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What did you bring me home from EuroSTAR, Daddy? by Peter Morgan-->
Hardly was I home after a snow-extended stay in Copenhagen (ironically, caused by less snow at Heathrow than fell on my last night in Denmark) before the phone rang and THE question was asked. None of the niceties like “Did you have a good journey?”, “Was it an inspiring conference?” or even “Was Brett Gonzales there again this year?” but straight to the point. “What did you bring me home from EuroSTAR, Daddy?” My children are well into their 20’s, but still expect presents from EuroSTAR – my fault for getting them used to it.
In previous years, I could get away with mugs, pens, squeeze balls or Post-It pads. One was given a thick testing tome, to be used as a prized door-stop in a shared house (the right weight and with appropriate gravitas). However, since the family meal out when my wife returned from a bathroom visit to find us all changed into Testing T-shirts, fashion accessories are preferred. Items bearing a testing reference are the new ‘must have’ items of apparel. They all have “I’m Quality” hats from several years ago!
In 2010 I managed to secure three conference shirts – it took many loaded coffee trays delivered to the registration desk to obtain these valuable items. They were duly wrapped in festive paper and presented to wife, sister and daughter on Christmas day, amid disappointed howls from my boys asking where their equivalent items were.
EuroSTAR 2011 has a competition for the best freebies: “ExpoSTAR – The search for 2011’s best expo giveaway!”, so promises to be a rich hunting ground for parents wanting that extra special testing gift. The competition closes on April 22nd, and there are already some imaginative items that a testing bounty-hunter could return with. Testing pyjamas and matching hot-water bottle is an obvious example of what could be a much sought-after souvenir from Manchester in November.
I am travelling to EuroSTAR 2011 by car, travelling alone and with several empty cases with me. It is the only way I can be sure of carrying all the goods home. When the children ask THE question at the end of November 2011, they will not be disappointed!
Peter Morgan is a freelance software testing professional who has a long, wideranging career encompassing all aspects of the Software Development Life Cycle. You can access his personal website here.
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