Finally, after two months ( sorry, busy with life), I got around to wrote about the great experience that was TestWarez2017. And, believe me, I can not overstate how GREAT it was. TestWarez, as I wrote here is the oldest and the largest Polish conference for all involved in and interested in Quality Assurance and I was able to go thanks to my employeer PGS Software – thank You so much guys!
Ok, so, as promised I’d like to walk you through my thoughts about the presentations and/or discussion panels I attended.
Let us start with Thursday and let it be written here in case I ever forget – getting up on 4 am to start conference at 9 and go thru whole day packed with super-interesting things and going to a party afterwards may sound like a good idea, but for the future I think I need a good night sleep before events like that, else my battery runs out of power at 11 PM and I am done…
Of course, the TestWarez was started by SJSI members and a keynote – from Michał Kujałowicz who talked about managing the quality, although it was more of a company-specific non-problem-oriented case study than something that establishes the framework for the following programme of events or convention agenda. Nevertheless, it was kind of interesting.
Then we went outside to take a photo together – it was fun but gosh, do I wish it was a bit warmer. Probably so did the guy who was dressed up as our App mascot, but he sure had twice the spirit!
Then followed the two presentations about the AI delivered by Bartłomiej Graczyk and Paweł Noga. Together they formed a thought-provoking walk through the still short, but nevertheless, interesting history of AI and right into its future. I never gave it much thought before, but with artificial neural nets learning faster than humans and all new things like Baidu, AlphaGO winning with human and self-driving Teslas future holds a lot of questions in terms of changes that we will see in our lifetime in every aspect of our professional and private lives. Should we worry about our QA jobs? I do not think so, at least as long as we continue to learn and evolve professionally. Or maybe we will all end up either as AI deep learning trainers?
Next was MISSION: POSSIBLE – that was actually a talk about the new ISTQB syllabus that is being prepared for QA/BA lead by Oliver Denoo with help from Karolina Zmitrowicz. It concentrates on the areas where QAs and BAs often work closely or should work closely – making its objective to help them understand each other jobs better, communicate more effectively and find common ground easier. On one hand it sounds like a subject for a book or whitepaper but on the other hand, ISTQB mission is to help software testers to be more efficient and effective in their work and to encourage discussion and exchange of ideas. I sure want to read the syllabus once it is accepted and finalized, although I am not sure if this really should be an “exam preparation” material.
From the BA and QA cooperation, I dived into much deeper waters with Krzysztof Kołosowski – Backlog and its menagerie. The presentation was kind of “backlog in a nutshell” thing, but not in a bad way! The presentation itself was visually nice, which is always important to me (I just like looking at nice, clean things, sue me…), clear and it touched most of the important aspects giving the opportunity to have a broad look at backlog management and enabling the listeners to write down what interested them and maybe search further on their own.
Miss a discussion panel with Natalia Krawczyk-Grzegorzewicz and Karolina Zmitrowicz? Never! Quality is something testers could discuss for hours, so it was really hard for them to moderate the discussion, but they managed. I swear, Karolina was like this high-school professor you really like but who surely can keep discipline with just a look 😉 It was good to hear how different people implement their ideas about testing or how they would like to do so but can not because of a company or supervisor who thinks otherwise.
I closed the official part of Thursday with Jan Sabak talking about how to test better. I loved that he said that the answer to most questions starts with “it depends”, because I think so too. There are a few definite answers if any, mostly it really does depend on the specific situation to which the question is linked/could be linked. This was the first time I hear dabout Cynefin. It is easy to understand and can be a good solution to apply both professionally and in personal life (if you are into trying something different to solve problems and sort out a mess).Basically You try to place the problem in one of five domains.
“Cynefin offers five decision-making contexts or “domains”—simple, complicated, complex, chaotic, and disorder—that enable managers to identify how they perceive situations, and to make sense of their own and other people’s behaviour.”
Then You deal with it using three steps specific for the problem domain. As this is something that I already tried since TestWarez I think it will get its own blog entry soon!
As we had a bit of break between the last presentation and the integration ( we skipped the lightning talk), we decided to talk a walk through Toruń old town. We bought some famous gingerbreads (and ate some before we even left the store, they were so good!) and decided for a quick snack in Old Town Brewery. It ended with beer-testing 😀
Integration evening with disco was an amazing part of the event where I could just relax and talk to some people I already knew and some that i have just met, even with those whose names are big in the testing world, and everybody were super nice and firendly!
Interestend in day 2? That’s coming soon!