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TeamSTAR Winners 2013 – Road to Gothenburg

  • 09/09/2013
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It was rather a boring day at work when we received an email. Our CEO was rescheduling a meeting we had to attend. Blah, boring. But there was another thing in the email. It was a PS that said “There is a competition for the EuroSTAR Conference”. Okay, that rose a few eyebrows. Of course, almost everyone talked it off since it would be near impossible for a young company from a place called Kosovo to ever be near the Mecca of Software Testers but there were some of us who had a spark. You could sense it, it was silent but you could feel it.

We had our usual meeting like we do every week and as we were about to wrap it up, someone interrupted “and what about the TeamSTAR competition?”. It was obvious that a lot of people had forgotten about it since for them it was unreachable. So our manager explains what’s it all about, shooting a video that will describe our daily work and it had to be attractive or just plain crazy.

We had nothing. No cameras, no editors, no ideas, nothing. And the deadline was in a week’s time. It was whole mountain waiting to be climbed. We were ready to quit before we even started. But our ever so determined colleague, Bleta, she kept pursuing the dream. She managed to get a team of 12 people in a table and got us starting spilling ideas. After few hours of brainstorming, we were able to come up with a story. But even then we had no equipments at all. We were promised some basic cameras on Monday, and the deadline was in Wednesday. Still a hopeless situation. Could we really make it on such short notice?

So we get the equipment which consisted of a digital NIKON camera and a tripod(which we never used actually). Very professional, right? We shoot on Monday and Tuesday, apparently we had enough material to make the story so we try to send it to an editor we thought we had. But there was no editor. This was the last nail on the coffin. The competition was ending in 24 hours and we had edited no material at all.

Just when we thought we were finished, Ilir, our tester who is a handful for everything IT related was working quietly on his computer, editing piece by piece. With no previous professional experience, he was surprising every one of us with his skill. We could actually make it. All of us who participated, were in the office way past our working time helping Ilir. It was getting dark and we were nearly there.

And finally with just 3 hours remaining until the deadline, it was being uploaded. And it’s SENT. We receive the confirmation mail from EuroSTAR that our video was accepted and next day we receive another email telling us that we are in the FINALS. We could not believe it. This was the ultimate victory for us.

Days were going by, but the thrill that we were in the finals was not. Watching other participant videos we were honored just by competing with them. The thing is, it was not yet over. After a week EuroSTAR posts the ongoing results. HARRISIA is leading. As if we didn’t have enough. We just didn’t know what to make of this anymore. It was surreal.

Eventually the winners would be revealed in the 2nd of September. So that day, we couldn’t get anything done from the anticipation of the results. It’s noon and we receive an email. HARRISIA is the winner of 2013 TeamSTAR Competition. Everyone broke out in sheer excitement. Some of us could yet not agree with the reality. It was a victory of determination and team spirit. We saw these things only in movies. For us all this was a movie. A glimpse of what one can do if you really desire and work for it.

Now, that we are going in Gothenburg, we want to make sure that all this wasn’t for nothing. It’s once in a lifetime kind of event so we are looking forward on seeing the best QA experts out there. The depth that EuroSTAR offers in terms of professional knowledge is what we want to benefit mostly. We are relishing the Workshops & other important sessions since we are expecting these 4 days to be a game changer in our perception of Software Testing and everything that goes with it.

HARRISIA is greatly fond of this opportunity given by EuroSTAR and it’s literally a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.

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