The year 2020 brings a lot of challenges to everybody. To the EuroSTAR Conference team as well. They were having the challenge of finding a solution of how to let the 2020 conference edition take place. The team came up with an online version which made it possible to attend the conference from all over the world. More than 800 attendees joined the conference. But a conference doesn’t only mean great speakers, informative talks and useful tutorials – it also means networking with attendees and speakers, visiting the Test Clinic, doing a softbox testing, join product demos of the sponsors at the expo and much more. The conference team managed to bring all those parts online. So apart from the tutorials and the conference talks, there were also Ask Me Anything sessions with the speakers, Lean Coffee sessions, informative sessions about topics like diversity, wellbeing and career advance, Yoga sessions and product demos. It was possible to visit the expo during the whole conference to meet the sponsors and learn about their products. And what was another highlight to meet fellow testers: there was the possibility to do SpeedMeets.
Nevertheless, of course the tutorials and the talks are very important for making a conference a success. And I wouldn’t be the official sketchnotes reporter of the EuroSTAR Conference 2020 if I wouldn’t share my sketchnotes with you. So I will tell you more about the tutorials and the talks I have attended by sharing my sketchnotes with you.
Day 1 – Tutorial Day
For the tutorial day, 7 half-day tutorials have been chosen by the program committee. When I heard that the tutorials will still take place, although the conference takes place online, I was really happy. For me, as an introvert, it is not very easy to join a tutorial on-site. Being in the comfort of my own home, it was an amazing chance for me to take part in two tutorials, which I would have to mentally prepare for a lot if they would take place offline.
So the first tutorial that I have attended was “Think like a tester” by Rikard Edgren (who by the way won the award for the best tutorial). The attendees learned a lot about different types of thinking and how that can help us testers in our daily life.
The second tutorial that I’ve attended was “Answering hard questions: A tester’s communication clinic” by Michael Bolton. In this tutorial the attendees have learned a lot about what makes questions hard to answer and tips on how to answer them/deal with them anyway.
The second day has started with the Keynote “Develop a quality narrative that communicates the true value of quality” held by Ronald Cummings-John. Ronald was talking about how to create a culture of quality that supports growth, how to increase your level of influence and how to show the value of your work.
The next talk was “Testing SAFely – Finding your way in the Scaled Agile Framework” held by Gitte Ottosen. It posed a number of questions such as what is the Agile release train? What are the challenges that might occur? And how to overcome these challenges.
Following Gitte’s talk was the session “The power of diversity in cross-functional mob programming” by Cindy Duflot. Mob programming is a way of collaboration that gets more and more common. Look at the sketchnote to find out about benefits, caveats and learnings.
Then it was already time for the mid-day keynote. Abby Bangser‘s topic was “Unlock the power of testing in production with observability“. Abby had three wishes:
- having confidence about validating success and supporting users post-deployment
- safely receiving feedback from data and scale
- validate production configurations with targeted users
And that’s how testing in production and observability have helped her:
The (testing) world is rapidly changing and that was also the topic of Ryan Volker‘s talk: “Your testing habitat is rapidly changing. Are you?” There are a lot of threats nowadays which can affect the job of a tester. So Ryan had 5 ideas on how to deal with those threats: inaction or action, evolving ecosystem, rise above, promote new voices and reasons for optimism.
Mobile test automation can be really challenging. Niranjani Manoharan gave a talk about “Turning your mobile test automation into a Cinderella story” in which she was talking about the challenges you might encounter on your journey and how to tackle them.
Sanne Visser is the RisingSTAR Winner 2018. This year she was talking about blockchain and “Why bug classifications matter“. Find out more about the relevant taxonomies and how to test them by having a look at the sketchnote:
“Let’s talk about problems” is a very fitting title for the last talk of the first day was a keynote by Michael Bolton, which was more or less a conversation between him and Zeger van Hese. What is a problem? And why are testers good at finding them? When they find them – what will they do with these findings? And how can testers find problems better?
At the end of the day there was a Trivia Night in which the attendees could attend and show their knowledge about different topics, not just testing-related topics. I didn’t stay until the end but from the chat messages it seems that it has been a fun evening.
About The Author
Katja Budnikov is a software tester and sketch noter from Northern Germany. Katja is passionate about software testing and sketch noting! She loves attending events like EuroSTAR and sharing her experience and learnings with others on her blog Katjasays.com. Katja first started sketchnoting in 2016. First analogue with pen and paper and now digitally with an iPad and Apple Pencil.
In her work life Katja started out in online marketing, then specialized in search engine optimisation and is now a quality assurance specialist in both manual and automated software testing. Away from work Katja loves photography, especially taking photos of nature, including many of her dog Auri, a young Australian Shepherd, who is super cute and fun to take photos of. She loves to spend time with her dog and partner, going out for walks, traveling and eating cake at a nearby coffee shop with a beautiful garden.