Day one in beautiful Den Haag
Arriving in the beautiful city of Den Haag, decked in wonderful autumn colours, I have been filled with excitement to experience EuroSTAR 2018. Home to some of the most prestigious of international organisations like United Nations, Den Haag is a great choice for the conference. The opulent building of World Forum (conference venue) is right next to some of the important governance functions like international court of justice and Europol. It has certainly caught the attention of some of the locals who could not have missed this massive group of 1000 delegates to have arrived in the city (which I gathered from my conversation with a taxi driver!). I am sure this event will add to the repertoire of Hague’s event landscape and hence will be cherished.
My first pub quiz ever!
My first experience of participating in the conference was a networking event sponsored by the EuroSTAR team, where the delegates enjoyed a fun pub quiz event. The wonderfully congenial Huddle team made sure that everyone felt welcome and comfortable. Held in a friendly venue called O’Casey’s Irish Pub it was a relaxing evening and testers had a chance to unwind from the day long activities. It was my first time of being in a pub quiz and I have to admit it was highly engaging! Having landed in 8th position with my team amidst 90 other contenders was a happy outcome for me! In my team there were delegates from Brazil, Albenia and Germany. Four of us from different parts of the world bonded like we had known for years! This is the beauty of team spirit – it is beyond any perceived barriers and an emotional connection can be achieved in simple measures.
From the word go, I am awe struck by how global the audience is for this conference. I met people from who had come all the way from Canada, USA, Brazil, South Africa and some closer to the venue like Malta, Ireland, Denmark and Norway. What amazed me was to learn about the highly positive reputation of Eurostar has gained in far off counties. It is perceived as a community oriented event and people felt it is quite grounded in its spirit. Some of the delegates who had travelled afar had been nominated by their managers to attend these events to develop more awareness of testing trends, which goes to show how effective the EuroSTAR content has been year-on-year. The range of experience level in the crowd seemed quite wide ranging but on an average looked like there were more of those who had been quite seasoned in their line of work. While test automation seems to be the talk of the town, which I guess is to be expected, there were also those who were interested in test transformation, test analysis and test tooling. The testers who had attended the day long tutorials with the gurus spoke of how impressed they were with the ease of delivery and the depth of knowledge. There was a lot of excitement about the track sessions lined up and people had various topics of interest already identified. Above all the common line of thinking was around interactions with other testing professionals. To understand whether there are other ways of doing something, or a reassurance of being on the right track with the testing solution chosen, or to even get to know other professionals from outside their immediate work environment – whatever be the reason, delegates are keen to exchange notes with other testers.
A story that stood out for me from today was that of a test engineer from Texas in USA. He plays the role of a test tool developer in one of the top hardware manufacturing companies. He has always been a developer (perhaps the only one present in the pub!) and it was interesting to hear from him about how he perceived testers as his customers. Being a tooling expert, his role is all about making sure testers are happy with his work. Calling himself an ‘automation nerd’, his passion for automation is from the perspective of improvising experience for the testers. He is participating in the conference to understand their perspective better. I was impressed by this view and intent to attend this event. I believe we should spare a thought about this section of test community – of developers who want to specialise in test tools and make sure they are given good support and encouragement. This might be a minority but it is an important part of the testing function. As we forge our way forward into an innovation driven future, we might see other roles taking interest in testing. With machine learning being the next big thing on the horizon, we can anticipate our diverse testing community to get more players adding to the richness of this area in technlogy.
On that note, I wish to pause to get more insight for you from the event, this time straight from the venue. Looking forward to experiencing the track sessions, gaining more thoughts from participants and the community dinner to be held in the evening. You can find out all about it in tomorrow’s blog!