Walking with testers, and listening to grumpy testing rockstars

It’s been a busy 2 weeks.

As I wrote on my previous post I had a good time in Bilbao in QA&Test and got some nice inspiration from a number of talks in there.

Last week (yes, I was home for less than 36 hours) I had the chance to attend Agile Testing Days in Potsdam, and then to speak at Testing United in Vienna.  Sounds tiring, it was.

Coffee in Vienna Airport

Coffee in Vienna Airport

I am currently at Vienna airport, enjoying a nice coffee and writing this while I wait for my flight back to Tel Aviv. (By the time you read this though, I will be shuffling off to somewhere else no doubt)

But it was also a great chance to meet a ton of old and new testing friends, to talk to many people about testing challenges, ideas, difficulties and opportunities.

It was also a good way to listen about interesting projects people are working on and get some cool ideas for PractiTest.

In short, time well spent!

Some points that got me frustrated and disappointed

If you know me, then you know that I am an optimist.

Well, I have news for you, even optimists can get frustrated once in a while.  And today’s post is about me venting some of this frustration.  So if you do not want to continue reading my complaints (and what I learned from them) you are more than welcome to close this post and move to the new trailers for movies that were posted on youtube in the last week.

1. If you are going to keynote please do not read your slide notes

I did not have a chance to enter too many sessions in AgileTD.  We had a PractiTest booth and it was pretty busy most of the time.

But there were some sessions that I marked in the agenda and I made a special effort to attend.

One of these sessions was one of the Keynotes.

I do not want to name names, but there was something that drove me nuts about it!

This person said he/she was an experienced tester, who had worked with top executives and has lead multiple teams.  If I am not mistaken, it was also mentioned that this was not his/her first Keynote.

If this was the case…  why did this person read all the notes that they had written for their presentation.  Yes, read.

It was extremely obvious they were reading from the powerpoint notes that are presented to speakers and not shown to the audience.

I can understand, accept and even encourage this lovingly from someone making a first or second presentation.  I can even get why you may write your notes down and look at them once in a while (I do not do this, but only because I am too lazy!).  But reading?!  Next time please write a PDF and send it.

BTW, to this same person, if you are going to name someone who appears in a movie, please at least learn the name correctly, and do not add any unnecessary S at the end of their last name.

2. I am afraid I am turning into a grump

Walking Testers

Walking Testers

The day after the named session I went on a great morning walk with one of my testing heroes and a group of additional testers.

The idea of a morning walk at a conference is pure genius!  Maybe we need to do something similar on the OnlineTestConf and have a shared Mindspace session…?  We will need to think about it.

But back to the point, during the walk, I had a chance to talk with this named hero of mine and share with them that I am afraid I may be turning into a grumpy and cynical tester.

During the walk, this person tried to calm me down and told me that this cannot be because in general I am nice and do a number of nice projects for the community.

But I am afraid that I may be getting old and grumpy, and so I will make an effort to keep my eyes open for these unwanted behaviors.

 3. If you are a testing rockstar try not to be a grump crying the sky is falling

So let’s move forward to Testing United.

Today I was in a session where I got to listen to someone I had only read about up until today.

This person is really known and to the best of my knowledge has been very well received and admired throughout his career.

Well, so when I got to hear him speak today I could not stop but think to myself that even if you are a living testing rockstar, that does not give you permission to be disrespectful to the people listening to you, to curse like a drunk sailor on the stage, and in general to say that the testing sky is falling without really explaining why this is the case.

So you’ve got a lot of experience.  I got news for you, this is only your experience so please be a little more humble, remember people look up to you, and if you are invited to speak at a testing conference, bring something productive to share with the testers.

Granted, I missed this person’s Keynote, I was not in Vienna at the time.  But in the session he participated today, he went out of his way to declare that we are all doomed (By the way, not only testers but apparently programmers too) and better look for work as something else.

(I had my session after this person, and I had 3 or 4 occasions to respectfully disagree with him.  Shame he was not present to talk openly about it).

4. I really like my testing peers.

But as I wrote before, I am an optimist, and I actually like this attribute of mine.

(One of the few attributes I like actually)

It has been a busy 2 weeks, and I have another busy week later this month in NYC when I will be speaking in ConTest, and then in December when we will be hosting the OnlineTestConf.  But they have also been very happy weeks.

AgileTD Unicorn

AgileTD Unicorn

I am a testing geek.  I have no problem saying that out loud.  And I enjoy meeting other testing geeks like me.

I love our conversations, realizing we all have many things in common, seeing how we progress in our careers, talking about our challenges, and basically sharing among friends who understand me.

I look forward to continue doing this in years to come, and I also invite you reading this.  Next time you are at a conference and see me, I’d would love to sit down for a cup of coffee and talk about your testing and your personal life.

See you all very soon!

About PractiTest

Practitest is an end-to-end test management tool, that gives you control of the entire testing process - from manual testing to automated testing and CI.

Designed for testers by testers, PractiTest can be customized to your team's ever-changing needs.

With fast professional and methodological support, you can make the most of your time and release products quickly and successfully to meet your user’s needs.

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