Impressions from last week’s Spring OnlineTestConf

Last week we happily sponsored the 8th OnlineTestConf, and what an event it was!

 Way before COVID-19 pandemic came to our lives, we started the OnlineTestConf, or OTC, as one of PractiTest’s “For the community” events. The OTC is an all-online free testing event that enables every testing professional, no matter where they are located around the world to attend from the comfort of her own home or office and improve their testing skills. 

This year we took the OnlineTestConf one step further, and we made the OTC a 3 days event, each day at different time zone, to ensure people from every time zone and country in the world could join live. If this meant that you were not able to attend some of the sessions, worry not, as recordings to all presentations are being shared. This change, on the other hand, allowed people from across the globe to participate, as one feedback comment put it: ”Great schedule, thanks for thinking about people in various time zones!”


Here’s a short recap

onlinetestconf speakers

More than 4500 registrants, over 500 concurrent people who attended the opening session of day 1 with similar numbers on the following days, breaks between the sessions with live Slack channel discussions, Q&A, and a couple of quizzes.  Hang tight and keep an eye on your inbox for the OTC winners announcement.    

Day 1 – US timezone

On the first day, Alan page talked about modern testing( MT) and its principles including the focus on business needs and the end customer, the importance of leading a quality culture, and the need for everyone in the development team to act as a tester. On his talk, Alan mentioned a number of relevant books to consider as resources including the Phoenix Project, and the DevOps handbook.  


In her session: Lessons learned from testing in Healthcare technology, Rachael Lovallo discussed the importance of communication as the key to testing and quality success and introduced practices such as ‘testing parties’, their importance, and the benefits of having stakeholders in them as a means to not only find bugs and issues but to get everyone working together. 


Mike Lyles discussed the difference between being a 9-to-5 tester to being a World-Class Tester?  With some food-for-thought questions about when testing is done, learned, and thought of.  Among the questions he asked were: Are you only testing at work, or is testing something that is a part of your everyday life no matter where you are?

Day 1 was wrapped by a panel by Lisa Crispin, Lena Wiberg, Alex Schladebeck & Gitte Klitgaard – reviewing the important topic of Nurturing a Healthy Culture

Day 2 – EU timezone

James Lyndsay’s interactive session about the Basic Pathologies of Simple Systems enabled listeners to experience how complex behaviors emerge from seemingly simple interactions, how one can damp or amplify behaviors, and the realization that these simple systems are showing us their intricate nature and not a pathology. 

In his How to Test Anything session, James Thomas shared a definition of testing which helps to navigate through uncertainty across context and decide on a testing strategy to follow. The session also reviewed testing tools and a thinking process on how to evaluate them, and heuristics that will help create confidence in testing decisions.  

Conor Fitgerald discussed the lessons we can learn from the Aviation industry where, as an example, the Boing 737 Max planes were grounded due to loss of life accidents. What can we learn from this and bring into our everyday life in the tech industry? Conor reviewed the importance of having a question culture. Creation of checklists with reminders of critical elements that should not be missed. The enablement of making mistakes as a part of a blameless culture, where it is ok to report issues with the goal of finding the root cause, and people are encouraged to report. Collaboration between the various members of the testing team is also essential with a ‘no hero’ approach    

Day 2 was wrapped with a session by Lena Wiberg that discussed the question of how can we improve our testing by looking at trends and patterns in the search for Continuous Improvement. And the gaps between the vision people have sometimes regarding 100% passed tests to reality where you need to make concise decisions using risk assessment. 

Day 3 – APAC timezone

Began with a session by Jason Lee about transforming Quality Engineering. In his talk, he presented 3 actions he implemented in his current work to improve the results of the testing team within only 30 days.  This transformation included the implementation of exploratory testing sessions, establishment of release train workflow and documentation, and continuous collaboration where three amigos (at least) are doing exploratory testing. 


Joel Montvelisky’s session on Test Management when testing is the whole team’s responsibility addressed one of the most burning issues today for teams who are working in Agile environments, where the lines between Testers and Developers are getting blurry, whilst demand for fast releases is growing exponentially. 


Takuya Suemura’s session on testability discussed what testability is, it’s importance, and the reasons behind the difficulty in improving application testability, especially in the case of end-to-end testing automation with a nice visual depiction by an ice cream cone. 


The third day and the entire OTC was wrapped up with a great session by Trish Kou about her experience going solo and becoming an independent testing consultant. On the challenges that are not always seen along with some follow-up tips on the OTC slack channel on how to set the right price 

See you next time!

Make sure you won’t miss the next OTC – 2020 Fall, which will be held later this year by joining the exclusive OTC mailing list – here

If you are a testing professional and have testing knowledge to share with the community, now’s the time to start thinking about what you’d like to submit for the next OTC (Date pending but it will be in the Fall).  Maybe we’ll be talking about your session in a blog post just like this a few months from now. 

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!


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