Another trip to Philly, another TestBash in the can. I’ve been to my share of TestBash’s, and am always impressed with what these folks have built up over the years. They feel to me to be more of a community event these days than a technology conference, but maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve toyed with the idea of taking another extended break from testing conferences as it seems to me the explosion of meet ups, hackathons, and conferences has started to fall to Jerry Weinbergs law of raspberry jam – “The wider you spread it, the thinner it gets.” But then again, it may just be that I’m “old and grumpy“.
Aside from catching up with some dear friends and a trip to Jim’s Steaks (HIGHLY recommended), the highlights of the show included a talk by Ash Coleman. Her relaxed style and nature draw you in and make you want to open up to the possibilities of being vulnerable. I know the theme of her talk was about how she “fell” into testing, but I kept wanting her to go further, to talk about our community and its challenges. We need voices like hers pushing us further than we thought possible and the ways we’ve always done them. I look forward to hearing more from Ash and believe her time in the testing community is something we’ll reflect on for a long time.
Two other talks got me excited and frankly were breaths of fresh air, due to their being technical experience reports. Kim Knup‘s talk on what’s she’s learned performance testing was filled with conventional wisdom and technical details of how she got the job done. I hope she continues speaking and elaborates on these experiences, as it’s a topic that generally suffers from “tech speak” and her storytelling approach kept it fresh and relevant. I’d never heard Amber Race present before, but wow, she was a dynamo on that stage! Funny, wicked smart, and no bullshit when it came to her message, she got to the heart of the challenges (real and imagined) of the “tester/developer” relationship. Amber is now firmly on my shortlist of speakers I look forward to seeing again!
I also had fun being interviewed about the film “Rocky” by the boys from Screen Testing. We talked about it was relevant to coaching, self discovery, and how we manage differing relationships with competing agendas. It was a great time and I had a lot of fun talking to Dan and Neil even though, I’m still not convinced we shouldn’t have reviewed one of my favorite films “High Society” – a musical derivative of the “Philadelphia Story“…nah, never mind, Rocky was a better choice, maybe next time!
Finally, I have to include a talk that I need to review again (and possibly again) by Gene Gotimere. His talk outlined tests you might not think for your pipeline, but more importantly, as I said at the time, Gene is a veritable encyclopedia of testing tools. His talk made a typically dry subject practical and accessible, and it’s one of a handful of talks I can see my self referring to in the future. As always, I would encourage you to get a Ministry of Testing “Dojo” account to check out all the recorded talks and tons of other great content.