Later this week I will be going to TestBash Brighton, and as I’m overdue a blog post, I wanted to write about what I’m planning to do, and why I’m going.
This will be my third time going to a TestBash, first with Brighton this time last year, and then Manchester in October, and is a conference that I now want to go to whenever possible. The reason is I always come back full of ideas and excitement about testing, and I know this is the career for me, so giving myself new ideas and renewing that enthusiasm is a good thing.
For Brighton, as well as the conference day, I’m also doing the workshop day, with the morning being “How to Interview Like A Tester” by Martin Hynie and Elizabeth Zagroba, and then the afternoon being “Communication and Reporting 101” by Dan Ashby and Mark Winteringham. I have seen Martin present before and found him a very good speaker, and Dan did the Exploratory Testing 101 back in Manchester which I enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to both workshops.
For the first time I will also be doing the Open Space on the Saturday, and have no idea what to expect. I saw pictures from last year, and if you don’t know what it is, they make the space available for the attendees to decide what they want to do with it. Generally there are multiple slots happening at the same time, and people can use it to trial a presentation or workshop they want to submit, ask for advice on a topic, show off a new tool, and anything else people want to do. I’m intending to do a presentation about Communities of Practice, as I gave one last month as part of Midlands Testers Meetup, and would have written about it in detail but I didn’t want to spoil what I hope could be something I submit at future conferences.
Related to this, in addition to the Open Space, something they are trialling is the UnExpo during the conference day on the Friday. I like the idea, and submitted two proposals as I couldn’t decide between them, and was fortunate that they liked one of them, and so I will be making a poster talking about Communities of Practice. My plan is to say how I have helped support mine at work, put up things which have and haven’t worked, and hope it acts as a springboard for people to ask me questions about how they could either start one, or if they have share how theirs has gone.
Finally, I will do a 99 Second Talk, but not fully certain on what it will be. But it will most likely be me saying how I want to create my own event in the Midlands, and looking for support, advice, interest and anything else people are willing to offer. But who knows what I might end up talking about by the time I get up on stage!?
TestBash is not just the events in the day, but multiple evening Meetups as well. Whilst I’m not the most social of people, it gives me a chance to chat shop with other testers, network more, and build my personal brand (as cheesy as that sounds). One they are doing on the Wednesday night will involve playing board games, and they asked for volunteers to help with that. Prior to my life as a tester, I worked for Games Workshop for four years, and then left that to manage a board game shop for another four years. As such, I knew this is something I could do, and help me get more involved in a way that works for me.
As part of wanting to keep on top of this blog more, I thought that as I am going to at least two conferences a year now, plus the Meetups, I should try to blog more about what I’m doing and experienced. To do this, I treated myself to a Chromebook. Nothing fancy, but enough for me to write blogs that evening in the hotel, take notes, and be available if needed for workshops. Hopefully this means I will post each night at Brighton, but we shall see how that goes.
If you are going to Brighton, please come up and say hi as I’ll likely not feel comfortable starting the conversation. I will be in my Robin hoodie again, which has now become my TestBash uniform.
I look forward to seeing everyone there, and seeing what happens.