During job interviews or discussions with fellow testers I very often hear that they’re passionate testers and they all are working on themselves and trying to learn new things and improve in testing area. It is always great to meet someone who is avid tester as you can get some tips for new interesting blogs, websites or testing encounters. But when I ask what was the last interesting article he/she read or what is the latest thing he/she has learned I quite often get an answer that the interest is only general and due to job duties or manager decisions or lack of money or time there is no better way. Personally, I’m always disappointed to hear that as there are many ways how we can move forward and the only thing needed for this is genuine interest and desire to learn.
One of the options is to meet testing professionals face to face during a testing conference. I really like to meet new people this way but I have to admit the costs of this option are pretty high. And I’m not talking only about money for entrance but also travel expenses, time, very often also accommodation. Last year I have discovered a way how to still attend the conference, meet new people, learn new things and the only cost I paid is my time.
Thanks to initiative of Joel Montvelisky and his team there are twice a year free online test conferences, where everyone can attend and also discuss the topic with the presenter. The only thing you need to do is to register in advance. You can move the conference into your living-room. If you cannot attend all the presentations you can always watch the recordings later. Using Slack tool you can communicate directly with the presenter and ask questions. You can also send feedback to presenter and evaluate each session. Apart from very interesting topics you will get in touch with other testing professionals that you can share your knowledge with or ask for an advice, discuss experience and last but not least – meet new friends. I find it interesting also from other point of view – not just that I gain a lot of new information. It is fascinating to compare different styles of presentations.
It is difficult to point out just one topic or presentation that gave me the most but I would like to recommend you presentation from Alan Page about Technical testing. I find this topic very hot as the requirements for testers are more advanced than 10 years ago. I Agree with the opinion that many testers now see technical testing as synonym for coding or scripting or automation, and many of them are maybe afraid of becoming more technical. Alan’s presentation nicely breaks some myths and encourages testers to step out of their comfort zone and make their testing more efficient.
So if you don’t have any plans for tonight, do not hesitate and watch some of the cool presentations! 🙂