I was thrilled to be asked to submit to TestWarez, a 3 day testing conference in Poland this year as an invited speaker.
Prior to attending, I knew very little about the testing scene in Poland so I was really looking forward to hearing the thinking that was shaping how the craft is practiced there.
My name badge is now hanging over my desk.
Due to a slight mix up with flights (entirely on me!) the 1st talk I saw was Lukasz Pietrucha on the afternoon of the 1st day. His talk was "Goodbye QA. Welcome to digital assurance". A rather intriguing title!
The focus of the talk was on large scale changes needed to deliver features that the customer wanted at speed in order to meet a market that not only demanded function but function and the same user experience across devices
Lukasz Pietrucha starting his talk
The next part of the conference I attended was an Open Space on extending static analysis (for fun and profit). This was the promise of Alexander Todorov
This was a great demo of the purpose of, reasons why and the methods of doing static analysis. All I could think was that I would love to get hands on in a workshop with the tools that Alexander told us about. He was even nice enough to give everyone who attended some very soft and comfortable Kiwi TCMS socks which I wore for my talk the next day.
Stylish and so comfy!
The afternoon was a lovely sit down and a chat with Pradeep Soundararajan, the charismatic founding Mother of 2 Start-Ups; Moolyatesting and AppAchhi. This was as part of a conference event called 'Debate with speaker' where an adjudicator, in this case, the energetic Marcel Hogenhout opened up a topic for discussion. His opening gambit was to ask us about the value of the ISTQB(!)
All mic'ed up and ready to go!
After the last talks of the day, there was some time to have a rest or use the gym / pool / sauna before the gala dinner at the end of the day. The hotel Ossa where the event is being held is a very big picturesque Chalet style hotel in the middle of an apple-growing region of the Polish countryside. I used the gym and REALLY used the sauna. It was well worth getting up at 5am to get to Warsaw airport from London to be able to sit back in a sauna later on that evening.
The TestWarez hotel is in a remote, rural location. This meant the facilities were more important than they otherwise might have been if we had been based in a big city. I can only talk about the facilities I experienced - great sauna, great gym and lovely walking trails (with only a small few mozzies in one patch) The awe-inspiring part is the spectacular views over the Polish Autumn sunrises and sunsets.
Conference entrance of the Ossa Hotel
Once the sun went down, a fog rolled in over the dark forest outside the hotel giving the whole place a very fairytale / horror film feel. It was lovely to watch and then go downstairs to the main dining room where everyone attending the conference had come to dinner together. I have never been to an event that did this before and I am now a big fan of this idea of everyone getting to chat over their supper. It was indicative of the intention of the organisers to give everyone the best experience possible.
Lovely but very, VERY spooky looking
The 2nd day of TestWarez was bright and clear. It was also the day of my talk! Obviously, I was not up at 6am writing re-writing sections of the thing. That would be madness, right?
One thing I learned from TestWarez is that one of the secrets to a good talk (from a speaker's perspective) are lovely soft socks. Not even the pressure of Marcus Merrell (the conference keynote speaker) sitting right in the front rows could distract from my awesome feet happiness.
3...2...1...and we are off!
I blame those same socks for my getting foolishly brave and inflicting my terrible and regrettable attempt at spoken Polish on the unfortunate audience for which I would like to apologise wholeheartedly to anyone who attended. Before I attempt anything like this again, I will find someone to test my pronunciation with before I unleash it on unsuspecting attendees.
Not every English to Polish translation is this simple to read or to say!
The talk after mine was Pradeep's "New age testing tools to help anyone test well". The premise of the talk was an interesting one; it is acknowledged that when we need to understand how to do something properly, we turn to an expert. However, in testing, people from a non-testing background are researching more and more how to do the testing that is needed on their products.
In order to help these new testers and their more experienced peers, more test-assistive tools are needed. Not to be confused with automation /checking tools - these are tools that make testing more transparent in terms of uncovering what is going on from a mobile point of view or helping with generating test reports quickly and accurately.
The lovely thing about Pradeep's slides is that there was a translation into Polish for all the English text already present which made it even more accessible to the audience listening to his talk.
The future is bright, the future is test support tools
All in all, it was an amazing few days and the organisation that went into the conference was excellent. Big events like this do not run this smoothly without a lot of work by the organisers in the background. I have to say a special thank you to Sebastian Małyska and Adriana Badtke for making this such an unforgettable experience. If anyone is thinking of submitting to talk or attending TestWarez as a delegate - do it! (and thank me later)
Thank you once again to the organisers. A special thanks to Adriana for answering all my questions about the Code of conduct of the conference and how it is executed. Last but not least, a very special thanks to Scott Logic for encouraging and facilitating me to attend TestWarez.The slides for the talk I did for TestWarez 2019 are here: Testing Progressive Web Apps