Agile Testing Days 2013 ended a week ago. I have some time between BBST Bug Advocacy assignments so let's get to recap before I forget what I experienced in this wonderful conference. So much awesomeness happened that I'll have to sample a bit.
Let's get to it then!
Pre-conference - Berlin
|Some wurst and weizen @ Berlin zoo|
Two days was enough to (re)experience the essentials of Berlin and it was time to head to Potsdam, where the conference was about to start. Immediately I ran into some familiar faces such as Huib Schoots, Jean-Paul Varwijk, Alon Linetzki, Daniel Maslyn and Lisa Crispin (and her husband Bob), but also to a boatload of new ones. Among many were Markus Gärtner, Peter Walen, Tony Bruce, Meike "The Hugger" Mertsch and her "better half" Marco Heimeshoff. The list expanded later with more beautiful people such as Matt Heusser, Dan North, Pascal Dufour, Dan Ashby, Marc Rambert, Anna Royzman, James Lindsay, Bart Knaack, Adam Knight, Mohinder Khosla, Eddy Bruin, Tamara de Paus, Jesper Ottosen, Graham Thomas and so on. It was also so awesome to finally meet my lovely colleague Gitte Ottosen, with whom I've already worked for months, but whom I've never met face-to-face.
What struck me the most was that it immediately felt like I was meeting family members. For example Mohinder Khosla came to hug me even though we have never met before. That tells something about the nature of this conference and the people involved in it.
Day 1 - Fast feedback tutorial
|How to test a |
It became quite quickly apparent to me that visualization was the actual theme of this conference. The official theme was "setting, increase, early veraison and ripening of agile testing", but to be honest I never could connect that to any of the sessions. Visualization was however present in almost every session I participated. Including this one.
|Pascal The Collector|
Day 2 - It's showtime!
The second day started with Lean Coffee and Andrea Tomasini's keynote. I didn't participate on either of those. I was too focused on my show. Again I had the sweet spot. Again I got to present at the first day before lunch. That gives the benefit of getting the job done early and enjoying the rest of the conference without mental burden. People have said that when you get experience in presenting at conferences, that burden eases. For me it's still very much there.
|Me and Mr. Kahneman|
I want to thank John Stevenson, Christian Baumann and Dan Ashby for their efforts in writing experience reports from my show. Thanks guys!
After my buzz settled down, I went to Mary Gorman's keynote about agile team members' interdependence. Among other things she taught us about trust levels and how to turn left many times... ;) She also introduced product dimensions, which I found to have strong relationship with James Bach's product elements. When testing Mary divides the product into pieces as follows: User, Interface, Action, Data, Control, Environment and Quality Attribute. When testing James does the division as follows: Structure, Functions, Data, Integrations, Platform, Operations and Time. I've followed James' example and supported it with my own ideas, but Mary's approach could complement this quite beautifully. I have to weigh on this...
|The infamous Dice Game|
|Mr. Gärtner and his MIATPP award|
speech. Well done, Markus!
Day 3 - Ideas, ideas, ideas...
|Gitte and her... um... unicorn?|
|Mr. North's capability quadrants|
All in all, because of Dan's show I'm now designing a new PRA which considers the context properly, and ties it to testing information objectives. Stay tuned!
|Mr. Heusser and Mr. Kahneman|
The day continued with networking, good company and some nice whisky too. Oh, and Agile Games fueled with beer and pizza!
|Agile Games wrapup|
Day 4 - Funny farewell
I don't know if it was the whisky or what, but my day 4 started with a splitting headache. Gladly Tony Bruce came to the rescue and gave some medicine that killed the headache in an instant. Tons of thank you Tony for killing what was killing me!
|Mr. Maslyn's skill framework|
|Director and lead actor at 3:21AM,|
The day ended with Lean Cocktail facilitated by Matt Heusser, and a nice dinner with Dan Ashby, Tamara de Paus and folks. I got to bed early, because I had a flight to catch very early in the next morning.
The conference was done.
Conference comes from latin word conferre, which means "bring together". Conferences are not just about running from session to another. They are about being together with people, learning from them, exchanging ideas with them and even sharing some nice whisky with them. Agile Testing Days 2013 brought together the brightest minds of agile testing and made possible wonderful things no one never planned on beforehand. I planned on meeting people like Gitte, Pascal, Meike, Marco and Dan, but I never planned on enjoying it so much. I planned on learning something new, but I never planned on learning something that could change the way I, my customers or even the whole Sogeti will work in the future. I planned on being a part of a great conference, but I never planned on becoming a part of something bigger.
Jean-Paul Varwijk said: "When you hire me, you hire my whole family." That beautifully describes the power that lies within the testing community. We are never alone. We always have people to help us and who we can help. But even though we're strong wherever we are, we need events such as Agile Testing Days to bring us together and strengthen the bond between our family of professionals.
I can't wait to see my family again.