I am Vojtěch, Scrum Master and QA Lead in Newired, and I like to share my experience with Agile and Testing community travelling to several conferences every year as speaker.
I had a speech about Effective Reporting at Seetest 2016 in Bucharest last year, and I have to say that it was one of the best conferences I had ever been to as a speaker or lecturer.
I certainly wanted to participate this year too, so I was pleased my talk “Rally Dakar and Agile” was accepted. Let me bring you a little insight into the whole stay – the conference took place in Sofia this year.
I arrived in Sofia on Wednesday. The conference was hosted by the very nice Marinela Hotel with an excellent conference area (and also the view from my room was very nice).
Shortly after the arrival, we went to a traditional Bulgarian restaurant with other speakers to enjoy a Bulgarian cuisine, and I must say I loved it – a lot of vegetables, cheese, and exquisite flavours.
Thursday – 1st day of the conference
There were six half-day tutorials on the first day of the conference. Unfortunately, I had to work during the day but still I enjoyed one of them, on Problem Solving by Paul Gerrard. I really like Paul’s new model of testing which perfectly illustrates what testing is about and I subscribe to most of his opinions.
The evening social took place at the Earth and Man National Museum, and it was very nice. I like minerals and some of them were really spectacular.
Friday – 2nd day of the conference
I am used to fine tune my presentation before my speech but I saw several other speeches, too.
Paul Gerrard – Will Robots Replace Testers
A very interesting keynote about our future. Paul has huge experience and knowledge about the Internet of Things (IoT) and everything about digitalization in general, and he can talk about these topics in the way that makes you think.
- Computers start to do what we thought only human could do. We are talking about imagination, intuition, opinion, etc.
- Should the “test automation” term be banned? It is only about the automation of execution…
- If I can think a test up, the test itself can be automated. Not vice versa.
- Doctors will not be replaced by robots because we like to be treated and cured by people. Testing does not require that touch of humanity. Nobody actually cares…
- Let’s change the way we work and let tools fit in.
- If I want some information, I have to capture it.
- Sometimes we need to reinvent the wheel because – maybe, maybe – it was invented wrongly or with wrong motivation. Maybe…
- The reason why you cannot predict the future is the fact that it will be much faster than you can imagine now.
Kinga Witko – Yes, You Need Time for Bug Fixes
A very lively speaker talking about the fact that we had to count with defects and the time we would need to fix them. I somewhat agree but I would still focus a little more on defect prevention as my dream is that it will not be required to plan the time for bug fixing one day.
However, we are not there yet so we still need to be realistic and realize that bug fixing requires time.
Maaret Pyhäjärvi – Making Teams Awesome
Maaret had the second keynote of the day I really liked the selection of keynote speakers. Paul and Maaret are two totally different personalities and these two keynotes made a perfect mix.
- Removing defects from products makes us happy as testers, but there is much more to do to be awesome
- Try to learn something new every day.
- Testers often acts like catalysts – increasing rate of reaction.
- Development is like baking a cake. What is the testers’ contribution to the final taste?
- The best ideas win when you care about work over credit.
- Mindset of “I told you” has to be forgotten.
- You have a permission to do what you think is right without asking somebody to allow it. It is much easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission
- Somebody hase to be brave when the others are not. Anyone? Testers?
- You do not need to do it yourself. Sometimes it is enough to ensure it happens somehow.
- Avoiding a decision is a decision as such.
- Ignore your beliefs and start to experiment. Give every idea a chance.
- Choose your battles.
Ingo Philipp – Rediscover Exploratory Testing
Ingo is really fast and energized speaker. I felt a bit exhausted at the end but his point of view was very exciting.
- Combine exploratory testing with a six-hat approach
- Exploratory testing done in a big group: each member plays a role of the selected hat.
My speech – Parallel of Agile Development and Rally Dakar
My speech was about a different point of view on things we might know so good that we were too “blind” to see them. I explained basics of Agile and Definition of Ready and Done on the parallel of the Dakar Rally. I gave simple examples presented in the context of racing to demonstrate how ridiculous compromises that we often did within our Agile projects were.
Only about 30 people came to listen to my speech, which was a bit of disappointment, but I think that they enjoyed it, and I had several follow-up discussions on the same topic – it is good to re-think what we do in a parallel of something totally different, like racing.
A time to relax and enjoy dinner with other speakers. I have made some good friends at conferences over the past years, and it is always good to see them again. Thanks Mitko, Paul, and the others.
This year I decided that I would like to do some sightseeing as well, and I spent the entire weekend in Sofia. Sofia is an interesting city. I took coach tour on Saturday. It was very nice but cold. I bought a full day ticket for public transport Sunday, and travelled all over the city. I would say that public transportation in Sofia was the best way for sightseeing. It was quite challenging to read cyrillic so it was more adventurous, rather kind of random travelling. A lot of fun. All in all, both the conference and the weekend stay in Sofia were great.