It’s been almost 2 years since my last post, from day to day personal and work life, time has just flown by being occupied with daily activities. In this time one thing that has never stopped is ‘learning’ my constant hunger to learn everything Software testing has never died down.
My hunger for the passion of testing and my consistent performance has led me to being selected by my company to attend Agile Testing Days 2016 in Germany. What an exciting proposition this was for me, to be mingling with other passionate Software Testers from around the world was an amazing thought. I think I must have started my countdown from February 2016 all the way to the beginning of December 2016 which was when the conference was due to kick off.
Agile Testing Days is held annually in Potsdam, Germany and its target audience is mostly Agile Software testers but it’s also aimed at all role players in the Agile process, from Scrum Master to Devs.
It is a 5 day conference (2 tutorial days and 3 full conference days) which ran from 5th December 2016 until 9th December 2016
Conference Tickets booked, Flights Tickets booked, Hotel accommodation Booked, Forex sorted. It was the big moment, AgileTD here I come.
After a 14 hour flight from Cape Town, South Africa, some flight and baggage delays and a transition from a Southern Hemisphere Scorching Summer to a Northern Hemisphere icy winter my colleague (Blanche) and I finally arrived in Potsdam ready to see what the week had to offer. We picked up our name tags, an Agile TD hamper with loads of cool testing gear and other cool stuff.
We unfortunately missed our first tutorial day due the flight delays which was going to be an exciting full day of learning concepts in ‘IOT’ -Internet of things but the kind organisers made a plan to get us on to the final tutorial day program which I will touch on further below.
After an early breakfast I headed out to Day 1 of the conference. I was amazed with the buzz that morning, there was so much to see, so many people to meet and so many Testing stories to share and learn from. The conference kicked off with a Welcome and Key note.
The conference days itself was split up in to many streams, about 5 presentations/workshops/other fun stuff running in parallel. Based on this format it was quite tricky choosing which stream to attend, my colleague and I decided to split up and attend a different stream and then we would re-gather after a session to feedback on the learnings of that session. This worked quite well.
Some of the presentations I attended included topics covering the following DevOps and impact on Testing, Testing properties, Service Virtualisation, TDD, IOT and tons more.
I found the workshop sessions extremely valuable as this where you focused on physically working with other testing professionals around the world to put day to day problems/issues under the spotlight and dissect them to come up with possible solutions which could then be taken back to the workplace
The conference presentations were timed perfectly and gave enough time for crowd interaction and questions, some speakers giving actual accounts of their experiences and how they went about implementing/tackling certain solutions/problems. Other speakers focusing more on the science behind testing and experiences in certain tools, libraries etc. There were even shorter presentations called lightning talks which was time boxed around 20 minutes each which I found super interesting.
Other cool sessions during conference days included Agile Games room, hovercraft building and open sessions to name a few.
Interactions and social mingling
One of my best part of the entire conference were the moments where we could chat with fellow Testers and Agile players. From the breaks in between sessions, lunchtime, social events at the conference and breakfasts there was plenty time to get to know amazing testing people from around the world- and what amazing, intelligent, fun people these were!!!
It was these attendees that made this conference extra special, from the friendliness that they exuded to the ideas they generated, I totally felt like I belonged! These people had come from all corners of the globe to represent this global testing community which is growing at a rapid rate.
Magically I was now also part of this global testing community, which saw my social media followings and interest spike
Festive Night Market & Award night
The Friendly organizers over at ATD also decided to spoil us with an amazing festive atmosphere, they threw in an awesome night market with some great German Delicacies and some liquid stuff which I don’t really partake in 🙂 It was more opportunity to meet and talk against a great backdrop.
We then gathered for an award night to present the Most influential Agile Testing Professional Person which went to Maaret Pyhäjärvi
There was also an award presentation for the Software Testing World Cup which was won by the “Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters” from the Netherlands, check out the link below for more insight from the winners
The week went on with many many interesting workshops and presentations. As the conference neared close to completion you could feel the sadness in the atmosphere or maybe it was just the sheer tiredness of an amazing week kicking in.
My colleague and myself still had a full tutorial day to go and I was super excited as it was a hands on Test Automation workshop presented by the famous Richard Bradshaw (@friendlytester) and Mark Winteringham (@2bittester)
This was an amazing day where we physically created and updated Automation tests (in Java and JS), we also focused on testing at different levels, API automation tests and visual and Validation automated tools like Applitools
After an absorbing week of learning and interactions I was ready to head back home, with an immense appreciation for the testing world and the possibilities it brings. Also the feeling of being part of a greater online community meant that I did not have to look very far for support, its all around in the form of social media and email. I will never forget the super experience at Agile Test days 2016 and I will do my best to try and be there for the next installment of this exciting conference. Whether it be in the form of an attendee, Software testing world cup regional finalist or speaker.
Thank you Testing World.