This year I had a pleasure to attend Romanian Testing Conference. I found out about this event via Rob Lambert – 2017 chairman. He was announcing the call for papers and I gave it a shot. Guess what? They invited me! So here I was: my first conference abroad, the first big conference where I was about to speak and the first tester from my company to speak abroad. No pressure.
I can tell it short – The organization of RTC was epic. But much rather I would show You what amazing job they do for the speakers (and attendees as well!).
So first of all RTC team provide speakers with help at every single step. Booking the flights, car from the airport and smiling faces when You arrive. So by the time I got to the hotel I was already amazed. I even had the pleasure to ride in one taxi with Adam Knight and Nicola Owen – two lovely and experienced speakers. If this wasn’t enough, just take a look at my room:
I travel a lot around the world and I must say this was the best hotel (and room) I ever stayed in. Food was also great even for my stress-tight stomach.
And when it comes to the conference itself everything was running very smooth – every presentation was right on time, one big room with sponsor stands and several rooms for track sessions. Those rooms were big, yet cozy. Just take a look at my first selfie ever (not my idea, Rob started it):
I could continue on pointing out how amazing was this conference from the organizational point of view… But I rather just send warm kisses to Team “Amazing” RTC.
Due to my health check in Poland, I was not able to take part in workshop days. Even though I think they are “absolute must”.
First of all, they are run by world-class specialists in their fields. I was very sad to miss the workshop “Storytelling for agile (testing) professionals” by Huib Schoots. I could use some guidance in that. A simple talk with John Stevenson can be life-changing. He has a lot of experience and knowledge, so when You combine this with a warm person he is and You can easily guess that his workshop “A journey of self-learning” was a great success. Keith Klain is amazing in talking, so anyone attending his workshop “Talk about Testing by NOT Talking about Testing” could gain a lot of experience. Rick Tracy was running “Puzzles versus Mysteries” workshop and I was lucky enough to participate in this workshop later, at Testing Cup. As for “The quest for the ultimate test story” by Ard Kramer and Beren van Daele I was unlucky to participate at both RTC and Testing Cup. Not due to lack of trying, but because the places for their workshops disappear instantly. This should tell You how good they are.
By now You may complain “sure, lots of soft skills… what about some automation?”. For those of You, RTC presented “REST assured API Testing” by Bas Dijkstra. And the cherry on the top – “Web and mobile security – Attack like a black-hat hacker” by Santosh Tuppad (such a lovely guy – if You ever meet him give him and his wife a hug from me). I’ve even heard first handed from participants that it was fun, illuminating, inspiring, full of real-life stories and many other nice adjectives 😉
Every single workshop was amazing and exceptional. I can’t really tell this same about the presentations. Still, the majority of them was a very high level. Sometimes I was very sad I cannot be in two places at once. I’m even sadder that the presentations were not recorded. Still, you can find presentations from 2017 here.
I had the pleasure to speak about Magic of Chaos: how to remain sane in everyday testing. I presented this topic only once within my company. After that I re-organized it a lot 😉 During RTC I was able to look at a full room of friendly faces. The beginning was hard – my laptop was far away and the screen was behind me. So I had no hints on what I was supposed to say.
Still, after first few minutes, I felt this resonating strength and approval from the audience and it went smooth. At the end instead of questions, I had few discussions during which I tried to share my courage with testers 🙂 It wasn’t perfect and for the future, I noted things like:
- Move on the stage. I have this safe-spot on the stage where I feel good. And when I move I forget about the speaking. Somehow my brain doesn’t combine those two. Now I know this can be a bit tiresome for the audience.
- Prepare better ending. As Rob pointed out – First and last 5 minutes are the most important. The good ending provides closure and resonates with attendees just like the beginning.
This is my side. As for the attendees, they scored me like this:
I consider this a good and encouraging score. There is a place for improvement, but it was my first “big” presentation and I was competing in scores with world-class speakers.
RTC was an opportunity to meet a lot of amazing and inspiring people. I was able to sit and make jokes with people who I knew only from their blogs and found their words life-changers. All this combined with an amazing organization and very low-cost of tickets makes Romanian Testing Conference mandatory item in my calendar.
And if You want to take part in maybe greater adventure than mine – the call for papers is open for another month! For next year they are searching for stories “just at the edge” – testing in relatively new technologies, career development in a changing industry, defying the status quo, histories beyond what is viewed as “normal” testing with new experiences and techniques. Sign up and share your story here.