A Blog from QualiTest

Free on-line testing and SQA conference: What happened and how to relive it

Wish you could attend more QA conferences to connect with others in the industry and to learn about the latest trends? Then you should look into the OnlineTestConf

Ever want to go to a conference, but hate all that travel and financial expense?  QualiTest and PractiTest, leaders in the fields of Testing Services and Test Management Solutions, sponsored OnlineTestConf on November 29-30 with over 2000 attendees registered, over 560 of whom attended.  OnlineTestConf is the first ever conference around Testing and Quality Assurance to be 100% online and free of charge to all its attendees. Additional sponsors included TimeShiftX, Softwaretestingtools.com, and Tea-time with Testers magazine.  This conference broadcast 10 presentations from thought leaders across the testing world, followed by offline continuations of the discussions using Slack.

Regarding such a venture, PractiTest Chief Solution Architect Joel Montvelisky said, “After attending and speaking at a number of conferences around the world we realized that the vast majority of testers cannot enjoy the benefits of taking part in these events, either because they are too expensive or because they cannot get their employers to give them time to travel and attend, and so we decided to make it pain-free and simple to take part in this event”.

For those of you who missed it, the presentations are still available through YouTube through the Sessions Recordings link here.  Let me summarize two of the presentations, with a little editorial from myself:

Joel Montvelisky of PractiTest discussed increasing the value of your testing team to other departments who may, unfortunately, view testers as belated complainers of trivial matters that demand attention during crunch time.  The real questions are: How do you present yourself, and how are you perceived?  Consider the way you communicate, and how non-testers can find value from you, and how you can sell them on your value.  You want to be seen as helpful, not annoying.  It’s about them, not you.  The key is communicating your knowledge providing helpful information.  Once you realize what stakeholders in different roles need at specific times, you can provide helpful metrics or reports or wikis, in addition to having the right answer if they ask you a question.

QualiTest’s own Kevin Wilkes and Richard Morgan discussed root causes (PowerPoint is available here).  You may correctly guess that our iceberg logo would appear, highlighting the role of the more-concealed part, and the Titanic would also be mentioned.  But the focus was on identifying the root causes of the problems, then deciding on the viability of addressing those root causes (training, coding, testing, procedures, etc.) in future iterations.  Some things, like improving training or avoiding 3rd party version changes during major releases, may be cost-effective and doable, while others may be impossible to implement or cost-prohibitive.  Post-presentation questions focused on the ability to convince management of the overall benefits to avoid that “Not again!” face-palm feeling.

While you won’t be able to ask questions, a historical record of all of the sessions with follow-up Q&A is available for replay from the Session Recordings link here.  You can also follow the adventures here on Twitter.  No details have been set yet for next year’s event, but stay tuned!