Getting Closer To MoT And TestBash

By Lina Marcela

Finding Ministry of Testing

I heard about Ministry of Testing and their TestBash software testing conference through my boss and some workmates that already knew about them. Around the same time, I saw some other workmates were very interested in participating in those TestBashes, and in my mind, I was very curious and wondered...

what do these conferences have that everyone seems so interested in them?”.

I had never been to a testing conference until last year when I won a ticket to go to VLC Testing (Valencia).  I saw several talks and workshops and my mind exploded, so I was more curious about TestBash which attracts people from all over the world. Can you imagine? If a conference that mainly had speakers and attendees from one country almost blew my mind, how would it be to attend a conference that has a lot more people from many countries telling their stories?

Finding The Scholarship

Despite all my curiosity, I could not afford TestBash yet. I had moved from Colombia to Spain recently and moving to another continent can be very expensive. Thankfully someone told me about The MoTScholarship (thank you Anto). So I applied and told MoT why I wanted to TestBash in Germany. Within a day or two, I got a reply from Richard 'MoT BossBoss' Bradshaw saying my application was successful and I started to do all the things I needed to do in order to go to TestBash in Germany.

Starting From The Beginning

On the workshop day, I subscribed to attend 'Test Automation Strategy with Cards Game' with Dana Aonofriesei and 'Implementing Exploratory Testing' with Nancy Kellen. The first one was amazing. It gave me some more ideas to perform better at what I do right now. An example is:

what questions should I ask myself and the client before starting to do automation for them? Is it because that is what they want and need or do they want it because it is what everybody else is doing?

For the second workshop on exploratory testing, that was like discovering a new world. I have been thinking about how to make exploratory testing measurable. For as long as I have work in a consultancy company, our clients want to see numbers or statistics and Nancy gave some tips related to how to measure exploratory testing, making this great technique something we can sell as part of our services. 

Then Friday … 

Friday was conference day and it was an amazing day. We had people from all over the world telling us their experiences about testing and other stuff related to our daily work and challenges we have to face, and how to face them. All the talks were great but the three talks that resonated with me were 'When to Say No to Automation' by Jack Taylor, '(Mis)Using Personas with the Seven Dwarfs' by Cassandra H. Leung and 'Dude, Why You Don't Test UX?' by Greta Ruškienė. These talks gave me very good ideas to implement in my daily work and expand my point of view of several problems.

That night, we went to a local place to meet other people, eat, drink and share some more experiences, we even talked about places to buy fancy clothes! 

Saturday: Open Space

I had never taken part in this kind of activity, hearing people, again from so many places, sharing their point of view or how to handle situations makes you rethink your beliefs and rebuild possible new solutions to your problems.

For me, living so far from different cultures, it was very impressive to see people from a lot of countries like Israel, Lithuania, and India. So many people, so many countries, so many ways to see life, and testing.

Just The Begining For Me and TestBash

After all three days, my head was full of things I had learned. From the conference, I had a list to investigate some things, and another list to relearn other things.

This experience was amazing and I believe I will do it again. I will be waiting for the dates for future TestBashes, maybe I'll go to TestBash Brighton or TestBash Netherlands, who knows, maybe I'll get to meet you at one.

Thank you very much for the experience. It was completely amazing and enriching.

Author Bio

I started as a QA Tester by accident. I was looking for my first job as a computer science engineer and I did not know anything about life and working in development. The job offered was to work as a Tester, so I took it.

After some time I started to learn new things and I liked the job very much, so I stayed as a Tester until now. That happened 12 years ago.

I am from Colombia and thanks to my experience in automation I found the opportunity to come to Spain and work here. Right now I am working in Amaris and we are working on building a Community of QA’s to make our jobs meaningful. We have the support from Ministry of Testing in some activities. And for that, Thank you MoT! Also, thank you for the scholarship!