Sunday, October 7, 2018

How I Got My First Keynote - Or: Join Me at Testing United 2018!

You might have seen my post about my story as a first time conference speaker. You might also have seen my tweet about my first year as conference speaker (still can't believe the stats of my journey).
You might have seen I got invited to give my first keynote ever!
But - how did it come that I give my first keynote after only 14 months into public speaking?! Truth is, I don't know.

What I know is, that one day in August 2018 I received a message from the Testing United organizers via LinkedIn. It said they had seen one of my talks and like it (I always appreciate feedback!). They thought it would perfectly fit the managerial track for this year's edition of their conference. They even considered that I was already scheduled for another conference, right before theirs - asking whether I could still make time and would like to join them in Bratislava this year.

No word of keynote? Exactly. Don't get me wrong - getting invited to do any session, without having to submit a paper and go through the selection process, and that after only one year of public speaking, is already a golden ticket.

I had a look at their conference page. It indeed sounded interesting, however, I worried it might be too much for me this year (remember I had lots of conferences already done and still on my list back then). I was especially concerned about the timing, as I would be for a full week at another conference just the week before. So I asked them to provide more details via email so I could make a better informed decision. (Postponing decisions has not proven to be the best thing to do in all cases for me; but this time it was.) The email came the very same evening and started as follows.
Good evening Lisi,

As we started our discussion on Linkedin, we would like to invite you to become one of our keynote speakers on Testing United 2018 conference (two days:November 19-20, Bratislava, Slovakia)
I did not read further. Did it say.. keynote?! My first thought: There must have been a mistake, mixing up content and recipient or sorts of. So I asked for clarification and got the following prompt response.
I believe you could make a big talk in front of big crowd (500ppl) :) 
Wow! It was indeed an invitation to give my first keynote ever! I was speechless - and this was too good an opportunity not to seize.

Long story cut short: Join me at Testing United 2018 in Bratislava and support me on my first keynote! Jokes apart, the schedule is out and it looks amazing. I'm looking forward to hearing talks from people I listend to already, like Gojko Adzic. I'm really looking forward to meeting people I only know from social media, like Raluca Morariu, and finally hear them talk! Last but not least, I'm so looking forward to getting inspired by people I didn't know yet and making new connections. One of the secrets that I learned on my public speaking journey so far is, that speakers speak due to many different reasons. But one is very common: to get the opportunity to attend more conferences and learn from each other. I, as a speaker, am there to learn.

Another reason for me is to share my stories and experiences in order to give back to the community. My keynote "Next Stop: FlixBus! A Tester Exploring Developer Land" is exactly about that! Would you like to...
  • ... learn how testing throughout the workflow helps to shorten feedback loops and build quality in?
  • ... find out how to engage the whole team to resolve bottlenecks?
  • ... experiment with different approaches to find solutions in your context?
  • ... get tips to foster cross-team collaboration and grow a company-wide testing community?
  • ... discover how to explore beyond your product to drive continuous improvement?
Then join me at Testing United in Bratislava on November 19th & 20th!

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