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TeamSTAR Diaries 2013

  • 02/12/2013
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Day One – Making the first step into a new realm

Having stepped our feet on Gothenburg was the second realization that something ‘big’ was awaiting us. The first realization was the cold weather, though. But the real fun was yet about to start after we entered the ‘Svenska Mässan’ exhibition & congress facility which one could easily tell from looking at our smiley faces. Our journey begun with the Tuesday afternoon Conference and our goal was simple -get as much out of the conference as possible. So we decided to split up for different  sessions.

Laurent Bossavits keynote taught us how to avoid intellectual bullies making our job as software testers harder by holding up doubtful statistics and coming up with poor scientific researches. I can still recall that one verse of his amusing poem he showed us at the end of that wonderful presentation:

“Remember, remember,
The fifth of November,
The misleading statistics and plot
I know of no reason
To blindly trust another’s plot.”

Brilliant!

Will computers ever be able to think, act and feel like human beings? A deep and provocative question. Even though Harry Collins couldn’t make it to the conference, his work and his presentation was well explained by Rob Evans. His argument that machines are also social prostheses, but they do not fit into society as human beings tells us as testers, not only that it is societies job to compensate for what machines aren’t able, but also that it is in our hands to test whether software or hardware is acceptable enough to humans, which indeed isn’t easy as one might think.

Day Two – Getting connected with the community.

Playing the role of an interviewer was a challenge of its own. But who could have guessed that interviewing such a vast community of testers (Testers… testers everywhere!) could be beneficial in so many ways. Not only did we make a ton of  new friends, we also learned a lot from each one.  It was a simple question that we thought of: “If you could wrap up the conference in  three words, what would they be (and why)?”  In the following video we will see what opinions some of our interviewers shared with us.

Another great event that blew everyone’s mind was the fantastic show of Ian Rowland. Every “think” is Possible. Not only did he read the minds of two participants, who had to think about a specific celebrity, he also had thought, long before the conference that he would have no clue what one of the participants would think of, whereas another would ‘imagine’ John Lennon. His message was clear: increase your irrational thinking; no-think is what it may seem.

The Wednesday party was entertaining and cool. Delicious food and drinks, engaging events and games and a lot of fun. What a day! Ilir even called it a ‘life changer’ event.

Day Three – We’re not done, yet.

The fun would not stop, even on the last day. There was Martin Pol’s keynote “Questioning the Evolution of Testing: What’s next?” which was at the same time rich in content and funny as hell! Questions like: What can we learn from the past?

What’s the changing role of the tester? How can testing keep on contributing? – has made us all consider and re-think our future roles in today’s rapidly changing software testing world.

Huib Schoots Mind Mapping lecture did have a crucial impact on our way of thinking. After his presentation, we had to mind-map ourselves. One could easily hear the  squeaky sounds of our markers rolling over the papers.

One thing is for sure, Dublin will be our next stop, and we’re looking forward to meeting the community again. And who knows, maybe 2014’s EuroSTAR Conference may perhaps have some Junior speakers from Kosovo…

 

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