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EuroSTAR, before, at and after the Conference.

  • 23/09/2011
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The decision has been made :-) You are the lucky one that has been allowed to go to EuroSTAR this year.

Now starts the “preparation” to get the most out of this amazing conference.
First there are the tutorials and then the conference with the large exhibition as well.

If you have not yet booked your hotel I would opt for one of the ones that Eurostar has recommended.

I myself have booked into the EuroSTAR’s “preferred” hotel which is a place where there will always be delegates around. A perfect place for “finding” new friends, networking and discussing all sorts of software testing.

Next step, you have to look at the conference, there are sessions for management, people, agile, automation workshops etc. You probably have some areas of software testing that is more interesting to you than others. It might be a good idea to focus on these when you are looking over the sessions. Cross off the ones you find interesting and read their abstract to see if you still want to hear more :-) You may find that some of them was not about what you thought after all, look again at the program and see if you can find anything else of interest (this should not be too difficult :-)) Don’t fret if at some time you can’t find anything. That is the time to go to the exhibition or just hang around getting to know other delegates :-) Print out the presentations of the sessions you want to attend before you leave, if you want a paper copy that is. And bring your business cards.

When you arrive in Manchester, if this is your first conference, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Just remember we are all there because we want to be better at what we do, by sharing our experience with others. Give yourself some goals, for example:

• I will speak to one new person at each session I attend ( give your next door neighbour a smile and introduce yourself, a great and reasonably easy way to meet new people).
• Take one thing away from each session that you want to look closer into and maybe implement in your organization.
• Have a good look around the exhibition
• Attend the social scenes, the drinks reception and the gala award dinner.
These goals have worked well for me. Others might be better for you but it is important that you set yourself some goals; you will get much more out of the conference that way.

If you find a session really interesting please go up to the presenter and tell him/her. It is always good to get feedback especially nice ones :-) If at some point during the conference you feel like you have an overflow it is probably time for a break. There are lots of things going on, so it is quite natural that you at some point will feel like you have had enough. Do not rush off to the next session, sit down, have a drink, relax, walk around the exhibition. Do not forget the Test Lab, here you can do real testing, not “just” listen to what others have done. Another great place to get to know some/more people and discuss software testing.

I still remember my first Eurostar in Edinburgh. I met some great people and I came away from there with such an energy that is hard to explain. I just wanted to go back to work and start implementing/using some of the things I had just “learned”. I am sure some of you have or will experience the same. Which brings me over to the last part: after EuroSTAR…

Back home, give the unfortunate ones that did not go a short review of what you have learned. Remember you have access to the presentations on-line, so you can easily go back and refresh your memory.

Look at your notes, discuss possibilities with other colleagues and try to implement, make use of some of the things you took away with you from the conference. It might be easier to divide them into short and long term goals.
Put them on your action plan and make sure to have them followed up.

Don’t feel afraid to contact any of the presenters if you have questions concerning their sessions.

Start thinking about next year’s conference, maybe there is something you can talk about; share your experience with others. Send in an abstract and maybe we will be listening to you next year :-)

Have a great conference, see you in Manchester.

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