At The Ministry of Testing, we host several software testing related conferences each year, under the name of TestBash.
We don’t believe any speaker should have to pay to speak at a commercial conference, we feel such policies act as barriers to hearing from new and diverse voices in our profession. This year alone, 2017, 26 of 67 talks at TestBash were from first-time speakers, many who would struggle to get any kind of financial support from their employer. We feel very strongly about this and we believe our speaker policy reflects this. We are always looking to improve it and push the boundaries when it comes to speaker support. We’ve supported speakers from our very first TestBash.
Here is the short version of what TestBash offers:
- This shouldn’t need listing, but of course, it includes entry to the conference and the workshops.
- Pay all reasonable travel costs. Including flights, buses, trains, taxis, ferries, car mileage, parking and of course your accommodation, no matter where you are located in the world, our expense policy is not capped.
- Generally, we ask you to book your own travel and reimburse you after the conference upon proof of costs such as a digital copy of receipts/invoices.
- We aim to reimburse you within two weeks of getting your receipts
- If paying such costs in advance is problematic for you, or you have any special needs or requests, the event organiser for that TestBash will be more than happy to help you with your travel arrangements.
The above applies to all speakers, so if doing a paired talk, both speakers would be entitled to the above.
We’ve expanded on each of the covered costs below.
Reasonable can mean many things but our view, when it comes to flights, is economy tickets. Unless you can justify to us why you require a higher class.
We are also flexible when it comes to which dates you fly out or back on. Let’s say the conference ends on Friday, but it’s £500 cheaper to fly home on Sunday and flying on Sunday doesn’t impact you, and the extra night’s hotel are less than £500, grab yourself a break/holiday!
The same applies if you have friends/family at the location, and you want to stay a week after the event to visit them, as long as the flights are not more expensive, go for it!
Ministry of Testing will cover your hotel from the night before TestBash, up to and including the night of the final day. Unless as mentioned with flights, it’s cheaper all round for you to arrive or leave later.
Ministry of Testing will provide a list of nearby hotels and will arrange fixed rates with nearby hotels that we feel are reasonable. Keep an eye on The Club and our Slack Group for conversations and recommendations for accommodation.
We would also be happy to refund AirBnbs/Apartments if their cost is similar to the recommended hotels.
We like to give speakers flexibility and choice in places to stay, which is our main reason for not defaulting to booking accommodation automatically for speakers. However, we are more than happy to help you book a place that you feel comfortable with.
Public Transport (Trains, Buses, Ferries etc)
Same approach as with flights with regard to travelling a few days earlier or later than the TestBash. Economy tickets, unless you can snag a first-class ticket much cheaper in advance than a standard fare. Or you have a need for a higher class that you can justify.
Cars and Taxis
Some speakers will be able to drive to a TestBash, if this is the case we will cover your mileage at the agreed government rate for that country. In the UK, this is currently 0.45p per mile.
Parking, if driving to a TestBash, we will cover any parking costs you incur. If driving to the airport to catch a flight to a TestBash, we will also cover that parking fee.
You know, if acquired on your way to TestBash, we’d even cover speeding and parking tickets but please don’t speed or park illegally, that’s not cool.
Taxis and Lyft costs are covered. We won’t refund Uber, well, we will, but their ethics trouble us. Any Taxis related to getting to and from a TestBash event will be reimbursed by Ministry of Testing.
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