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Pursuing a Quality Programme…

  • 19/05/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR
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May 10th, the day the EuroSTAR programme is announced. I had cleared my schedule to attend the webinar with the introduction, but – as last year- to be able to attend the webinar seems to be hexed, so I miss THE moment. Luckily I’m also attending TestNet SpringEvent where I have my first encounter with the programme, actually in a very personal way; namely via the lovely smiles of the Qualtech Ladies handing me over the flyer with the programme on it!

Oh.. agony… I have the flyer in hand… so close but still I’m not able to look at it thouroughly. I see so many people there to say hello to, I can’t just say “Buzz off, I want to check out the programme!”. So I live in agony for the next half hour or so and then find a quiet place and fold open the folder, reveiling the EuroSTAR 2011 programme in full splendor.

Think I was in agony not being able to see the programme when in hand? Well, that’s nothing compared to the agony I have now: CHOICES! There’s, as always, loads of good stuff in there and I can’t wait to see them all. But now the puzzling starts, because just like you can’t TEST it all, you can’t see all the tutorials, workshops and tracks (sometimes I wish I had Hermione’s watch (from Harry Potter) so I could just re-set time and use the same timeslot again :-) ).

The essence of getting the most out of any conference programme (for me at least) is to make a perfect schedule of tracks to attend. Making a balance of stuff you find interesting, stuff you might not have chosen right away but is very related to the work you’re doing right now and in my case, stuff that colleagues that aren’t able to attend want to know about (I’m their eyes and ears in that case). I also want to have time to ‘confer’, so that means that sometimes I choose not to attend a track at all. So since the release of the programme I’ve been busy pursuing my own Quality Programme, which will probably change a couple of times during the period until EuroSTAR starts in November.

For example..Monday; 6 tutorials to choose from. They are all good value depending on what your needs are. My favourites currently are ‘Using Business Stories to test requirements and systems’ and ‘establishing an effective test metrics programme’. Not that the other four are not good; I KNOW they are good, but as I’ve seen loads of Michael Bolton’s stuff and read his blog regularly visiting this tutorial would probably highly likely – although very entertaining- not bring me loads of new stuff. I’m very much into test techniques myself, so ‘Using and choosing Test Techniques’ would not have high value for ME, but I can imagine that people who aren’t very practiced with techniques and how to choose them for the needed conditions would have high value from this one. ‘Improving the test process’, although higly appealing to me, it’s also a subject I’m quite familiar with, so I would not learn much new stuff, if you are a tester that is exploring the test process improvement specialism, I would certainly recommend this one. The last remaining is ‘Combinatorial Testing Practices’, which is actually also one of my ‘want to attend’s , it’s something I appeal to (also being into orthogonal arrays and a bit self-taught in this area) I could probably learn from this one too; but in this case the ‘like’ factor kicks in and in that case my favourite is ‘B’ and second best is ‘F’.

I could run through the whole programme with you and give you my insights on each choice I make and why I didn’t pick the other. But this would become a VERY long post and I don’t want to influence you too much when pursuing your own quality programme! One consolidation though; all keynotes can be in your programme (as they are in mine) without having to discard any other great tracks or tutorials!

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