My Trip To TestBash Netherlands With Ministry Of Testing

By Nebojsa Petkovic

I first found out about TestBash Netherlands and the Ministry of Testing Scholarship through Angie Jones’s post on LinkedIn but I was reluctant to apply and sceptical about getting it. Then I checked out how to apply and saw that all I had to do was write an email explaining why I was deserving of a place, so I said to myself - why not? let’s try it!

Two weeks later it was Friday, late in the evening, and I was watching a movie with my girlfriend. Suddenly, my smartphone alerted me about a new email and I saw it was from Richard Bradshaw. I couldn’t believe it when I saw I had actually been awarded a ticket to TestBash Netherlands and needed to read it several times! :) I was so happy and didn’t doubt that it would be a great experience.

TestBash Time

TestBash Netherlands started with registration and warm welcome from Richard. Very quickly I realized what a great job had been done organizing this event. We were in the great venue and there was enough coffee, tea and delicious food that the only things we could focus on were testing, discussions and learning new things.

First day, I attended a great workshop by Angie Jones called “Advanced Automation for Agile: UI, Web Services, and BDD”. We built automation framework that supports both UI and API testing, as well as BDD. We used Java with Cucumber and RestAssured. This was my first step into BDD and Cucumber and it really was a great starting point for my future learning.

Second day, my next workshop was “BDD - Specification by Example” by the great David Evans. For me, this was a natural extension of my first workshop with Angie, but with a focus on specifications. We learnt about specification by an example set of practices and how to successfully translate business requirements into user stories that are illustrated by concrete examples, which can be later directly represented as automated acceptance tests. Another great thing I learnt was living documentation and how those tests can be automated using Fitnesse.

The third day was the conference day. The good thing, for me, was that it was a single track conference so I didn’t need to make decisions about the talks I’d attend or feel like I was missing out. Instead, I could attend all the talks and see all the speakers. Furthermore, all the speakers were interesting and kept our attention. We learnt about testing techniques, mutation testing, great case studies about implementation of autotests and many many other things.

For more information, some attendees were amazing at sharing all that was going on at TestBash Netherlands, such as Maaike who live blogged the event and Marianne who sketchnoted all the talks.

The TestBash Community

Though we have the opportunity to watch all the talks online with Ministry of Testing Professional Membership, it’s totally different when you are present in the real time. The reason is, the most valuable things at conferences actually happen during breaks and between talks… and that is the people you meet there!

When I was entering the conference hall in Utrecht, I saw a lot of familiar faces and I realized I knew all of them, but from an online world - YouTube, Twitter and blog posts. I quickly realized I had the opportunity to meet some of the best software testing engineers in the industry in person, to discuss different topics with them, hear about problems they were facing and ask them for help with some of the problems I was struggling with.

As expected at a TestBash event, everyone was super friendly and ready to converse and share ideas. And at the end of each day, we had a different social event and so there were numerous opportunities for networking.

Back Home in Serbia

I was under the influence of this great conference long after I came home. New things I learnt helped me locate the areas where I should improve myself as a software tester. Sharing my experiences with other attendees and discussing problems we have in our day-to-day work helped me find out some new approaches and solutions I wasn’t aware of before. As time goes by, I realize more and more how conferences help people improve in lots of different ways and I’m starting to think about my next TestBash event.

I would like to thank Ministry of Testing and to all the great Scholarship Heroes that made this possible. Thank you for providing me this great opportunity to attend TestBash Netherlands, meet lots of new people and gain such incredible knowledge and experience.

Author Bio

Nebojsa Petkovic is experienced QA engineer who is passionate about learning new things and widening his software testing experience. For the past 4 years, he has been focused on a variety of applications - from small mobile applications and e-commerce websites to big enterprise e-banking solutions and biomedical data analysis platforms.

Nebojsa graduated from Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade and currently works as a QA engineer at Promikos.

You can contact him on LinkedIn.