So I recently had the pleasure of attending SoftEd’s newest conference, Fusion 2012. Some of the noteworthy presentations were on “Systems Thinking” by Dr Emma Langhorn, from the UK, “Customer Focused testing” by Alan Page from Microsoft in the US, “Acceptance Test Driven Development” by Elisabeth Hendrickson, from the UK, and “Testing with Oracles” by Anne-Marie Charrett. In short, there were a lot of brilliant ideas floating around from a lot of brilliant people.
It was also my honor to give a presentation myself on a practical experience of a tester in an agile world or “Seeking ‘a’gile Testing”. This was my first time presenting at an “international” conference and while it didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked (eg: the microphone cut out halfway through) I can’t say enough to express how fantastic everyone in the room was, not just because they actually listened to me, but also from the questions the asked, not just in my presentation but in the next day and a half. It was made harder by the fact that there is so much to talk about, but having to limit it to only 45 minutes (including Q&A) meant there was a lot I didn’t get a chance to talk about. If your interested, you can have a look at the slide deck here.
People obviously got something out of what I was saying because not only was I pretty much constantly talking with people for the rest of the conference, with them coming up to me to ask questions, I was also asked to chair a round table session the next morning on the transition to agile. Again some fantastic q&a going on, not just from myself :).
But it wasn’t all about me though. Here’s a couple of the key learnings/thoughts/quotes I got from the conference (in no particular order):
- “Systems Thinking begins the moment you see the world through the eyes of another”
- “‘Business Analyst’ is actually the wrong job title. It should be ‘Business Analyst and Synthesist’. They’re not just stenographers, they don’t just detail things. They understand the system and build up a product from the ground up.”
- “Business people don’t need to understand designs. They need to be designers.”
- “Test Design = Test Ideas. Form your own opinion of testing.”
- “BDD = ATDD + TDD”
- “Parallel is the wrong word. Parallel means they never meet up. “With” is the correct word.”
- “The software is fine, it’s just the people that use it”
There were 2 really strange things about the conference, though:
- It is really strange seeing your own face & name up on the screen :S, and
- It was surreal sitting at a table and talking with people who you really admire, people who you have read a lot about and, to a certain extent, only know as a name on the cover of a book. Not only talking with them as a fan, but also as a …. peer? Maybe I won’t go that far 😉
Anyway, now the adrenalin has faded from my system, it’s now time to get back to work.