EuroSTAR 2014 in Dublin is less than 2 weeks away! Thanks to TESTHuddle I will be going and a 4 year long dream to attend this awesome test conference is coming true!
I am still a bit in shock!
In this blog post I want to provide some hints and tips (not that I am an experienced conference goer) and share with you which talks I am choosing to attend, along with a few bits and pieces that are going on around the conferences.
A great place to start planning and getting a feel for the conference and what to expect is the Test Huddle Forum. Here you can find discussions around all sorts of topics from getting to the event, sharing taxis to social events to be aware of.
Also check the weather in case you need to pack like me!
I booked a flight from Gatwick to Dublin and then I am aiming to get the Airlink. But there are other ways to get to the conference as well. There is a thread on the forum here with details for airport buses. Is anyone travelling by boat?
In case you are like me and were a bit late to the party some of these discounts may not apply, but EuroSTAR Conferences had some negotiated that can be found here.
Wondering who else may be staying at your hotel or nearby to continue the discussions of the day with? Have a look at the forum.
Personally I opted for near walking distance of the venue but staying closer in the city centre may have its advantages also.
Pre-Conference and other Socials:
I would have loved to go to the 5km run on the Sunday before the conference, but I don’t arrive until Tuesday! If you are not convinced have a look here. It will make you feel awesome!
Other social events include:
5km Fun Run on Sunday, 23rd November at 15:00
Dublin Literary Pub Crawl on Monday, 24th at 7:30pm.
Guinness Storehouse Tour on Thursday 27th at 16:00
I am not a big drinker but may be tempted by the Guinness Tour! Friends and Family have done it and loved it! Don’t like Guinness? Apparently this will change your mind!
The programme looks really good and inspiring! I am hoping to learn a lot!
Have you tried the new Planner? It is a great way to organise yourself and keep a schedule on your phone.
I have previously gone to a conference and printed the schedule and after day one it was basically destroyed! Having the schedule, and my chosen one at that, to hand electronically really appeals to the geek in me! 🙂
So my plan? Well below a couple of talks I am really looking forward to:
Alexandra Schladebeck – QA Cookbook: Ingredients for a Great Recipe
I am really intrigued by this talk! Considering testing and a test department at that is a very new concept at my current job I cannot wait to hear more and compare my experiences with Alexandra’s.
Kristoffer Nordstrom – Gamification – How to Engage and Get Help from Users of a Test Framework
Outside of work I have been a bit interested in Gamification and this talk sounds like it will show me how this concept could be applied to produce a positive work environment.
Stephen Janaway – Understanding your Mobile User
We are probably all mobile users but with so many devices out there catering to so many different types of users this field can become overwhelming. I would love to hear more from Stephen and his approaches in understanding the mobile user.
Janet Gregory – Testing Traps to Avoid in Agile Teams
Testing in my company is new and we actually, in my very biased opinion, do a pretty good job at testing in an agile context. But sometimes things don;t feel quite right, or like they are flowing, so I am interested in understanding the potential traps!
Then finally I am looking forward to Programming for testers! Personally I have been trying to learn some coding languages such as Python and want to learn more about applying these and reading more code.
This is my condensed plan so far! In addition I am planning to go to the test lab as well. This will be a great opportunity to try some pair testing and get to know other approaches and tools. You can see the lab here on the floor plan!
During the conference:
There is an amazing document with tips from Robert Lambert floating around. It has some great pointers especially if you are naturally shy like me.
My main top 5 tips are:
- Speak to people – it doesn’t matter if you only say hi and where you are from. You will find someone that you click with and can share your testing experiences with.
- Ask a question – ideally ask the speakers. I am personally too shy to do this during the talk so have tried to find the speakers during the coffee break and asked them a question. You will be surprised how approachable and helpful they will be.
- Have supplies with you – water, jumper, pen and paper and ideally business cards.
- Be active on twitter – you will be surprised how quickly you will see great conversations and maybe even unofficial social events popping up! #esconf is the hashtag!
- Enjoy it! Try something new and make the most of the event.
One more thing if you struggle to approach people, why not try to attend the community hub? “A place of connection and reflection and where ‘conferring’ is the main activity.” You will probably find me there! Do say hello and I look forward to meeting many of you!
About the Author
Kim is one of our Press Pass Competition Winners. Kim works as a Test Lead working for an online accountancy company. She started working as a tester doing linguistic games tester for a third party language testing provider. She has progressed to front end web application tester and have started to dabble with API testing. Kim is passionate about usability and exploratory testing approaches.