A Scholarship Story - Stefan Jungk's Trip to TestBash Germany
It’s October 4th, a dark, rainy, and unfriendly Wednesday morning.
My smartphone alerts me with a message from Kristine, an acquaintance I knew from the testing community and as a co-organiser of TestBash Germany. She's asking me if I want to get a scholarship ticket for TestBash in Munich, even though she knows it’s very short notice.
Wait, what? A scholarship ticket? What an honour!
But uhm, it’s less than 48 hours before TestBash starts. I’m located in the middle of Germany, not too far away from Munich compared to others, challenge on!
When I’d processed the opportunity - I had to take it!
So I tried everything to realize the trip and… realized it. Unfortunately, my schedule only allowed me to be there on Friday. On Twitter, I was already following the event using #Testbash and during the day I saw all the cool stuff going on at the pre-meetup... I’m really sad to have missed the fancy VR-Stuff on Thursday evening, hopefully, there will be some more VR fun next year!
But even though I missed the pre-meetup and would be at the open space, the trip was worth it!
My TestBash day itself started with ‘registration’, it was effortless and speedy with a warm welcome from Kristine. Next stop: snack room. Oh, a lot of new and unknown faces. But hey, there was the lean coffee. For the ones who’ve never heard about it. Everybody writes down a test topic they’d like to talk about and put it into the middle, then everybody can vote for a topic and the most-voted topics are discussed. I absolutely loved taking part in lean coffee, especially to meet other attendees from the very beginning of the day, and believe me: everyone was very friendly. We covered the value of QA, reporting and much more, it was a great opener to my day.
Shortly before 9 o’clock, most participants were moving upstairs. But halfway up the stairs, it stopped. Why? Because in front of the conference room the ‘swag’ bag could be filled. The ‘swag’ was totally amazing and great! THANK YOU to all the TestBash sponsors, they really help make the events happen!
The TestBash day was split into two main activities, talks and breaks. We’d listen to two talks in a row, followed by a break. And back to talks. Followed by a lunch break and so forth. Is this a conference about coffee/food? Haha. Just kidding. During the breaks, you had the opportunity to eat some snacks and discuss with others about the previous talks or daily testing business. A great time to digest the talks thus far.
Even though every one of the speakers did an excellent talk, my highlight has to be Alex Schladebeck with her dialogue between the past- and the future-Alex. She showed a possible way to handle (testers) fears and uncertainties and that it might also be good to reflect the previous expressions later. Also, we testers should have more sense of ourselves, e.g. testers must not be able to code. We can have other strengths with which we can help a team to outperform.
Ministry of Testing has a great way to end their TestBash events, 99 seconds talks! Deep respect also to all 99-second speakers. Every single one has been informative. Well done! I’d like to do one someday, but I’m a bit shy!
What I have mostly taken from the whole TestBash day:
it's all about communication within the teams - and generally perhaps it’s the most important thing in a tester’s life because you as tester often do so many valuable things others won't recognise
quality is about the team - when the team doesn't care about quality, it will be hard for a tester
always be open-minded for new test types and give them a try - if it doesn't work for you or in the current situation, it might work for others or in a different situation
Automation can be a helpful tool for a tester, but it is no replacement for a tester
try to go out and meet other testers - there are conference or checkout Meetups (https://www.meetup.com/)
always remember that everybody was once a newbie in testing, too, resp. that you could be still a newbie for new types of testing. Ministry of Testing and its various activities (Twitter, Forum, Chat, Dojo) can be a great resource.
and last but not least: take care of your health, especially your mental one. No job is worth destroying you and your life. Always remember this before it's too late. It's your life and you've it only one.
I hope to come back to TestBash next year.
Thank you to Kristine for asking me.
Thank you to the whole TestBash Germany Team.
Thank you to Ministry of Testing for providing me with a scholarship ticket.
Thanks, Stefan Jungk