I have the soft place in my heart for test:fest it was the first conference I have spoken. One of the amazing feats of this conference is it is entirely free. Participants pay nothing. And what amazing it is not vendor land. As in case of most other free conferences (And quite a lot of paid ones).
Yes, there are vendors, and they have presentation /panel/ workshops. But as far as I can say they were of good quality.
So in short: it was nice to be back.
Allow me to take you for a tour over my activities on test:fest.
First, we’ve got welcome packs.
I am usually avoiding writing about them cause there is nothing to write about.
But not this time. The receiving welcome pack I was asked about my feet size. – I tend to speak bere feet so I thought JavaGirl which was helping organisers was making a joke. Imagine my surprise when I found socks in the welcome pack!
There is one more great thing the water bottle with a filter.
The overall Welcome pack was so far the Best one I have seen!
And I am going to remind you this is FREE conference!
Day Started with Lukasz Kmiec presentation about feedback.
If you read my summary of other conferences. You will notice that feedback I get is too poor quality even to know what should I improve.
It was the excellent presentation I Liked the idea of STAR and STAR AR model for feedback. h
But sometimes faux pass happens. Lukasz finished with a call to action to use leave feedback. And the only way to do it was app. As Murphy law dictates that functionality wasn’t working!
(For example, for me it claimed rating is possible only on conf day 25- June – 2016 – 2 years ago )
After that, I want to Ivan panel on test strategy.
I will admit Since I had my panel just after him. I wasn’t paying much attention/ Especially since he had very bad audience engagement. I was afraid it is because his panel (like mine) was in English. I was trying figure out what I can do to improve it on my panel.
Its Time for my panel
My panel was called „Let’s steal from a scientist!”
I was ready I had candies – to improve engagement.
I had sticky notes – to collect ideas from the audience.
And I had foreigners in an audience so nobody could suggest switching to Polish!
As I was afraid audience interaction wasn’t on the level I wanted. But it is was still good. From few peoples, I heard that they wanted to participate but were afraid to speak English.
Another great feedback I’ve got was my English accent is stiff and hard to listen so I will have to work on it.
I had flipchart in the room. Initially, I wanted to use it for the 2-4-6 game (i will mention it in another post). Presence of Kamila Mrozek got into my panel, I asked her to draw big sketch note of the panel. Kamila once Again huge thank you!
There was one fantastic piece of feedback I’ve got after my panel finished actual scientist that was in the audience came to me, and She said. That all I said was true and she is happy that I haven’t made strawman or some „Fantastic version of science.”
She mentioned that there was one detail I missed:
Equipment and Resource limitations while designing experiments. That is a good point I will remember to include it in next version edition.
After this, I did some networking on the corridor, so I missed next part of a panel.
I wasn’t at lunch – the queue was too long.
It was panel day for me!
But in the meantime, there were two panels. I missed the first one, but I went for one about future of test:fest. We were in the small group (around 15 people at most including organisers) which felt friendly in C room.
It was good to hear what problem they have organising test:fest.
Looking back at it I would like to see it as series of post or Presentation Organizing test:fest. For example on some meetup or other conferences..
But I went for Michał Buczko panel on tester career progression. And I have that was the interesting discussion.
It was pleasure observing how Michał leads the panel I have few notes from him.
I won’t go into detail of his panel here. But he made me rethink some of the things about my outlook in future. Who knows maybe he even put an end to my Nomadic ways? We will see.
A Dear friend of mine Karolina Madej-Dempniak had another panel.
She was asking us if we Are Ideal testers. And panel started with a hard punch into the stomach. She asked us to imagine that we are fired. It saw the engaging discussion about what skill is needed in the testing market so we won’t become worthless on the market. And we will always be a valuable team member.
I was especially glad that discussion was more about skill than technology.
At this point, I realized I haven’t seen any presentation outside of Łukasz mostly because as I said in my post about testwarez I see more value in Panels now.
Adrian Mucha was next. He had a presentation on performance testing of IoT. He was little stressed out, and it was showing. But it was still interesting presentation.
Tomek Dubikowski was next talking about seven sins of testing.
And as much as it was great fun. But on perspective on content, it felt for me a little stale. I have seen lots of presentation on the similar subject. But as always having a good idea is not all you have to be able to sell it. And Tomek can do it well.
So after the end, there was voting for best presentation and this part I have most objections.
Of course, no matter what Tomek would win he is that good.
But it is popularity contests. Cause how can you compare keynote – who is the only person in the time slot.
To panels and Workshops which have room limitations for around 30 people?
Even other presentation can’t compete with Tomek. When they are speaking there are at least two other rooms on panels and some workshops.
So in Realty with Lukasz with his opening presentation on feedback was the only Person who could compete fairly with Tomek.
So Do I have any suggestion?
Either make separate competition for pannels workshops and presentations. Or limit it only to the presentations and take out keynotes out of it.
Note I raised my worries to Marta, and she gave me a satisfying explanation why it happened this way. She agrees they will need to rethink it for next year.
Now that I spent few paragraphs on the small issue lets get back to more important stuff!
As presenters, we all got our clicky things!
And I agree with Marek Puchalski it is the best present a presenter can ever get!
I was at few presentation where having my clicker would save me a lot of problems. And even training at home makes it closer to real env.
So you can imagine my surprise when organisers gave as also a bag of craft beers and cyders!
After party as usually is a great ground for exchanging ideas. Me and Michał Buczko both had a great idea for next test:fest I hope it will come to fruition.
And I’ve got amazing feedback from Emila the JavaGirl.
Apparently, someone who seen my first presentations (end of 2015 beginning of 2016) and my 2017 presentations said I improved a lot.
It is good to hear that all effort I put into this is paying off. Thank you JavaGirl for relaying info. And thank you to whoever made that comment!
So whats my opinion?
test:fest is a true hero among conferences and place to be.
It is a pity that due to limited resources is hard to get in.
But in saying that organiser does a good job. Is understatement.
They are titans of performance. In 5 people, they were able to do a great free event for over 400 people.
And You guys? What do you think about test:fest?
Would you like to see similar conferences in your city?