In my previous article I mentionned the magic event recipe that made testbash home a unique event. Benjamin and I suggested to add interviews from different speakers as he mentioned in his french article.

#1 Benjamin Butel from FRANCE

Where did you live the event?

  • From home (smiling). More precisely, I spent this event in my son playground room.
  • From my bed too during parts 2 and 3, I needed to rest a little bit.

What did you expect from this event?

  • It was my first testbash. And I didn’t really know what to expect. I guess I was expected to see webinars during 24 hours.
  • I was surprised about the energy, the content and all the people interactions. It was so great, so inspiring. Hosts Vernon, Bart, Jenna and Gwen gave me so such inspiration and energy.
  • I liked all the interactions during the conference using chat, Slack, the club and Twitter. All of these were a great part of this event success. It brought people together.

What was your favorite moment?

  • Several stayed in my memory.
  • I appreciated to know a little bit more ministry of testing bosses through the 99 seconds series.
  • I liked the conference of course.  I also appreciated 99 seconds of known and unknown testers, and people interactions.
  • I really enjoyed all the sketchnotes done during the event. Capturing in a sketch all the essence of a conference is very useful.  I can see them later and in one look, I remember the conference content.
  • James Lyndsey’s puzzle almost made me crazy, and still does. Thanks to make me think differently.
  • If I have to choose one specific moment, it is definitively Maryam Umar testimony.
  • She bravely talked about her test enthusiasm ended by a burnout and depression. Her story was so heart touching. It reminds me that we, testers, are human people. As a coach, it resonates a lot to me. How can I protect my colleagues (testers, developers) if I cannot protect myself.
  • “How can I deliver a great product if I’m not feeling great?”
  • This Maryam thought is so true. If only one person on a team is unhappy, how can I feel good even if delivery is done?
  • You make me think, Maryam. You make me want to be a better tester and also a better human being.
  • Thank you Maryam!

What did you learn?

  • I learn a lot during these 24 hours.
  • I was inspired by Joao and Angie to rethink how to deal with automation.
  • Conferences about with CI and security testing confirmed what I already know.
  • At the end, I mostly discover a great family. Seeing people, from all around world, discussing, sharing, having fun all together, makes me feel good. I’m proud to be part of such great family.
  • Jenny, at the end of her intervention, challenges us to be a speaker. Emna also challenges me in private discussion to be a speaker. I’m still not comfortable to speak in English but challenge accepted.  I will try my best to share my testing vision internationally and not only in French testing communities.

A last word for the testing community

  • Testbash is such a great experience. Sure, I will try to attend live for future testbash. It connects people and it makes me feel proud to be a tester.
  • Even if you are not comfortable with English, go to testbash, meetups. Connect to people through social networks, share your experience, go to Ministry of testing club, and you will see that testing is a great family.

#2 Ileana Herrera from ARGENTINA

Where did you live the event?

  • I was in between my workstation and my bed during TestBash Home. I needed to be comfortable if I was going to spend almost an entire day “plugged” to the computer. My fellow companions were my colour pencils and one of my cats, Venus.
  • My family was of huge support, they fed me all throughout the event. I wasn’t able to do the 24/7 no sleep challenge but my father made sure I had a 4 hour sleep and was ready for my puzzle session with James Lyndsay which I had volunteered for a couple of days before, not realizing the session was at 7:30 am my time. Thanks to dad, I made it on time.

What was your favorite moment?

  • It’s difficult to choose only one moment, I loved all of it, and I have to say all hosts and speakers were amazing.
  • The bug hunt session was fun to see! I’ve never seen one before. And I found myself screaming at my computer “wait wait wait, I know that girl! Janna!” hahah.
  • On another hand, Maryam Umar’s talk on ‘Inspiration and burnout’ was touching, inspiring and encouraging. She’s such a brave and powerful woman and she made me realize there are many things I can do better in order to enjoy this profession and get to know myself even more so.

As I mentioned before I had volunteered to be one of the guinea pigs for the exploratory sessions with puzzles which was extremely entertaining. I got to be backstage and experience the different phases when performing exploratory testing.
Then, almost at the end of TestBash I asked about the results on the exploratory session hosted by eBaytech. So Jan Eumann invited me to participate, and I had to explore a page created by Nico Neuschitzer, Phil Quinn and him. This session took over 15 minutes and I had to send a report with my findings afterwards.

This was extremely fun as well!
Lastly, I volunteered myself for a 99 second talk to show my appreciation for Ministry of Testing and all they do for the community.

What did you learn?

  • One of the most important things I learned is not to doubt myself. It was interesting to learn that all these experienced hosts and speakers had faced, at some point in their careers, similar to the problems I’m currently facing.
  • Hearing that, is helping me modify my mindset and hopefully become a better tester. Not only does this apply to technical difficulties but to the human ones as well.
  • I keep learning from this community and I’m glad there’s so many people we can reach out to.

A last word for testers community?

  • BELIEVE in yourselves. Don’t be afraid of sharing your ideas, they could help other people as well.
  • Get involved in a community, find the one that suits you best. This will help you move forward in your career.
  • Of course, I recommend MoT because they provide a safe and secure space open for discussion and also for the great amount and varied information they share.

#3 Lucie Duchemin from FRANCE

Where did you live the event?

  • I live in Paris’ suburb and since we are currently on lockdown, that’s where I was for TestBash Home: at home ;).

What did you expect ?

  • I was mostly expecting to see great talks from inspiring people and I think I got what I was looking for.
  • I was also expecting the social part you usually get at a conference to be nearly nonexistent but surprisingly it wasn’t. Obviously it’s not the same as having a conversation with someone you meet in the hallway but with the slack channel and the chat integrated in crowdcast, you get to see the live reactions of people and can interact with them. I’m a little shy so I didn’t make the most of it but you can definitely “meet” people if you want to.

