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Hello EuroSTAR Manchester – This is Manchester (Vermont)

  • 23/11/2011
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I have been a ‘regular’ at EuroSTAR for some long time, and it has been a place for inspiration, and where I have made wonderful friendships within the European testing family. One of my roles is usually a track chair at the conference, but alas, not this year.

The EuroSTAR conference is always the first thing in my Calendar, and the time blocked out. However, a serious diary and timing malfunction means I am not with the community in 2011, missing my first conference for 17 years. This is as a result of using Google Large Itinerary Planner (GLIP) late at night, without paying close attention. My whole autumn consulting program was geared around being in Manchester in late November, and the flights and hotels were booked months ago. I did wonder why flights from Amsterdam (Schiphol) to Manchester necessitated a change at New York’s JFK airport, but did not question it in sufficient detail.

So, I currently found myself in Manchester, with a late autumn schedule of work spanning the forthcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Thursday 24th Nov). All assignments are in the vicinity of Manchester. That is Manchester, Vermont. Around here, the snow on the slopes of Mt Equinox is like a Good King Wenceslas pizza – deep and crisp and even.

However, it has been brilliant following the conference from afar. You would not believe the amount of traffic on the airwaves coming from Manchester (England), well into the United States early hours, so I am going to bed late and getting up early (and going into the office to get some sleep). As well as blogging and tweeting (and some people twittering ……. they twitter on and on and on and ON!), the growing tendency is twogging; tweeting and blogging at the same time. A master of this is Michelle Bilton, with some very inspiring material already produced. And then there was one track session speaker, blogging as he spoke. Now how do you do that! The jacket of the lady sitting in the front row of his session (which irritated the speaker intensely) must have been really bad!

I have enjoyed the references to the Euro currency crisis, and the airwaves were full after the Serbian keynote session. He seems to have got you thinking, about Berlusconi metrics if nothing else. Otherwise, it was a shame that all those from one small nation arrived thinking that they should wear fancy dress. I felt really sorry for the two people (fortunately husband and wife) who were jointly dressed as a camel; the available pictures are both hilarious and sad. It seemed that e-mail traffic to the EuroSTAR team from the group booking had been compromised – hence they all want to learn about security testing on the web. Now that seems to me like closing the stable door after the camel has bolted.

Both the Program Committee and the EuroSTAR team from Ireland have done a cracking job, with a great conference. My real joy is that the venue for the 20th EuroSTAR conference in 2012, Amsterdam, is without a corresponding airport on the US side of the Atlantic. So I can use GLIP late at night without being sent to the wrong place!

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