I am Vojta and I work in Newired as Scrum Master and QA Lead. I like to share my ideas with others in a field of QA and Agile so I travel as a speaker for several conferences every year.
This year, November was a bit crazy for me. I am not sure why, but most of the testing conferences are in autumn. My talks were accepted by two of them, and later I got an invitation to another one, so it ended as following
I was a bit scared but at the end I really enjoyed it. Sharing means caring so I would like to share this two weeks with you.
Disclosure: When making notes on conferences I never know later if the note was what the speaker said, or how I interpreted it, or what I felt when he said something else, or just some associations. Please be aware of that when reading my notes.
Eurostar was my first conference I ever visited as a participant back in 2011 and I really liked it. I was a newbie in testing at that times and it energized me a lot and was a good motivation.
At 2014 I finally pushed myself to do something with my fear of public speaking and I decided I would like to start speaking at conferences. One of my target that motivated me during this way was “I want to speak on Eurostar”.
Finally, this year, after speaking on more than ten other conferences, I realized this dream. So this one was somehow special for me.
So I need a new target – what about keynote at some conference?
Eurostar 2018 was in Hague. It is a nice city but there are not too many opportunities for any sightseeing. But actually, sometimes it is better because you focus more on the conference and networking.
However, I visited the local pier and beach several times.
Monday was about full-day tutorials.
I attended a few keynotes and talks done by Michael, I read some of his books and I like his personality and quite strick way of communication. I do not agree with all of his opinions but his talks always make me think and analyze my thinking and beliefs deeply.
This was the first time Michael did this tutorial so sometimes it was a bit chaotic and there is some place for improvements but I really liked it because it triggered a lot of good questions, discussions, different perspectives, etc.
Here are some ideas I took away
There was half day tutorial at morning and classic talks started after lunch.
Tuesday started with half-day workshops and I selected the one about Test Management. It was focused on basics and I did not like it too much. It could be very interesting for newbies in Test Management. However, there were some interesting ideas
Topic and ideas of this keynote were interesting and well chosen as opening one. But I really missed some better visualization and storytelling. The way it was presented was too linear for me.
I expected to hear about particular experience and strategies how to effectively share information and knowledge to impact people. However, this talk was more theoretical and focused on the basics.
This was a very interesting talk. I really liked it.
Monday party was in a nice club near to the pier called Crazy Pianos. I liked it there, food was delicious, live music was perfect, but it was too loud to have any conversation without risking to lose your voice. That is why I decided to leave quite soon and get some rest before my speech on Wednesday.
Wednesday was opened by four lighting talks and it was a nice idea and kind of interesting way to start a day.
Interesting keynote, very nice ideas, but again the visualization was somehow strange. It did not help to see a logical flow in the presentation and for me, the feeling was something like interesting flashes without clear connections between each other.
I am not an expert in Automation. I know it is important but it was never my piece of cake. That is why I decided to go to this talk. It was interesting to think about the Journey as a game with different levels and beasts to manage. But I am still not sure, if the author really killed them or if they are just stunned and lying somewhere to wake up later. At least that was my feeling.
I have not found this talk to be interesting for me
I enjoyed my talk and I am glad there were several interesting questions and also followups later.
Questions and answers
I had huge expectations from this talk because I love this topic, but I was disappointed. It was very basic and a bit chaotic.
This was one of the best keynotes I have ever heard and only this one was worthy to go to Eurostar. Syllyann is autistic lady working in IT for a very long time and she shared with us the experience of being different and why the diversity is so important and necessary
Perfect food, nice discussions and I also found a few other participants from the Czech Republic. I enjoyed this evening and it was very nice.
Last day of the conference was very relaxing for me because I already did my talk
I have some mixed feelings about this one. There were interesting ideas but somehow hidden and for me, it was very hard to keep focused
Very nice topic, well presented and excellent speaker technique. This should be a keynote.
COMMITMENT AND CONSISTENCY
SYMPATHY and LIKENESS
This was a well-selected closing keynote. Everybody should really think what is his goal and what he would like to achieve and if you want to do something big you need a lot of time.
A lot of information, very quick, may be too much…
I spent one day at home and I went for the next conference on Sunday – Testing United in Bratislava. I am really glad there was a testing conference in our region again and I was pleased to be invited to its first year.
Hotel was located on the main square and Christmas market was just there. Very nice atmosphere.
Opening keynote was performed by energic Tomasz Dubikowski and I really enjoyed it. It was kind of typical opening one, but well presented and I agree with its vision
It was a nice change of rhythm. After very energic Tomasz Lisi was very calm and the topic was more about presence than about future.
