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Let’s Test party is over – see you next year?

Posted on Posted in Software Testing, Training / Conferences

Let’s Test party is over. I am back in London and still trying to absorb everything. I will need to write few blog posts to cover my experience @ Let’s Test – this is just a start 🙂

Let’s Test was on top of my must-attend list from past two years, and I am glad I could attend this year. In my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of attending conferences is being able to confer, and Let’s Test provides the perfect environment for that.

I reached Stockholm on Sunday and thanks to the power of Twitter – I met Richard ,Christopher , Geir and Amy at the airport. See the usefulness of this medium? If you are still not on the Twitter, come and join us 🙂

After checking-in, I headed straight to the lobby and got few tips about the area and nature walk from Carsten . In the next half an hour or so, I met Lars , Meike , Ilari , Johan , Henrik, James Lyndsay , Huib , Stephen and so on. I realised the importance of being in a community. I was already comfortable with these folks and was feeling at home.

We had our coffee and started discussing a puzzle Meike was solving. While we were discussing the problem, Henrik came with a paper cutter, and we started preparing K-cards for the attendees. We all started working together, and I realised – It’s not a commercial conference, it’s a peer conference on a different scale. Tim Lister, in his opening keynote, recognised that this community is like a clan and I couldn’t agree more with his views.

I will cover sessions I attended in detail later – but for me, the highlight of the day was Lightning Talks. I am a huge fan of lightning talks, and it was nice to see power pack delivery from so many people in three minutes. Lightning talks also created opportunities for further discussions during the conference.

After lightning talks, it was time for Test Lab, bar, and music. I spent some time in Test Lab and started talking to Pradeep about Moolya . I am a big fan of what Pradeep and his team have achieved. It was inspiring to hear his journey – as their success is the result of excellence, hard work, determination, and passion for testing.

Next morning started in the Gangnam style and was a perfect ice-breaker. After Steve’s experiential workshop, it was my turn to take the stage and share my experience at Transport For London where I solved many interesting testing problems. It went well, and I was glad to know that attendees found it useful.

After my talk, I had plenty of good discussions around automation and challenges many people face with their automation efforts. I shared the story of Jim with few people and was able to explain usefulness and risk associated with automation .

The evening was packed with many interesting activities. I started my evening by playing testing games and also learned a new game – sets. I also had interesting discussions about PSL, BBST, experiential workshops, certifications, problems people face in their projects and ways in which they solve them.

Learning and insights I got from all these discussions are hard to quantify and are invaluable. With so many discussions, my head was buzzing with the ideas and at around 2:30 AM, I headed to my room. It was late, but not by the standard of let’s test – few groups were still active and engaged in lively discussions.

Next morning I started my day with a quick breakfast and went to attend Fiona’s session on uncertainty. One thing that stood out for me was her exercise on the importance of explicitly defining our support network. It was very revealing and comforting at the same time.

After lunch, I saw James was giving feedback to Uba and I joined them. It was nice to see how constructive and useful good feedback can be. After the feedback session, we heard few interesting testing stories from James and had a good discussion on reputation and integrity of testers.

The conference was coming to an end, and the final keynote was from Jon . He found many ways to demonstrate the uselessness of best practices.

In the end, Johan asked us to write a short letter to ourselves – to summarise what we have learned and what we expect to achieve in next three months. This letter would be posted to us and will act as a nice reminder. Nice idea, isn’t it?

Finally, we gave hugs, said goodbye and boarded in the taxi; however, discussions were not over!! I was with the folks from Unity and we had an interesting discussion on video game engines, possibility of creating testing games with Unity, various sessions people participated in, certifications and so on.

The conference is about conferring. What we learn in the sessions and workshops is important – but being able to discuss anything, almost any time with our peers makes a hell lot of difference.

Kudos to Let’s Test team for pulling off such an excellent show and raising the bar of conferencing.

It’s over, and I am already looking forward to next one!!

Are you coming? Hope to see you at Runo next year.

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