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The first EuroSTAR took place in London back in 1993! At that time I was a novice tester and I managed to convince my boss that I needed to attend this new conference that was both focusing on testing and also happened to be in London. I was fortunate and managed to secure 1 day out of the office! In what has seemed a blink of then eye, we are now on the 19th conference. EuroSTAR has gone from strength to strength and been hosted in Brussels, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Munich, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Cologne, The Hague and now back again for the 2nd visit to Manchester. I can’t claim to have been to all the conferences, I’ll leave that title to others including Dot Graham who was also the program chair for the first EuroSTAR. However, I have been to a large number of the EuroSTAR conferences. Each one has furnished me with new ideas, re-enforced thoughts, provided the opportunity to talk to others about the art and profession of testing, meet new friends (and old ones!), visit the expo to see the tools and services on offer. All of these experiences have provided me with ideas and thoughts about what could be done to improve testing and the quality function in organisations I’ve been involved with.
Whilst the conference provides an opportunity to meet and socialise with other like-minded professionals, there will be plenty of serious messages you will be able to take away from all of the talks. There are also the opportunities you will have to talk one-to-one with any of the speakers not only about their presentations/keynotes, but any aspect of testing. All the speakers will have a view and experience they will be willing to talk with you about. I can’t think of any occasion when attendees have not been able to talk about what they do and seek possible ideas/solutions that are practical to situations they find themselves in.
As an approach to getting the most of the conference you have made a good start by reading these blogs. However also take a look at the virtual conference and any other surrounding materials available to you. They are all designed to help you get the most out of the forthcoming event.
The following are ideas of steps you could follow to get the most out of the conference. I hope they will help you.
1) Read and research which tracks are of interest to you either because they may help you solve specific problems you have, generate further ideas or it’s just a topic you have a personal interest in. This will clearly help you plan which ones you will want to see. The difficulty will always be conflicting tracks that are of interest. If you are faced with that dilemma, maybe you could get to meet the presenter of the track you were not able to attend and have a chat with them about their talk over coffee or lunch.
2) In the session, make your notes so you can read them afterwards back in the office. You don’t want to spend the evenings writing your notes up as you may find you want to spend time with others socially.
3) Go and talk to people. Everyone will be wearing name badges that also show who they work for. So the hard introduction bit is done for you.
4) Join in the Gala evening.
5) When you get back in the office, make time to write up your notes and prioritise what activities you want to take forward. If you need further help and guidance, you could always contact the speaker by email and get additional thoughts. Capitalise on the investment made by attending EuroSTAR.
I hope the above has been of help and interest to you and that you will make it to Manchester. When you are there, please make sure you stop me to say “Hello”.