Another conference with a long story for me. It was May 2013 when I joined the third edition of Quality Excites. I won the ticket in the draw organised by WrotQA. It was, in fact, my first conference ever and I did not like it. Why? First of all, I did not know it yet, that quality isn’t only testers thing. There was also no indicator on conference agenda or in presentation description who is the target (developer? tester? manager?). So it was a bit scary when I (beginner manual tester) was sitting on the presentation prepared most definitely for developers. And yet when I gained more experience in my field I realised the genius behind this conference:
The quality isn’t only testers ‘thing’.
Quality Excites 2016
In 2016 I started my journey with speaking. Up until this point, QE was only my first conference. Yet it was destined to be ‘The First Conference” because of:
- For the first time, I submitted the proposal,
- For the first time, I was accepted,
- For the first time, I was running the discussion panel,
- For the first time, I saw conference paused for some time so the participants can watch a football game,
- For the first time, I was asked questions in front of the camera,
- For the first time, I was so stressed I spent the whole conference in the bathroom.
Yet I was not proud of my performance. I wasn’t skilled enough to bring people to talk, and it was a discussion panel. I still wanted to share my stories, but at this point, I decided to stick to presentations and workshops. And I was so grateful for giving me a chance to get that experience. Thank You, Quality Excites!
Quality Excites 2017
This year I didn’t want to submit the proposal. I was too afraid, that my performance in 2016 was poor and they will reject me. Fortunately, there is something called ‘courage in the bottle’. So a few hours before the call of papers closed I pressed ‘Submit’ button and prayed I did not make that many mistakes in my proposal. And I was accepted.
This year was different because for the first time I was able to participate in workshops. Well, one workshop – ‘Develop your strengths within your team’. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and yet it was well spent 2 hours. During this workshop, Weronika Kędzierska told us about strengths, creativity and visualisation. My favourite part was the formula: strength = talent + invested time.
Next day it was the main conference day. For me, it started very early during my breakfast. I met there Aslak Hellesøy, one of the guests invited by Quality Excites. Talking with him and then listening to his presentation was inspiring. A Humble person with an amazing mind. I enjoyed his presentation even as a non-coding person.
Right after Aslak performance, it was time for the presentation prepared by Mateusz Piaszczak. It. Was. Mind. Blowing. I loved it and in fact, I got motivated to again dive deeper into security learning. I even have an idea for Mateusz or Niebezpiecznik.pl – they should prepare a new line of workshops. “Hacking for Parents – protect your children better” 😉
Then my conference experience changed from listening to presentations into participating in inspiring talks in both speakers room or outside. It was great and made me totally forget how nervous I should be 🙂 This way I was very surprised when it was time for my talk. I prayed I will be able to speak in English. The deal was – if everyone will understand this language you can speak in it. So I asked and one person did not understand English. So I was forced to stay with Polish.
I think, that some of the content from my presentation was lost a lot in the translation. I also received feedback, that it did not look good on the screen. While on my laptop it was black & white on the screen it was 50 shades of grey. And I was rated just like the movie under this title. For this moment my presentation has a score 2,5 / 5, which makes my presentation the worst in the whole conference. This is a harsh lesson. I just hope that in addition to bad scores participants also entered some comments so I will know what should I improve or if I should just stop speaking in Poland 😦
What I enjoyed on the other hands were the little things from the organisation point. Every participant had a note with papers, where they could write down what they thought about the presentation and leave it in the box. Amazing alternative to ‘simple click with the number in the application’. Another thing was a map of Poland, where everyone could leave the mark with their name. Delegation from Wrocław was strong!
So apart from my performance, the event was amazing. So many familiar faces, friendly people and great talks. I think it was my first opportunity to talk for that long with Michał Stryjak. I’m looking forward to talking even more during the afterparty, so I’m leaving You with this summary of Quality Excites story.