Be careful with side quests

In the world of Video Games you sometimes stumble into a shady tavern where mysterious stranger gives you an ancient scroll and sends you off to a side quest. Most of the times side quests are worth the effort – additional experience, rare drops or simply fun. Sometimes however you’d end up few hours later in a middle of a swamp with a new weapon and bunch of new shiny experience points wondering was it worth it…

It’s quite the same with going to any kind of IT event. It can be amazing, it can be fun or it can leave you wondering why exactly did you go there…

In the middle of September I went to Wrocław Agile Day organized by NewVoiceMedia. That was an amazing event. Organized like a pro-event, even though it was their first time and it was totally free! They not only got the basics covered (let’s be honest with an all-day event keeping people feed and caffeinated is basic), organizers were making sure everybody felt welcomed and engaged, making conversations and making us guests fell wanted. The main point, of course, great lectures and workshops.

Interesting topics, some more general some, very technical, all well thought thru. Speakers (@Rob_Lambert@HelenLisowski,@annalinke89 to name a few) – very nice, open people, well trained in public speaking – listening to them was just so much pleasure! Even after more than a month I am still exited when I remember that day. I had high expectations regarding it and it was even more than what I hoped for. Learned a lot, meet fantastic people, got soaked in positive attitude and good energy. I even started to use my Twitter after that to keep in touch, I never thought I’d that…

Similar shot of positivity was administered to me at the end of September when I attended @pgssoftware Softwaretalks. I would have never believed that I can listen to someone talking about object-oriented programming and I would not only understand what was going on, but even enjoy it immensely. Paweł, who was speaking about sweet sixteen can be found here: It was entertaining and educating at the same time. So was the second talk about security. When Piotr from told us how spam emails were send using irons in Russia that was… Whoa, I was almost afraid to iron my shirt the next morning. This guy knows what he’s talking about when he says there is a way to slip into every system. There were also two of IT ppl’s best friends: pizza and bear. Sounds like perfection, right?

Two weeks ago I attended 26th WrotQA meeting – that was a good side quest. Meet some old acquaintances, made some new friends, listened to some interesting things guys from GlobalLogic had to say (even if I did not understand everything, due to not having proper skills – not on that level yet). Learned about process automation and that people should sometimes think if they should before doing, because they can. Also – cupcakes, yay!

And last week, on a moments spree I decided to go to Cracow to attend all-day event by @GrandParadePoland. Tickets to Cracow by Polski Bus were very cheap, my friend offered to meet and shelter me for a night so I said what the heck! I won’t write about how great it was to see a friend after two years and all that came with that, although it was a very big part of why I am still wondering if it was worth it instead of deciding it wasn’t… Finding a company in a business park if they do not have a name-plate at the main gate is a pain in the ass, especially in the rain and mud. QualityQuestions was an all-day event, 3rd edition actually with this year’s topic “Performance & Automated Security Tests”. They put a lot of effort into organizing this, that’s for sure. There were a lot of people from the company itself, which was of course a good thing, but sometimes hearing them laugh and comment as their colleague struggled with equipment mid-presentation was a bit unnerving. As to presentations and talks themselves… Some people sounded like they were not sure if what they are talking about is interesting, some were not prepared for public speaking (sorry guys but it sounded like that and it wasn’t one person). All in all, it looked like something prepared by 3rd year uni students. One person who was a delightful highlight – interesting topic, skills on human interaction and an interesting personality was Tomasz Borek. Even though some parts of his talk were too technical for me I still enjoyed it. Also, last but not least – employees at GP can bring they dogs to work and there was a real beauty there – big, fluffy dog just waiting to be hugged. When that’s one of the biggest pros of a conference you know what that mean. It was a hard experience for me after all great events of last 6 weeks and I still feel like maybe there was something really good there I did not see…

All in all, my fellow adventurers in QA land be careful while choosing your side quests or you’ll end up with a cold and a feeling that you could probably use your vacation day better. Like, I don’t know catching up on all the links you saved for later on FB.

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