In my opinion, this was probably the best speech of the conference. Well presented, perfect slides and I really enjoyed it.
I did not like this one. Firstly, the speaker was extremely shy, but that would not matter if the talk is interesting. But this one was not. Scratching the surface, no detailed information, without offering any possible solutions or own opinion about what to do to improve. Questions at the end were not well answered.
I heard much better talks from Alon. In my opinion, this one was kind of too general and theoretical. Very slow start focusing on foundations. I was sitting far away from slides and it was very hard to read them and there was a lot of text.
I am not sure what this keynote was about. It was presented in a challenging way for people who do not have good knowledge in this domain. I tried my best but I was so confused as most of the others.
Hotel was in the city center, just 10 minutes walk from the castle. It was a nice to walk there.
I went to bed pretty soon knowing my speech is in the morning.
Gojko is a great speaker, I enjoyed this one, but I had to leave at a half to prepare for mine presentation
I presented the same talk as on Eurostar (as requested by the program committee) and it went very well. I had a lot of questions and several people asked me if I can do the same presentation in their company. It looks like a topic of not effective reporting and emotions is problematic everywhere.
Panel discussions can be either very good or very bad. This one was very good. It was well organized when questions were asked via conference app and discussion was well moderated. Good job!
This is how talk about the future should look like because there was a very clear connection with presence and well presented
This was not my piece of cake. I am not automation guy but I expected this one to be more like lessons learned. However, in my opinion, this was quite unstructured and I am not sure what was the main message.
This is so frequent topic on many conferences that I start to think something is wrong with us. Moreover, every talk is the same – no, we will not die, but we have to change and we will be needed on large scaled Agile projects. But I would expect some new perspective on this topic, something like a cookbook. I can imagine this talk was interesting for newbies or somebody who never thought about such a topic.
I enjoyed it. Networking was special because there were a lot of participants from Czech or Slovak and it is always different when you can use your native language.
It was the first year of the conference and it was well organized so great job. See you next year.
I had a few hours with my family and I was leaving for my last conference this year – SQA Days in Moscow.
I like SQA Days because it is kind of relaxing conference for me. There are always some old friends speaking and I make new ones every year.
This year I planned to have a workshop on Agile Drawing but there is a saying “the man means the lord changes” so you never know. It is nice how things have sometimes immediate impact (not as in our software world). I injured my right hand during traveling to Moscow so having a workshop about drawing was mission impossible. That is why it is so important to always have Plan B – mine one was to do the same speech as on Eurostar and Testing United. There was only one small problem, that speech was designed for 45 mins and workshop was planned for 1,5 hours. It was great fun to double it in only one day and also visiting some other interesting talks and do some sightseeing… But I managed it.
Moscow is a very interesting town and it was not so cold this year (-5 Celsius) so I walked a lot around Red Square and its surroundings.
It was interesting to see Gojko speaking a bit slowly giving the translator some time to translate. Very good talk
As always, Michael, well done, good slides, I liked it
The second speech from Gojko was not so interesting for me as the first one.
Marcin was speaking well, slides were nice, but I do not like his opinion that we have to change if we want to work with China. I understand we have to understand them and they will become global in the future, but for me, that is a bit moral and ethical dilemma.
Very interesting talk an introduction to AI. Unfortunately, I was working on my slides during this one, so I was not taking notes. Video from this talk would be perfect for somebody who needs an introduction to this area – kind of teaser to trigger interest.
Having two talks about AI in a row was not probably a good idea due to overlaps but Johan had a bit different perspective so not a big problem.
As I said, it was the third time I was giving this talk, but this time I had to extend it to 1,5 hour. I added a lot of examples and checklists. Also, I focused more on a different approach to different stakeholders and their need to have a different level of details and abstractions.
I enjoyed it, there were many questions. Also, I saw one big difference – people in Russia think they should not aim to trigger emotions in managers, customers, etc. And there is still that Dev vs. QA attitude very often.
I joined roundtable with Karolina and Hans on the topic of “Managing Quality in IT – Testing is not enough”. It was an interesting experience, a good discussion.
However, I think this should be more organized by a moderator to be more effective. Without a moderator, it tends to be a bit chaotic. Also if you want to have three people talking all of them should have a microphone.
The general feeling after this roundtable was that people know “testing is not enough” but it is quite hard for them to formulate it and some formalization and process are missing.
We enjoyed a party and later a nice dinner with other speakers having excellent sushi.
If I should summarise that two weeks I would say the following
Few personal things
At the end, I would like to thank to
See you somewhere next year.