Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Do you know Altom?

Organizations really are defined through a group of people. They recruit people that fit and form a culture. And the organization I want to introduce is very special in this sense.

Altom (@altomsays) is a company based in Romania, with a subsidiary in Finland. Altom is one of the Gold sponsors of European Testing Conference. Even though I sincerely hope they get they money's worth in sponsoring us, I also believe they are in this to support a cause of skilled testing.

This post is not part of our sponsoring agreement, but emerges from my need of introducing a group of people. If you ever have a chance of meeting people under the Altom flag and your experience is anything like mine, you will find people that are:
  • Seeing the big picture of testing, capable of management, testing, and automation in a smart, practical way
  • Willing to share what they know to change the world of testing
  • Fun to hang out with, insightful and caring
My first experiences with Altom-ese were from Finland. Organizing local testing community events, I got in touch with people who volunteered to help, and delivered on every promise. And not long, they were doing things I has secretly hoped that would happen in Finland, like bringing international testing stars like Michael Bolton and James Bach to deliver us trainings. I took my RST with Michael through Altom.

Skilled testing is their thing. In addition to enabling RST in Finland and Romania, Altom-ese are deeply involved in communities like Tabara de Testare, the Romanian Testing Community. And in recent years, they have been taking action in enabling international online training on Cem Kaner's Black-Box Software Testing course series, the next generation.  For the BBST commercial series, they do important work on making sure that creating and maintaining the course to help it improve further is financially sustainable.

Altom will be there with us in Bucharest 11.-12th. They are happy to talk about what they do as a company, but being the awesome individuals they are, they are always happy to discuss anything. I hope we have a chance of introducing you all to them.  They are also a worth-to-follow on twitter, sharing very nice insightful articles from their own people's experiences as well as mining what is relevant out there.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A master of Mobile: Julian Harty

We have so many amazing people to introduce to you for European Testing Conference 2016 that it is making it hard for us to decide the order in which to share our excitement. So we're picking a second track speaker: Julian Harty.

If you don't know who Julian Harty is, do a google search. You will find he is a very popular keynoter on major testing conferences, and a master of all things mobile. If there's anything around mobile testing (or development for that matter), Julian is one of the go-to-people. His materials online are one of the go-to-sources. 

In addition to being absolutely brilliant in the stuff he shares in his talks, he is also - quoting a friend of mine - "one of the nicest people you can run into in the testing circles". We gave him 30 minute track slot, not a keynote. But we also give him - and all of you - the whole conference for conferring, and in particular open space to create sessions on anything we missed on the scheduled program. Julian is one of the people who will have more stuff to share than we can fit into the two days, and willingness to share it and learn more with everyone of you.

Julian's scheduled session is titled The Symbiosis of Mobile Analytics and Testing. Knowing what this stuff is about, I would say that while mobile focused with mobile insights, there's a lot in this for anyone who has not yet had the fortune of moving over to experience mobile. 

There's still a few more weeks to get your ticket and join us. Don't miss out! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

One future of testing and testers from a context of Jesse Alford

There were rumors before, but at Agile 2015 in Washington DC, Elisabeth Hendrickson added a bit to spark my curiosity. Elisabeth is a manager at Pivotal Cloud Foundry, with a few hundred engineers but only two exploratory testers.

In the field of testing, the discussion of tester role, its modern transformations and the future of anyone who identifies themselves as testers is unavoidable. While with European Testing Conference we want to believe that the world of software needs all of our contributions, looking into options and possibilities of personal growth is always encouraged.

With the conference in Feb 11-12th in the lovely city of Bucharest, we're very pleased to offer you a chance of looking into one particularly enchanting context of testing through the eyes of Jesse Alford. Jesse delivers a talk on Everybody Tests: Balanced Teams, Extreme Programming and Exploration. Jesse is one of the two explorers Pivotal Cloud Foundry has.

Jesse Alford travels from San Fransisco, USA to share his lessons, and his presence in Europe might be a rare treat or an opening of opportunities to connect. I’ve been most puzzled with the company that has 200 developers but only 2 testers - or explorers as they call them. How does it really work? What is an explorer, and how would you expect a person recruited to that role to be? When everyone tests, what is left for these rare specialists? What does Jesse mean when he writes that he helps people by learning things?

In addition to delivering his talk, Jesse (just like all our speakers) will be around enabling us to dig deeper into interesting subjects. Will you be there to share with us?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Introducing European Testing Conference

The very first European Testing Conference takes place in about a month! You still have a chance to get your ticket and join us this year. With this blog, however, we want to open up a bit more of the ideas and inspirations that have lead us to the conference.

This conference started with a twitter discussion of three people, who have met each other over conferencing: Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Adi Bolboaca and Aki Salmi. The conferences that tend to bring us together are often labeled 'agile'. We wanted one where we could extend the label 'agile' with 'testing' as we knew it from different perspectives: developers, testers, analysts, managers alike.

As the discussion started, we quickly learned there was a lot of common ground in what we wanted to create:
  • A "from community, to community" event that would share and take forward practical aspects of testing
  • Focus on co-creating with speakers over selection from blindly created samples of talks 
  • Balance of testing as testers know it (exploration, as performance) and as developers know it (automation, as artifact creation) and heavy cross-pollination of people of different backgrounds: testing as feedback, something that is too important to be left just for testers but where deep skills in testing are beneficial
  • A conference that was fair to speakers: not making them pay for speaking (enabling a whole bunch of people to speak that we see too rarely) and even paying them for speaking (enabling the best speakers to join)
  • Avoiding debate and focus on dialogue and mutual learning. We can agree to disagree, but understanding others with different experiences is important
  • A traveling conference (different locations every year) with focus on Europe
We're very happy to see the light of day for the 1st release of this conference on Feb 11-12th in Bucharest, Romania.

We believe we are unique in the world of testing conferences. We look up to other conferences that are fair to speakers such as #TestBash run by the wonderful Rosie Sherry in the UK that also have brilliant content. We recognize there are a lot of wonderful options for testing conferences, and aim to create one that truly would bring together testing and software craftmanship communities on themes of testing - a rare mix for now.

Our end result has 26 speakers with scheduled slots with very interesting contents - you'll  hear more about our excitement on speakers in upcoming posts. In addition to scheduled slots, we have reserved time and space for emergent topics. There's so much knowledge there waiting to be shared that we find that Open Space and Lean Coffee is a must.

Will we see you in a month in Bucharest? Follow us on twitter: @EuroTestingConf #EuroTestConf and get in touch. We'd love to hear from you!

A Community Marketing Experiment