What was your favorite moment?

  • I really enjoyed the 99-seconds talks. Anyone attending the conference can do a very short 99-second talk on the topic they choose. I think it’s a nice way for them to train as a public speaker and for us to get a short introduction on a topic or someone’s point of view on something. It’s also a way to meet people from the audience and connect with them after.

What did you learn ?

  • I couldn’t attend all the talks but I’m going to catch up on the other ones later.
  • So far, I got food for thoughts on the possibility of deleting a test if it’s no longer useful, the importance of security testing and making team morale a metric that matters.
  • I was also surprised to learn how much job title matters on how people at your company assess your skills. In his talk, Martin Hynie explained how he experimented on his tester’s team job titles and it turns out that when you remove “test / tester” from it, you suddenly gain credibility. I kind of suspected it already since testers are often not as much appreciated as they should be but his story was really revealing.

A last word for the testers community ?

  • A lot of the attendees were, like me, TestBash first timers. For a lot of them, it was probably because their employer doesn’t finance the travel, housing and ticket expenses to attend the regular conference. TestBash Home and online conferences in general are a great format and a good opportunity to learn from others. You get the same content as if you attended the regular conference but for a much cheaper price!
  • To make TestBash accessible to a wider audience, I hope Ministry of Testing will organize other editions of TestBash Home after the lockdown.

#4 Lisa Crispin from USA

Where did you live the event?

  • I watched from my farm in Vermont.

What did you expect from the event?

  • I had very high expectations. No matter where TestBash is, it’s always magical.

What was your favorite moment?

  • That’s really hard to choose. I liked it a lot when Jenna Charlton led us to breathe deeply together. It was so tranquil. We need a lot of calm right now.

What did you learn ?

  • So many things! One idea that two of my colleagues and I want to explore right away is to measure the morale of the team to understand the level of quality.

A last word for testers community !

  • The value of a conference doesn’t depend on the venue, but on the humans who organize it. We could talk with everyone on the chat, the Slack, the Club. The ambiance was so welcoming and there was so much energy – exactly like all the TestBashes in which I’ve participated in person. This is really special. We learn together, we support each other, it’s a marvelous community.

#5 Nithin from MALAYSIA

Where did you live the event?

  • This was my first TestBash (Actually the very first conefrence I was fully invloved into). I attened from Malaysia & it started at 3AM Malaysian Time. I was really excited to attend it from the beginning & my plan was to involve in it continously for 24hrs without missing anything :slightly_smiling_face:

What did you expect ?

  • I was realising the power & energy of the community even days before the event, since the #testbash channel was so active with all the participants. To be honest, I didn’t expect this much participation, collaboration & interaction for a virtual event. Mostly, a set of recorded talks with less interactions is what comes in mind generally when we think of virtual conferences. But, TestBash has set the limits and benchmark very high. A unique experience, which delivered more than what people expect.

What was your favorite moment?

  • For me, each and every moment was favorite actually. If to say specifically, I would mention about the Live Bug Hunt, Black Box Puzzle, 99 Secs talk & Meet the Bosses sessions
  • Also, special mention to Maryam Umar’s session & coaching and management panel talks
  • Also, the way they hosted were fantastic :star-struck:
  • Chit Chat with participants which created the feel of real conference
  • Emna motivating me to do the 99s talks & giving inspiration and courage to do it [Found a mentor to guide me]

What did you learn ?

Key take aways was about :

  • How modern QA should work
  • Importance of communication across team and members
  • Find people to motivate and support(I am not alone in this journey)
  • Risk based testing : How to start, scale and apply to security aspects as well
  • Technologies will evolve but defnitely Testing will always be there, even the vaccines for COVID 19 will undergo testing phase
  • How to solve few problems which I face & how to approach those in a better way
  • Sketch notes by Louise Gibbs
  • Chaos across the titles we hold. At times, it’s about the value we brings in rather than the title we hold
  • Testing is not about manual or automation, it’s about shipping products with better quality. Technology supports it not replacing it fully.

A last word for testers community ?

  • Our community is quite strong and everyone is approachable always. Even if it’s a small question, a fun talk, or a big burning question just reachout. We all are part of same community and family.
  • Try to step up from the comfort zone and always challenge yourself to do more
  • Lookout for mentors who can show you the right path to advance in career

#6 Mike Lyles from USA

Where did you live the event? 

  • I am from the state of North Carolina in the United States

What did you expect from the event?

  • I am not sure exactly what I expected for the event, as I have seen multiple online conferences and webinars, and was very interested in getting to see TestBash since I have not attended one in person.
  • I was pleasantly surprised with the outreach and the responses from the community.  With over 1000 people signing up and over 600-700 active just about every time I was online.  That is an awesome statistic for TestBash and for an online event.  The interaction between the attendees, the hosts, and the speakers was really great.

What was your favorite moment? 

  • I really enjoyed all of the talks – however, the two that stood out to me were the 99 second talks and the leadership panel.

What did you learn ? 

  • I have heard of the 99 second talks and always wondered how effective a talk could be in that short amount of time – but was very surprised to see great topics shared and a lot given to the community within the 99 second window.  It’s a great concept.
  • The response from the leadership panel were really strong – and the interaction within the chat room, while the panel and other talks were given, was really engaging and fun to watch.

A last word for testers community !

  • To all the testers out there – while times are tough, and the COVID-19 virus is changing the way we interact, meet at events, and go about our daily routine at work and home, this is the time for us to show the value of testing, quality, and collaboration.  It is our time to showcase the need for a quality product, to drive performance testing for applications that are now being used more online than ever, and to increase our security testing due to the same reason.  I’m proud to be part of the testing community, and look forward to the many events online currently and in person in the future.  Everyone stay safe!

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