UKSTAR 2018 – The Countdown Begins

This year, the UKSTAR ran a competition to find a reporter to share the experiences of the UKSTAR 2018 Conference with software testers and give the Huddle online community a taste of what it is like. After a great submission, Sowmya Ramesh was selected as our reporter. She will be reporting in daily blog posts from the UKSTAR Conference here. This is her first post previewing what she is looking forward to at UKSTAR 2018.


Dear fellow testing community members, it is with great pleasure I take on the brand new role of the reporter at UKSTAR 2018. It is not long to go before the much awaited event takes off. Those of you who are going to be there, I look forward to being in your company. For those who can’t, please be assured, I will be your eyes and ears this year. I will aim to effectively narrate the two days of packed action and capture the key highlights of this fantastic event.

The line-up for this year’s UKSTAR event is ever so impressive! With topics ranging from technical to soft skills and themes going from magic to music – there is something for everyone. It is going to be incredibly difficult for me to choose the sessions I wish to attend during the conference. But here is a list of the ones that have captured my imagination.

Day One

The conference will start with the keynote session from Christina Ohanian about embedding testing best practices in an agile environment. There are some very attractive workshops being run and it is going to be a tough call to decide on one, although I am very inclined to attend the one on the topic of personal development due to my keen interest in the idea of improving team dynamics in projects. Coming to the track sessions, there are exciting topics being addressed like testing IoT devices and block chain applications, and not to forget, a session on that topic you can’t miss hearing these days – DevOps! I could not agree more with the points being covered in the conversation track about the challenges involved for a tester and I am curious to know how other testers handle them. It would be great to learn how Marianne Duijst and her team managed to self-organise a very interesting 24 hour innovation challenge called GoForIt. Testing Guru Dorothy Graham’s session on the three ‘C’s in testing is not to be missed. And then there is a talk about the shift from manual testing to automation testing for Ali Hill, which seems like a scenario I have come across very commonly at work place – I am intrigued to know how he dealt with it. Much to my delight there is a session on the topic close to my heart – accessibility, to be delivered by Kinga Witko as part of story telling track. The day will end with a rather mystical session from Gustav Kuhn about exploring human cognition through magic based studies.

Day Two

At the start of the day we will hear from Isabel Evans about leadership, which is an eternal favourite topic personally. Isabel will also run a workshop about test tools and automation. There is a fascinating session by Saga Davidsdottir about her experience of being a test manager facing immense resistance to the idea of testing, which is still the case in many organisations. Paul Gerrard’s session is very current topic of how test management needs to be diversified to suit the changing trends in testing. The conversation track about why universities aren’t doing enough for testing seems to bring the focus on a missing piece of the jigsaw – certainly a topic to brainstorm about. I would love to hear from the very young Harry Girlea about why youngsters need to be taken more seriously in the world of testing. The hands-on session by James Lyndsay promises to be quite an engaging experience, exploring simple systems to discover emerging behaviours. At the end of the day there would be a keynote session related to music by Frank Wammes for which I am all ears!

Other Highlights

Attending the sessions is of course the big highlight but the other key aspect is going to be the chance to network with fellow testers. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet the experts in testing, the motivated speakers and testing professionals from around the world.

The Huddle too will be at UKSTAR. Its sounds like fun with the games, relaxed sessions and more promised. This event is bound to be an amazing gathering bringing together great minds in testing. Kudos to the UKSTAR team to have come up with a winner of a schedule for the conference!

Join me in my journey as I experience this phenomenal event which celebrates the spirit of testing.

Look out for the daily blogs here on the Huddle website. Cant wait for the action to unravel – bring on UKSTAR 2018!

About Sowmya

UKSTAR 2018Sowmya is a testing professional with over 14 years of experience in the IT industry and has worked in a range of business domains in a consultancy environment. Having started her career as a developer, she found her way into testing and has not looked back since. Apart from testing, Sowmya is deeply interested in the topic of accessibility – hence she considers herself a champion for quality and equality! Currently a test team lead, Sowmya has been an active blogger within her company and considers blogging to be one of the best forms of expression in current times. She enjoys interacting with people and believes communication is one of the most important aspects of her professional life. Outside work, Sowmya is a mother of two young children and also a trained Indian classical dancer. Curious, meticulous and tenacious – that’s Sowmya in a nutshell.

About the Author


Sowmya Ramesh is a testing professional with over 18 years of IT industry experience currently working as a consultant with 2i Testing. She has a deep interest in the area of non-functional testing, in particular, accessibility testing which she has promoted for a number of years in the testing community. Sowmya enjoys interacting with people and blogging about professional topics of interest. She has delivered talks in MOT Edinburgh meet up and DevTest Summit. Sowmya is currently playing the role of a reporter on Eurostar Conferences and associated with the same team in a volunteering capacity since two years. A mother of two young children, Sowmya is a trained dancer in an Indian classical dance form called Kathak which she is actively pursuing as a learner as well as a performer. .
Find out more about @brsowmya