Öredev is a fantastic conference, especially with the synergy effect of having all these different tracks that attract different people that have everything to win from learning from each other.
-Test track speaker from a previous year
To be honest from the start, I am a member of the Program committee for Öredev conference. And I am together with Jonas responsible for the test track. This blog post is my personal attempt to explain my thoughts on the conference schedule from a testers perspective.
Öredev 2010 has an extensive test track. Do you see it? Well, its there, but in the form of sessions distributed somewhat evenly across all the other tracks that have their own rooms. Which is the real reason they are tracks =)
Last week I attended Öredev for the second time. Somehow I was thinking that I was going to blog about everything that happened there, but I soon gave up on that. I am going to say some short things on all the things I attended during the conference in this post, and then probably dig deeper into some of those thoughts in later blog posts. This was my schedule at the conference, I should say that this is not the same as I planned/thought I would attend.
Monday and Tuesday I took the Certified Scrum Master course, with Jim Coplien and Jens Östergaard as teachers. I think I already know quite alot about scrum in theory and practice, but it was good to take the course to fill in some gaps. It was really good to have some scrum projects behind me, so I could get some answers to questions I have been thinking about. Another big thing about taking the course is that now I am actually able to discuss the course and how it should be used. Jim and Jens were really great to have as teachers.
Monday I went cold sea/hot sauna bathing with some of the participants/speakers. It was really nice relaxing with dinner accompanying it. I got the chance to meet with the lovely couple Marc and Lee Lesser, talking about awareness and many other interesting things. Marc held a really good keynote as a start of the whole conference, about Accomplishing more by doing less. I think everyone attending his talk appreciated what he had to say about noise and how it keeps people from doing what really gives value when accomplished.
During tuesday evening I was at Malmö city hall for speakers dinner. We had a real goose dinner, swedish (Skåne) way.
I am really into the testing as such, but somehow I always tend to keep myself to the more softer parts of it. May it be bad or not, but I really think that the most important thing is to get the right product through good communication. Not until then you are actually able to ask if it is right. That actually WAS a bias for me when putting together the test track. During the conference I got more and more confident in that it was the right speakers, with the right sessions speaking.
The diversity of test speakers was for me obvious in one way, but not in others as I spoke to some other people about it. I really think they connected to each other in a nice way. The softer skills like communication and thinking about software and then towards the more hands-on tools for communication and agile testing project solutions and further on to the bigger projects solutions for regression testing. I am going to write about some of the sessions later hopefully. What I really wanted to make clear, is that I really see all testing sessions connect to each other.
Now I think that I am going to read up on some of all the blog posts that have been written about the conference, and then write down some thoughts myself. Somehow I think I need to sum up the connection between all the sessions.
I have been busy with alot of things lately, keeping myself away from spare time blogging. So I just thought I would tell briefly about some of the events/working tasks that I have experienced, and would really enjoy some feedback on what is actually interesting enough for you, my readers to read a blog post about. So please comment on the things you want to know more about.
First out, I was on a nice competence weekend last weekend with Testway, were we gather all of us for friday morning – saturday lunch, learning new stuff and share knowledge. This time we had three main areas to talk about:
Lean test optimization
This is a product in the company portfolio, where two of us in a couple of smaller steps (workshop, analysis and tryouts), start with the current test process of a customer and make it more lean, removing obvious waste in a first iteration. Using baby steps of improvement in the current setting is easier than changing the whole process at once. The product consists of a complete first baby step during a week for the customer.
Cloud and testing
There is an obvious change within the industry towards using cloud solutions for hosting and running applications in the cloud. There are a couple of different settings to choose from depending on your needs. How can the whole concept be used for us as testers?
Selling consultancy services
Mainly about how we as a company are marketing ourselves and selling our services.
Apart from these things, we of course touched all the other amazing and exciting things to discuss during the weekend.
Monday I attended an internal workshop about The kanban game with Björn Granvik. This very interesting workshop Björn is going to have at Öredev together with Scott Belware. Starting with an introduction to Kanban and the concepts, we continued playing the game, getting a feel of the process itself.
Wednesday I attended another part of the course “Agile for experienced project managers” with Leadway. This is a course that is going to be taught in public, I think sometime in november. Tell me if you are interested in attending, Ill tell you when it is. This part was about how to scale agile and project dependencies. It also included a short story about how this can be done in practice.
This involved parts from a seminar that I attended three weeks ago with Petri Haapio, talking about Scrum implementation at Nokia Networks.
Then of course I have my daily work, which at the moment includes both Ruby/watir cucumber test automation of a web application as a Test Automation Launch Pad product and some big systems functional and pre-delivery testing at a larger company. These could both be full time jobs, but doing them both at 50% has been possible.
Apart from these things I am in the program committee of Öredev conference, responsible for the test track. That has also been taking some time.
That was a summary, and not even everything is mentioned. And I actually do have a private life as well, a little. I will add some pictures to the different topics later.
So please go ahead and tell me what would be the most interesting to read about, and Ill focus on that for a blog post. I have a somewhat problem focusing sometimes. I like the context switching even if it doesn’t give me the efficiency I want.
