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!