AAdays 2017 Conference – event report

It is a busy time for me after seetest came time for AAdays 2017 in Kraków.
It was kind of homecoming for me cause Aadays 2015 was one of the first conferences I have ever attended. Plus my family history starts in one village under Kraków where my grandfather lived as a kid. I still have some distant family there.
Chocolate tools on sale in one of the Krakow galleries

Let’s talk about AAdays 2017

For me event started on Sunday with Speakers dinner.
I like the idea it was good to meet other speakers and discuss with them different concepts. I have met a lot of interesting people including one of the keynotes Jeff „Cheezy” Morgan. He was the star of the evening he was the one to make people move from table to table to meet others.

Cheezy deep in the discussion
So actual event started with Jeffs keynote “ It’s a strange world.” Among other things (bigfoot, aliens) he talked about CI/CD. Not much new but still fun show.
"it's time to grow up"
Cheezy wild dreams were cut short by this realization
Next was live coding session with Marcin Grzejszczak. I must admit my Java was rusty, but there is something soothing in seeing specialist writing code. My biggest take away was a reminder about wire mocks I forgot about this concept.
Next, I went to see Sebastian Miałkowski talking about finding issues before customer do. His solution was „Instablame”. When a new exception in found in splunk. Automation is creating a ticket and assigns it to the last person who touched that part. Kobo is big on monitoring, so this might be worth trying.
Another session that I’ve chosen was „FUN(ctional) REST API testing with Clojure.” They were on SEETEST, and I was curious about low marks they’ve got there. Here rating wasn’t better (1.6 at moment of writing). Personally, I achieved my goal I wanted to see functional programming and testing with it. They showed it quite well. Unfortunately they presentation flow was clumsy and jagged. 
During the lunch break, I met Anton Angelov author of blog Automate the planet . I am using his blog as a regular source of knowledge about programming in test automation. So I was pleased to see him.  I really wanted to go for his workshop „Hero’s Journey to Perfect System Tests – Eight Assessment Criteria for Tests’ Architecture Design” but unfortunately it collided with my presentation.
Mark Fewster was talking about something close to my heart – health of test automation. It was a heavy presentation. My only problem for me was how hot and humid was room. During regular prelections, it is not a problem, but when you have a full room to the brim, it is hard.
Oleg Kulyntak had a presentation called „Automation of exploratory testing – art for art sake, or the real return on investment.” The title was excellent bait and switch. Without reading details, you could think he is doing Exploratory Automated Tests. But he is automating not the testing but all time-wasting activities around it. I loved the idea of trigger for collecting data generated during testing. I will have to try it.
Piotr Wicherski is a class of his own I think his presentation was one of the best I ever was seen. He talked how he had to implement his idea of test lab in his company. Bonus points for doing it while being sick.


Piotr big dreams were crushed by one minor issue: „reality”.
Anastasia Naboikina, another great person I have met ( a fun fact she was able to do the plank for 5 min that is scary). And she was showing us how to convince the team to become cross-functional.
Which was a nice intro for the last keynote Alex Schladebeck, She also spoke about cross-functional teams.
Day ended with drinking in „Browar Lubicz.” with pub quiz
shoutout to other members of my team „Cheezy and the girls”

Day Two

The second day started with lean coffee – an idea I have sold to Bartosz and Michał during speakers dinner. They loved it and made me to do it. It wasn’t pure implementation, but it was still interesting to experience


Real lean coffee. Kanban board near coffee machine 😛

We manage to talk about four subjects
„When to advance tester from mid to senior?”
„What is career path after senior?”
„What to do when there is no task/issues to test?”
„AI in testing?”
Then there was time for combinations of presentations and panels.
The idea was to make 2 presentations on a similar subject and then use them as kickstart the discussion. I was part of block “balance automation and exploration.”
Another part of that block was Mirjana Kolarov Presentation about precisely that. ” Balancing your test automation with exploratory testing.”
I’ve loved her interaction with listeners especially game of 20 questions. It was a beautiful metaphor for exploratory testing.
My presentation was also part of this block. I can’t have a trip without issues screen stopped working only for my panel, but at least small TVs worked. I have to work on my presentation style. Since it is the second time, I’ve got an average note. I am looking for full feedback cause I do want to improve.
After a coffee break, discussion panel started. I was the moderator of one of the groups, and as always best discussion happened when we had to wrap up. But it was the fruitful exercise. We did manage to make few good observations.
I liked Radek Smilgin idea of using time as metrics for tests. Oleg also mentions that writing automation just in case is wrong and I agree. I will have to explore this subject more.
What about the main question of Balance? Our answer was it depend on some many factors that there is no universal answer plus it also change in time.

After there I’ve to sneak in on the workshop by Beren Van Daele & Marcel Gehlen. To test their game “test sphere” for helping with test strategy. I liked it. Plus I had more time to talk with another keynote Alex.
 The game itself was fun I will buy few boxes.
And that was the end for me there was also Q&A panel with keynotes, but I had to leave for my plane.
I have said goodbye to all the great people I met and then went home. At The door, I exchanged few word with Radek about how current IT bubble is slowly bursting. I will write my thought about it next time.
Before I finish, I would like to thank you Organizers and all the great people I met. You made this event great.
Huge thanks to @jitgo for letting me use his photos from my presentation.
Ps in this year I am on one more conference Testwarez see you there!

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