Öredev is coming up next week! Please register if you havent already, it is going to be awesome! Meet me there and discuss something exciting….
Since I am in charge of the test track at Öredev conference, I feel I have to promote it somehow. I have to say that I am impressed with the whole line-up during the two days of testing, so I am not going to say any names. But what can I say about the conference without just talking about the test track?
Apart from the test track, the whole conference will offer so much more. I can only refer to the conference last year, and the things I know from behind the scenes, but thats not a pity.
First of all I have a feeling that the Agile and PM tracks will offer very much discussions I can relate to and am interesting in. There is a whole span of leadership seminars in a sweet mix of agile, soft skills and success stories. We have for example Stacia Broderick that has written the book “The software project managers bridge to Agility”, where she bridges the agile concepts with traditional project management.
Then we have the new track with focus on User Experience, where I expect alot of my user level issues to be discussed. For some people the testers should not be involved in talking UE, but for me its an important thing. The tester thinks as a user, acts as the user in projects and can act as a proxy between for example UI designers and developers. More on those thoughts later.
Apart from the seminar sessions, there will be shorter lightning talks to get taste of a variety of sessions without spending whole slots for it. You can of course spend longer sessions and even days on the courses like Rapid Software testing with James Bach, Scala with Jonas Bonér or Scrum master certification with Jens Östergaard and James Coplien. Then we have tutorials, and we have, and we have….and and……
I could write for hours about the program, but still you would get so much more overview in looking at the schedule. And actually I dont think that those things are the most important. The most important thing is the experience and feeling at the conference. There will be alot of space and time to mingle with the speakers over a snack, meet new people and share new ideas with people you wouldnt meet somewhere else. The diversity of speakers and participants that shows up for the conference and the different tracks is what gives Öredev its spirit.
Meet me at Öredev 2009!
I can only say WOW! And I dont mean an online game, but only mean to express myself. Öredev was my first conference after school, but certainly not the last. So where should I start?
Well, I started off with the course Innovation games as I already told you about. So the third day (first conference day), I was attending Karen N Johnsons course “SQL for testers”. Since we were only three people attending, it was a really nice and cosy thing with much space for open discussions. I am actually not new to SQL at all, but it was great getting some insights in actual testing work from Karens experience. I would never have imagined how many bugs could be derived just from looking at a map of the database structure. From my perspective it was really nice to get a starting point in new consultant projects. Apart from the basic SQL queries and insertions, we got to know certain areas to start looking for bugs when working with any system running on a database. Karen went through the material in an exceptional way, even though not used to this small kind of class.
The rest of the conference was awesome. I attended as many sessions as I possibly could in the Agile, PM and Test tracks:
Keynnotes with Ted Neward, James Bach and Uncle Bob Martin
Isabel Evans on blind men and elephants, different people have different views of things
James Coplien on Agile finetuning
Diana Larsen, Agile for managers
Mattias Göransson on Heuristic testing
Rikard Edgren on Testing creativity
Luke Hohmann on Who does what in Agile
James Bach on Exploratory testing
Karen Johnson on storytelling
Fredrik Scheja on requirements
Torbjörn Ryber on Context-driven test design
Those were all really interesting, although some more. I got into a really long and interesting discussion after Lukes session, where a marketing perspective was put in the agile context, touching the matter of what the agile roles are supposed to do and compared to traditional product managers etc. The discussion was mainly between Cope and Luke, although I am proud to say that I was actually able to get some really important points in here and there, with both of them agreeing to what I said, but at different times. On the last day I got into a discussion with Uncle J (James Bach), and he really had some things to say. I must say that I have gotten very influenced by his attitude to testing, since this is actually what I have thought about it as well. I also met up and talked some with Isabel Evans, really interesting person that has alot of experience to share. Well, enough about the bragging who I met, I now at least know that these people have their opinions because they have their views and experience of things. I could go to conferences in eternity, and this was my first one, but what really matters for knowledge is experience, and that is something that comes with time. I just need to maximize the experience per time unit.=)
The last two days I have spent at the Öredev conference, attending a course called Innovative games held by Luke Hohmann from Enthyosis. It has been two really fast moving days with very much material and inspiration, but at the same time a very easy going approach. That of course had a little to do with the actual course content, since it is about “games” we played games alot.
Well, these games are all about gathering information. Gathering exactly the right information that you want from any customer, in a not so complex way. Since no customers know what they want, the power of the games chosen for that case will draw the information out of them. So the course was actually about learning some different games, and get to know in what context they fit the best. We also got guidance on how to facilitate them and be observant on when the right information flows at you.
This is a really good tool that in my perspective could be used in many different contexts where clarifying anything between people is needed. You just need to use the right game in a good way. As for Agile teams, where customer collaboration is really a cornerstone, effective customer meetings is needed, with the desired results of good information.
I got his book and material, so now Im just looking for any context to practice. This is probably one of those moment to learn, lifetime to master sort of things.
Tomorrow I am attending another course, will tell you about that later. This whole week is dedicated to Öredev conference and sucking up as much information as I possibly can manage, I will drop dead during weekend.=)