Saturday, June 8, 2019

German Testing Day 2019 - About First Times

German Testing Day 2019 is over and it was great. Now's time to reflect and relax.

First Times

When thinking back I realized that this conference brought lots of first times with it.
  • It was my first time at this conference. Was really happy I finally had the opportunity to experience it after hearing about for a few years.
  • It was the first time I offered diversity tickets with the wonderful help of the organizers, especially Thomas Rinke and Melanie Wohnert. Several people applied and in the end we could grant four of them free tickets, two of them even travel and accommodation support. At the conference day I finally met three of them in person which made me really, really happy.
  • It was the first time I met lots of people I only knew from Twitter. Agreed, that's a common theme at conferences, yet I am always happy to meet people in real life. Among them: Michael Kutz and Varuna Srivastav, and I also really enjoyed their talks.
  • It was the first time I listened to Pecha Kucha talks - what a great format! Really challenging, too.
  • It was the first time I tried to sketchnote short talks by putting them all on one page. This was a new challenge for me!
  • It was the first time I sketchnoted in a different language (English) than the talk was in (German). Good thing I am practicing sketchnoting for quite some time already!
  • It was the first time for Jessica Davis to speak at a conference. She did extremely well and enjoyed it - our community just gained an amazing new voice! :D
  • It was the first time I gave the opening keynote for a conference (not counting TestBash as one-track conference here).
  • It was the first time I gave a keynote in a second country (counts as first time, doesn't it?) Thomas said this made me now an international keynote speaker! :D

German Testing Night

The evening before the main conference started was labeled German Testing night. Workshops took place along with a series of Pecha Kucha talks. Afterwards we started into an evening of networking and socializing.

What I really enjoyed: the theme was inspired by a fun fair! Hotdogs, ice cream, popcorn, dart, can knockdown, and more. This was a great way to get to know some people already before the conference started.

The Sessions

After several conferences I now got used to doing sketchnotes of all talks I attend. It's a great method to stay focused during a talk, to condense the messages heard, to visualize them, to memorize them better, and to provide a quick reminder for my future self. Bonus point: You can share them with the community so people who could not attend the conference might benefit from them as well.
My personal highlights were the talks by Michael Kutz and Thomas Rinke. Michael had a great story to tell and used beautiful hand-drawn slides to underline it. I realized we have a lot to talk about regarding organizational development, architecture, quality and testing! Thomas was originally not on the program, but had jumped in spontaneously for a speaker who fell sick. Lucky me! Now I had the chance to listen to his personal experience as tester who went through an agile transition and shared his struggles and delights with it.

My Second Keynote

I was nervous. I always am before my session, especially if it's talk. Especially if it's opening the conference. Especially if it's a keynote. During the session the situation stays challenging but something I learned I can cope with; and afterwards I have no idea how the session was from a more objective viewpoint than my own, so I am really depending on feedback.

This time I received overly positive feedback, directly as well as on all kind of social channels, even via Facebook and Instagram (oh, that's yet a another first time for me!). People told me my talk was super inspiring and some even considered starting their own tour or introducing pair testing at their companies. What else could I want? :D

Furthermore, Tobias Geyer made a wonderful job live tweeting from the session, I'm super grateful for that. Now there's only one more conference waiting for me next week before a bigger break until October - and I am already super looking forward to Romanian Testing Conference which will be another first time for me!

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