Personal Highlights From TestBash New Zealand

By Katya Shevel

I was really lucky to win a software testing conference ticket, generously sponsored by Flux Federation, to TestBash New Zealand. It was really fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for more!

It was the first TestBash to ever take place in New Zealand, but it looked like a very well organised event, with no details missing. There were a bunch of volunteers and organisers that were always available to sort out any possible questions.

The Benefits of Attending Conferences

What do we attend software testing conferences for? Lunch and mingling? Well, yes but I also go for the awesome topics as I desire to open my mind to new technologies, concepts and approaches! And, at TestBash New Zealand, that was just fantastic! I could see that the content of each talk was thoroughly prepared, reviewed and delivered to perfect time. Presenters engaged the audience and encouraged them to ask for more details. This high engagement lead to lots of conversations during the breaks. We had so much food for thought. Excellent!

It’s been almost a month since the conference and I still come back to ideas from it. I loved to learn about Observability that day. My team and I have talked about it every day since then. Katrina Clokie’s talk about Observability in testing has opened my eyes to something that I've never thought about. It’s so important to build the product that we can monitor and also observe, to be able to group information to find the bottlenecks and also identify the potential struggles that can happen for real users on production data. It’s a fantastic approach that I now try to apply as a routine for myself and for the team.

Other Conference Highlights

I also particularly enjoyed the talk from Francis Ho about influencing the teams, about being a strong team player and also a mindful leader driving the team towards their common goals. I think it is one of the skills that should be learned by each test analyst (including myself). Working with people each day every day can be really hard and challenging for everyone, especially when we have to face lots of decision making chats and solve questions raised by various people with opposite opinions. It’s good to always be open-minded and mindful about human feelings. When we bring up the questions, we should first make sure that we listen and understand people. My takeaways from that talk are:

"be open-minded”, “always listen first”,  “be a role model”, “acknowledge your own mistakes”, “let people own their ideas”.

There were many other topics discussed that day about automation best practices, deliberate learning, blockchain tech testing and more. There were also traditional TestBash 99 seconds talks where more than a dozen people shared ideas about their QA experience and learnings. This worked really well that day and people didn't hesitate to keep coming and sharing more and more short but important thoughts.

It was a very enjoyable day and I learnt a lot. I am looking forward to next year's conference. I hope TestBash will become an annual event for New Zealand from now on.

Author Bio

Katya moved to New Zealand from a small city at the Far East of Russia. She was excited to find and join Testers community in Auckland. Katya has been into testing for around 6 years working on various projects and technologies where she has learnt that testing is definitely always a fun thing to do.

Outside of work you could find Katya playing board games with friends or packing little gifts for a very loved family overseas or cuddling a little ginger cat on her lap.
Twitter: @qa_kotella