It’s that season again: I attended the 2022 edition of the Agile Testing Days. There are already blog posts by Lisi Hocke ‘Agile Testing Days 2022 – The Unicorn Land We Build Together‘ and Stéphanie Desby ‘What I’ve learned at Agile Testing Days 2022‘. They already cover a lot of the remarkable sessions – and really, I think there’s no replacement to attend this conference in person. I’ll focus on the few things I find particularly noteworthy.
I arrived the day before the conference started and went to the gym & pool area first. After a 5½ hour drive through changing weather conditions (snow, fog, hail, sunshine, rain, more snow, sleet, and finally some more sunshine), this is just the right thing for me to shake off the stress.
Tutorial Day ‘Problem Solving with Agile Thinking and Practices‘ with Ben Linders
I very much enjoyed this well organised tutorial. Ben presented several way to find problems and then solve them. This included some role playing and games. What I appreciate: We got all the material needed to use the games in our projects as well as his ebook ‘Impediments – Problem? What Problem?’. That’s going to be so useful when applying the exercises in my projects – or playing the game with my teams (when I will meet teams in person).
The day was made even better, since I received the confirmation that I am booked for my next project. This is especially nice, since I have worked with the team already and like it a lot!
I found Lily Higham’s talk ‘Testing the BBC World Service‘ exciting, since she explained how her team has to cover an incredibly large number of systems, languages and devices. One important insight: ‘Test with real devices’. Also remarkable: She noted how the BBC has to deal with being blocked in some countries and how, in some cases, professional smugglers help spreading the news anyway. No details about this were shared for a good reason. We were advised against trying the smuggling ourselves.
Dermot Canniffe presented ‘BDD And The Sleepy Developer‘, and made the point about the effects a sleep disorder can have during work incredibly well.
During the OpenSpace on this day we shared some information about Mastodon – and what to consider when joining it. My point of view: Two things are important:
- The server you chose
- The account name
While I didn’t use them in the Open Space, here are slides I prepared just in case:
For easy reference, here are the links used in the slides:
As is a tradition by now the first day ended with a themed costume party. This year the ‘dress code’ was ‘Fairytales’. This is also the Award Night to celebrate MIATPP (Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person) of the year, this time won by Janet Gregory. Congratulations!
On this day, I missed quite a few sessions I wanted to attend, since I held a workshop “Fast Feedback Using Ruby”. With about 10 people attending it was just the right size to help with the many things that can (and will) go wrong in a workshop where coding is a major part. Being (maybe over-) prepared helped a lot: While I had some material prepared to be downloaded, I knew (from experience in an earlier year) that conference WiFi may – or may not – work well. I now bring my own WiFi, so I have a back-up in case the conference one doesn’t work so well. I also had the downloadable material on a tiny small local web server – and a USB stick. Yes, I was over prepared, very likely.
In case you considered this workshop, but attended another session: There is an ebook(let) available on LeanPub, which covers the workshop. And there still are a few coupons let to grab it for free: https://leanpub.com/fastfeedbackusingruby/c/ATD-2022. Additionally there is a GitHub repository at https://github.com/s2k/fastfeedbackusingruby_workshop. The slides from the workshop are available as Fast Feedback Using Ruby slides.
The day ended with the first ‘AgileTD book fair‘ and the ‘Digesting Poets Society‘. I had the pleasure to present ‘Software People … Work From Home — Insights & Experiences From Planet Earth‘, a free ebook to which contributors from (so far) 28 countries and 33 authors provided text about life during the pandemic. Only while I was talking to some of the new readers, I realised that this wasn’t a writing task for me (I still have to add my contribution), but a project management job. Organising so many people from so many countries was – and still is – some work, but oh what a pleasure, too.
What I remember from this day most of all, is what Stéphanie Desby shared with me about her break from – and return to working in tech. I find it super interesting what leads people to leave tech, at least for a while, and then come back. As I had to leave tech for while myself, that’s probably no too surprising.
I remember that in some (pre-pandemic) years, the conference covered the whole week, either with 2 tutorial days, or 4 conference days. While I thought the conference should move back to this longer format, now I’m not so convinced anymore. 4 full days with a LOT of input, talking and, yes, having fun, is demanding.
That said: I am already looking forward to the Agile Testing Days 2023! 🦄🌈