Selenium Camp 2020 – A short relation

So another busy conference year has started this time with a bang.
I had the pleasure to speak at Selenium Camp in Kyiv.

Selenium Camp is the oldest conference dedicated to Selenium. It even predates the SeleniumConf. And what I liked about it most of the tracks I’ve visited were technical. But I am moving too fast.

Let’s start at the beginning.

For me, the opening of the conference was speakers Dinner.
Unfortunately, I was almost late. Due to my flight schedule, I arrived at the hotel may be a half-hour before the party. Still, luckily for me, I wasn’t only one, Simon Stewart (the creator of webdriver), Marcus Marrel (Director of Technical Services at Sauce Labs), Titus Fortner (of Watir fame) had arrived in the hotel at the similar time. So we took Uber together to „Varvar Bar” where the Dinner was held.

For me, it was great to be able to talk with them, especially with Marcus and Titus – turns out we have common friend. And with Titus, we see similar issues in the test automation world.

Speaker dinner.

It was my third visit to Ukraine, and every time Food and Restaurant here amaze me. This time was no different.

What took me by surprise were rubber gloves delivered with your dish if it was very juicy, preventing your hands from getting dirty.

I won’t go much into discussions from the dinner here, but it was good to meet all those people. Unfortunately, the whole day of travel took a toll on me, and I went back to the hotel quite fast.

First Day

The conference hall was in a shopping mall next to the hotel – the mall itself was a maze – I am pretty sure during my stay there I never managed to take the same route to the conference floor.

So I think it is time to start talking about presentations.
The choice was made for me cause during the first day only one presentation was in English in each slot. But still, there was a lot of good material there
But at least I have to pretend that I take this series title seriously – so I will only discuss a few presentations.

Selenium 4 – Simon Stewart.

Simon talk was interesting; he showed some new features coming to selenium 4. My favourite was Relative locators -so you could say something is left/right, above etc.

Selenium TLC

Another thing he made clear is how much selenium is open source, and they still do it in their FREE time.
They are not getting paid for doing it so screaming at them and being pissed off it is not ready yet won’t do any good.
Simon and Titus both made clear that if we want it faster, we should help,
it is open source after all.

I think that was the most important message for me.
Selenium is still genuinely open source there is no big company that has people for developing it even done after hours and on weekends when they can find the will and the time.

Remeber Kids Thread sleep bad 😛

Another thing worth noting is Simon Sence of humour. He loves wordplays,
starting with 'shnoding’ (shrugging + nodding) to the naming of the project – Selenium RC Legacy -> Leg-RC (do you see it?)

Valey of Succes by Titus Fortner

if you can test something without launching browser – do it.

Titus Fortner

I had lots of great discussions with Titus cause on lots topic we have a similar point of view but different enough for it to lead to interesting detailed conversation.
And His presentation was an example of it.
I love the world play – „Valey of success” because as he said, there are too many metaphors about mountains.
Titus made a lot of great points.
Starting with my favourite – if you can test something without launching browser – do it.
He also reiterated the need to give to the opensource, including instead creating new own framework is better to use something that is already working and maybe modify it for your needs.
It is a known fact that in America, people Love Acronyms, so of course, Titus had few to share one that I didn’t know was:
AHA – Avoid Hasty Abstraction

The day ended with a whiskey party, but instead of driting, I opted to join Simon Stewart impromptu workshop on the internals of Selenium.

Selenium Internals

Simon reiterated that what he is doing here in an hour usually takes the whole day. But he showed us a lot how the stuff works inside.
Including the stuff, I got wrong in my presentation about Selenium.

So, how was my presentation?

Imagine this you have presentation when you talk about how something works when at the audience there were at least two people who wrote it…

I was a little stressed out to the point I lost my way in the code I was showing.

Fortunately, I recovered maybe not fully but mostly.

From the discussion, I had later and Simons Workshop I learned there were a few things I got wrong:

  • Atoms are still being developed and used. 
  • Selenium cache is still kicking – I misunderstood some articles about it. I thought it was discontinued. SO I have to rewrite my code examples. 

I thought this would be the last time I have done this presentation, but I think I have to rewrite a few parts and do it some whare again.

How was Selenium Camp in general?

I’ve got to say I love the way speakers were handled – we were spoiled:

  • Starting with the speaker’s dinner
  • As a welcome pack, we got great backpacks
  • The speaker’s room was a balcony with view at one of the tracks
  •  For Speakers who didn’t know Russian, there was a city tour organized on the second day, 
  • and also another speaker after party after finishing the conference. 

So I was impressed.

Of course, there are things that can be improved.

Not many but few.


At most conferences, I was usually there is someone there to announce you as a speaker, but not here. IT wasn’t a big problem, but it made me little confused if I should start my presentation or not.


The placement of cameraman in some track rooms was awful. He was sitting in the middle of the room, and he was blocking the view to a few seats.

Crowded lunch

That room wasn’t prepared to get so many people at once it was too crowded you were unable to get to the food, and even if you got it, you couldn’t find a place to eat.

My advice to organizers would be to split it into two turns. Put two presentations into lunch slot. Especially since there was a beginner track, you could have one presentation for beginners while others are eating and then some advanced one while rest goes to it.

Summing UP

Overall I think it was a great conference and one of the most valuable networking I have ever done. I am impressed by both the organization and the quality of the event. But If there is one main message, I would like to share with you is:
We need to give back to open source. I know the videos will go up quite soon so maybe you want to watch some of them. ?

That all for now! Huge thank you to Selenium Camp Orgnizers Mikalai Alimenkou and Anna Alimenkova for having me.

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