Day 1 EuroSTAR Review (the long version)

Just in case those of you who read my Day 1 post thought my only update of the day would be my crass little offerings of one-liners and bad jokes here is a little more insight into my true takeouts from Day 1 of EuroStar 2015.

My day started much earlier than originally anticipated as I was coerced into providing “technical support” for Julie Gardiner during her tutorial entitled Rainmaking for Testers – How to Make a Difference.

TRUST has always been a massive issue in software development because our clients (both internal or external) are never quite sure whether they will get what they paid for until they “see it”. So, Julie’s insights into the gaining of (and risks of losing) TRUST is a game changer for software professionals – not just Testers, but all of us. While I’ve never quite considered myself a Rainmaker, I do myself as an agent of change and after yesterday’s tutorial I have a few tools that will enable me to make the move to Rainmaker – when the context permits.

For me, the major takeout was that we wear many hats as software professionals, especially if we inhabit the (some may say) shady world of consulting. Some of these hats are worn simultaneously and others are interchanged almost hourly. Each one of these hat changes is wrought with danger and can shift our standing from trustworthy to untrustworthy in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, that road back to trustworthy, though paved with good intentions, is winding and slippery and often beset by unseen dangers.

If you choose the road to Rainmaker nirvana be careful what you wished for, because, as one of my fellow delegates said, “I wouldn’t trust George Clooney because his teeth are too white”. Perception is everything and everyone’s reality is different. Now let’s go make some rain and let the sun shine while we’re doing it because everyone loves a rainbow.

My day continued with a chat over coffee with one of my major influences within the world of software testing – Dot Graham. As always, Dot was full of grace. For those of you unaware of the significance of Dot to EuroSTAR, with deference to all those who work their bollocks off all year bringing us this amazing event, there would be NO EuroSTAR without Dot Graham. So, if you are fortunate enough to run into Dot, please thank her for her contribution to our craft and ask her to sign your underway – it will be worth a lot of money one day when they world has time to reflect on the specialness that is Dot.

A full transcript of my Coffee with Dot will be published sometime before Christmas. Watch this space, I promise you some unique insights into the world of Dot Graham.

My previous Day 1 preview posted less that 24 hours ago mentioned my inability to get to many of my planned sessions on time but it was distressing, even for me, to be late for Ruud’s opening remarks (or as I called it yesterday) Ruud’s Awakening. As I flew into the Auditorium and attempted to adjust my eyesight to the cinema-like blackness, Coldplay informed me that I could be in Paradise. An early call, I thought, but maybe this could all be Paradise. I have to say though, if only 10% of the predictions of our first Keynote, the futurist Richard van Hooijdonk, transpire, I’m going to move to a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and play with my Lego.

Fortunately, for me personally, the images of Richard’s predicted future were quickly expunged when I bumped into Paul Gerrard and Stuart Reid on my first visit to the EXPO. In fact, the anecdotes shared by both Paul and Stuart were so entertaining that I completely missed my first Track talk – sorry Claire Goss, sometimes you have to live in the moment and trust your gut. What fell out of my chat with Paul and Stuart was something we dubbed the “Dirty Old Man” tour. If you are not aware of Testing Tours please fire up Uncle Google. The main thrust of our chat was Crowd Testing and how it is making inroads into our craft. Stuart has been influencing this phenomena far more than I, so when he described how he was selected for his personal profile by a Crowd Testing company to test a Dating website the “Dirty Old Man” tour was born. The depths to which we descended in the name of software testing brainstorming cannot be repeated in an open forum, but I was totally entertained by the “Waldorf and Stadtler” of British software testing.

My first Track talk visit took me into the Mobile space where I was thoroughly entertained and happily enlightened by first time speaker Susan van der Ven and her Mobile Testing, One Step Forward or Two Steps Back. The best thing for me about Susan’s talk wasn’t so much the content (which was excellent, by the way), but the way in which she got her message across. The theme of this year’s conference is about Walking the Talk and Susan represented this better than anyone (IMHO) on Day 1. I remember vividly my first ever speaking gig and it wasn’t pretty. Susan, you are a natural, please go forth and tell your stories to anyone who will listen and if you have plans to visit Australia look me up, we have a Meetup just waiting for you!!

Oh yeh, and my key takeout from Susan was – “If you’re testing Apps you’d better test them in the Wild (not just in the Lab)”.

I must confess upfront, I am a Lego tragic and so the promise of Kristoffer Nordström linking Lego to a Kanban board had me humming “everything is awesome” all day. Long before the Agile world took ownership of many of the tools we’d been using since the seventies, I’d used childhood (and adult) toys in expressing goals and achievements, but in those days Lego was just a brick with two colour variants and a grey baseplate!! If only I could have involved Darth Vader in my projects. The best we could do was use a slinky descending stairs to indicate the expected trajectory of our progress and Everest climbers as an analogy for the challenges we had ahead of us – ah, those were the days!!

As I close out my reflections of Day 1 and shift my focus to Day 2 my mind wanders to Meatloaf (the rock star, not the food). Ruud, if you do by some small chance read this small contribution, please please please can we see Paradise by the Dashboard Light at your Closing Remarks session?

Enjoy Day 2 folks, it will be gone all too soon.

Reproduced by kind permission of EuroSTAR and TESTHuddle

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One thought on “Day 1 EuroSTAR Review (the long version)

  1. Pingback: Testing Bits – 11/1/15 – 11/7/15 | Testing Curator Blog

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