Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. - Rich Kulawiec
Attending conferences and talks
Conferences are mostly multi-day events for which you pay an attendance fee. If you are attending as a speaker you will need to prepare a CFP (Call for papers) that can be approved or rejected.
You need to apply at least 3-6 months before if you plan on attending!
Conferences are mostly held once a year while talks are more frequent and are usually held almost every month.
If you are a speaker on a conference plane tickets and accommodations are covered by the event organizer most of the time!
If you are an attendee then conference tickets, plane tickets, and accommodation are financed from your education budget. If your education budget does not cover all of the costs you can cover the difference yourself.
- Sometimes, you can get a discount if you apply as a group #makeitaroadtrip.
- You don't have to attend all of the conference days.
- Early bird tickets are almost always cheaper.
If you are attending a conference or talks as a speaker we track it normally in Productive as any operating day.
If you are attending a conference as a visitor then it's not tracked as work in Productive.
Conferences usually have several tracks you can apply for.
Keynotes and closing talks are always people magnets and they have the most people in attendance. Applying for a keynote or closing talk usually means having a lot of experience and/or "street cred" in the industry. :)
Some conferences have workshops that can be themed around various topics such as test documentation, test automation, etc.
We have a backlog of topics that can be found in the private QA directory, but you can always brainstorm new topics yourself or with your team members.
Anecdotes and personal experiences are more interesting than dull technical exposes!
Technical exposes can be interesting but are needed to be told through some personal experience and should be formed in a way that will tell a story on what was the problem and how it was overcome
Keep your presentation under 60 minutes and also save some time on Q&A
Some places we attended so far
- Quest for Quality Ljubljana 2016
- Quest for Quality Dublin 2017, 2019
- TestCon Moscow
- Talks: Testival Zagreb, Spletne Urice Maribor, Tech Stories ZG, Infinum Talks ZG, Infinum Talks Ljubljana, ShareIT Ljubljana, Dlabs Ljubljana...
Places to apply
The calendar = https://testingconferences.org/
Any of the events that have "STAR" in their name are a big deal: EuroSTAR, STAR East/West, UKSTAR
Agile Testing Days, expo: QA, TestBash events, Agile + DevOps, Quest for Quality, Software Quality Days, SeleniumConf, Nordic Testing Days, TestCon...
How to apply to a conference?
- Find several conferences you think might be a good fit for you!
- Talk with your TL or other team members about a topic you would pick
- Start making CFP (Call For Papers) document, ask someone to help you start it
- After steps 1-3 are finished and done, send your CFP!
- Pray to the QA gods your CFP will be approved🤞🤞🤞
- Do a short interview with the conference organizer (optional)
- Start working on your presentation
Tips & Tricks for CFP
- Having a good title is a must!
- Keep it short, a few paragraphs should suffice
- Keep it light on buzzwords, you don't want to come off as sleazy...
- You don't have to cover everything you are going to talk about
- Don't talk about things you don't know or are planning on learning!
- You want to make the jurors have "aha!" or "I'd like to listen to this" moment
An example of CFP:https://testconf.ru/2019/en/neven-matas/index.html
Making a keynote
- Prepare a rough outline of your presentation (sections, main points you want to make)
- Create a first draft
- Sync with your team members
- Improve your draft according to feedback
- Sync with your team members
- Repeat steps 4. and 5. until done
- Have the marketing and/or design team polish your keynote to perfection!
- Present it to your team
- Last checkups
Tips & Tricks for presenting
- For the love of the bugs, please do not prepare it 5 minutes in advance...
- Follow the rule 1 slide = 1 minute
- Make a test run of your presentation a few times alone and with a crowd (you have a lot of colleagues in your team, have them listen to you and give you feedback)
- Keep track of time when you start talking, have a timer or a watch on your hand (there won't be time extensions because everything is on a tight schedule)
- Keep the text on slides at a minimum, don't overdo it
- Make some notes but don't rely on them explicitly
- Try to motivate the crowd by some questions e.g. "Raise your hand if you have ever..."
- You can bring some Infinum merch for the people who were engaging with you during the keynote and Q&A
- Lastly, bring a PDF or have your keynote in Windows PowerPoint format
Leaving for a conference
- Announce it to the operations team
- Announce it to the marketing team (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn...)
- You'll exchange a ton of emails with the conference organizer about tickets and everything else
- Arriving at the conference venue and state
- Networking (bring your business cards) - there will be drinks as well :)
- Your talk #imnotstressedaboutthisatall
- You'll be traveling around
- First time is the hardest, now you have everything to rinse and repeat!