again, but I could not find the link.

Diving in Google can be difficult if you don't know what you are looking for, because you can not remember the author, nor the blog title, or where I got the link from.

All I knew is that the post was about mindmaps, and that the writer called himself "The Finnish Dude" (how many can they be?)

At some point, I found the post:
Managing Heuristic Exploratory Testing Based on MindMap

That post helped me a lot to understand how to work with mindmaps, and the funny thing is that last week, I flew all the way to Estonia, to attend the Nordic Testing Days and to deliver a talk about our kanban board in peerTransfer, and when I sat down at the dinner table, a guy joined our table, and it went like this:
- "Hello, I am Jokin Aspiazu, nice to meet you!"
- "Hello, I'm Pekka Marjamäki, nice to meet you."
- "... Wait, aren't you that Finnish dude?"
- "Uhh, yes?"
- "You wrote a post 3 years ago about how to use mindmaps, that post really helped me a lot, thank you!"
(Big smile) - "Wow, thank you! you just made my day!"

 At the end of the day, it went something like this:
Moomin, Pekka, Santhosh, Guna & me

When you know about something, write it down, and share it.

You don't know who it might help, if you want a living example, please check the mindmap lists at test insane.

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