TestBash Brighton 2018


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Another year went by fast and inexorable. It was time again for another visit to charming Brighton and the mother of all TestBashes. Four QualityMinds made their way to the south of the soon-to-be non-EU-island of Great Britain.

Vera was giving her talk about QualityLearning on Thursday morning before the workshops and volunteering, Vernon was hosting the show, and Guna and I were just participants. TestBash for me is always a lot like home-coming, and it was no difference this time, as I met lots of familiar faces when entering the Clarendon center on Thursday afternoon.

With lots of good chats and catching up, the Thursday came to a late end. After a short night I woke up to the ever-present sounds of the seagulls underneath my window.

Conference Day! After a short breakfast on the beach I made my way to the conference center to find more QualityMinds. In addition there were lots of new and familiar faces, and more catching up before the conference.

The talks started with Emily Webber, talking about Communities of Practice. A topic that is important in today’s project environments as testers are usually embedded in SCRUM teams and more often than not, alone in that role. It reminds of the old method of matrix organizations.

Next up was my good friend Danny Dainton who gave a splendid experience report on “Learning to Learn”. Followed by the awesome Rosie Hamilton who described her discoveries of logic in software testing, by explaining the inductive, deductive and abductive reasoning and what roles it plays in software testing, especially in her experience from the games industry.

Aaron Hodder, who came all the way from Kiwi Island, New Zealand, told us about his approach of using Session Based Test Management, Visual Test Coverage models, and Kanban Boards in a regulated environment. Matt Long told us about the importance to test your programmable infrastructure. Something which, in a world of Docker, Cloud services, etc., is getting more and more important.

Lunch break went smoothly, with lots of time to enjoy the local products and good chats, as they managed to hand out the food in no time this year.

Also new this year was an experiment called the UnExpo. In one of the workshop rooms Sarah gave 15 people at a time the chance to present something that is important to them. This session happened during the morning, lunch and afternoon break, with always changing topics. It was a place to learn about TestSphere, solve testing puzzles, discuss topics, give feedback, participate in a coloring challenge, or learn about topics, like the 7 principles of Modern Testing.

Speaking of which, this was the talk in the after-lunch slot. The experiences in Modern Testing presented by Alan Page. The fanboys Vernon and Patrick were very eager to see Alan on stage. #TwoOfTheThree! (If you have no clue what that means, you should start listening to the AB Testing podcast by Alan Page and his now former colleague Brent Jensen)
Alan described what he (and Brent) see in their respective environments as the role of the Modern Tester.
The funny and entertaining presentation by Alan was followed by the Canadian Geoff Loken, who decided to prepare no slides on the topic why universities and industry should work together in the world of software testing. Sorry to say, but after he gave the summary of the summary of the summary my attention slightly drifted.

After another break, networking and UnExpo session Elizabeth Zagroba and Diana Woodruff explained that “Less is More”, talking about different communication personas. I guess I was not the only one left with the thought of “am I talking too much?”. And last but not least Winter was coming, not only outside, but also on stage. Ash Winter was telling us about being part of the pipeline, and how testers can help on the way to production, without being a bottleneck.

A lot of good and inspiring 99 second talks crowned the event as always.

Which also meant, back to beer, networking and chatting in the post-meetup, QualityMinds (& Friends/Husband) dinner in the pub.

After another short night, thanks to the seagulls, it was time for Open Space. We had some good topics, including recording parts of the 100th episode of Gem Hill’s podcast “Let’s Talk About Test!”, Pairing, RiskStorming “Knight Rider”, and fun activities like playing a round of “Exploding Kittens”.

Another successful and enjoyable TestBash in Brighton came to an end, well, much later that night.

See you next year, Brighton!