Or: A big, huge thank you.
Returning from Agile Testing Days 2019 and a week of vacation, my heart is still full of joy and gratefulness. It was a long conference festival week. I learned a lot, I shared a lot, and we had many insightful and inspiring conversations. Brace yourself: this is going to be a long post with lots of tweets to illustrate my memory of things. Dear all, and especially dear future me: be invited to immerse yourself (again) into these wonderful Agile Testing Days 2019 as I experienced them.
I'm totally biased here. I wouldn't want to miss #AgileTD! It was my very 1st conference. I met so so SO many awesome people and learned so much from them there! @tottiLFC and me got inspired there to become learning partners - and speakers! So much good came out of it. 💚🦄— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) October 31, 2019
Saturday: Back Home in Unicorn Land
The last years I used to arrive on Sunday, just before the tutorial day. The tutorials always provided lots of value to me, so I simply wouldn't miss them. This year, however, a handful of two-day tutorials had been announced, among them two that I simply couldn't resist. The "Quality Coaching Masterclass" by Anne-Marie Charrett, and "Exploring systems quality in a distributed world" by Abby Bangser and Benjamin Hofmann. Both of them were super tempting as well as fitting to my current challenges and knowledge gaps. In the end, I decided to join the latter tutorial as I was very curious to explore the world of observability, a quality aspect that has gained more and more awareness and importance over the last years. I wanted to experience hands-on how increased observability helps our efforts to learn more about our actual product in production, in my case from a testing perspective.
Having booked a two-day tutorial, I needed to arrive already on Saturday. Knowing that my learning partner Toyer Mamoojee and I were having the closing keynote at the end of the conference week, I realized this would be a challenge. Six days of conference craziness in a row...? Well, challenge accepted! Still, I knew I had to be careful not to overdo things. I was close to catching a cold already the weeks before, so I prepared everything for that case and promised myself to take good care of myself this year throughout the week, especially when it comes to catching more sleep compared to other years. I knew there was a crazy week ahead of me, and I was looking forward to it.
After arriving at the airport, I welcomed the opportunity to share a ride with Janet Gregory, Gitte Klitgaard and David Corrales and enjoying first conversations, getting into the conference mood. What an amazing feeling to enter the hotel lobby for the fifth time after my very first Agile Testing Days in 2015. Every year it's more and more like coming home!
The best thing of arriving on Saturday was to have an additional dinner opportunity with the community. Lots of people were already there and I thoroughly enjoyed my evening with great conversations.
Arriving at #AgileTD is like coming home. Already had great conversations with @devidcillo @janetgregoryca @NativeWired and shortly met @a_bangser @benny_hfm (super looking forward to their tutorial tomorrow!) as well as @charrett @Annosofie 😊— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 2, 2019
Late evening conversation with @lisihocke & @marianneduijst got me inspired. @AgileTD pre-conference fun!— Mor Korem @ #AgileTD (@temorel) November 2, 2019
Sunday: Tutorial Time!The first tutorial day arrived and it was time for Exploring systems quality in a distributed world by Abby Bangser and Benjamin Hofmann. Already on this very first day I was really happy about my decision in favor of a two-day tutorial. It was simply amazing. Abby and Benni, together with a third supporter, had created a distributed system as our practice playground. They provided the product as our system to explore, the infrastructure its services were running on, and also a whole set of open source tools allowing us to learn more about the system as it was running. They introduced us to major aspects and concepts regarding observability and showed us how we could find out more about the system. I loved that we were a small group with two instructors, and that they chose not to spend the tutorial time on lecturing yet rather on many hands-on exercises for us. Lots of time to explore! I love this part most in workshops and tutorials. If I can make my own steps and gain my own experiences, I will understand a lot more, learn a lot more and take a lot more with me than by listening only. As a bonus: I sat next to Areti Panou who I had met at Romanian Testing Conference and TestBash Manchester this year. (Follow her! She's awesome.) We had a great time learning together.
The first tutorial day was closed by the keynote The challenges ahead by Jan Jaap Cannegieter and Derk-Jan de Grood. They prepared people for the topics they saw coming and gave pointers how to make the best out of the offered conference program. Let's learn and adapt to what's coming!First day was amazing!! Already looking forward to our challenges on day 2 😅💪 Absolutely recommended tutorial so far! No doubt the second part will be just as great. Thank you @a_bangser & @benny_hfm! https://t.co/wvnpISKRzV— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 3, 2019
Originally I had planned to join the meetup organized for this evening and observe the teams taking part in the Xtestathon. In the end, however, I was too tired for that and chose to have dinner with a smaller group of community friends in beautiful Potsdam instead. The night out with Viktorija Manevska, Marianne Duijst, Johan Sandell and Areti was refreshing and energizing. The week could come!
Monday: Tutorial Luck and Speakers ReunionThe second tutorial day came and it was just as amazing as the first one. This time Abby and Benni decided to have us live through a bunch of evolutionary steps, starting out with a system with low observability and then adding more and more in as we went. What a great chance for us to use our newly gained skills from the first day and deepen our understanding by practicing. I guess all of us are now craving the final level of observability for our own systems at home!
In the evening we listened to a very special keynote: Being Lucky by Stephan Kämper. He shared his story how he set himself up for luck, even to the extent of surviving cancer. Stephan showed us how we all can contribute to our own luck. A truly emotional and inspiring keynote that truly deserved the standing ovations Stephan received.I cannot recommend this tutorial about all things #observability enough. If you have a chance to participate, don't miss it. If you're a conference organizer, get it on your program! #AgileTD https://t.co/lGDzThEt88— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 4, 2019
Toyer Mamoojee, João Proença, Viktorija Manevska, Dragan Spiridonov, Mirjana Kolarov - too sad that Simon Berner, Dianë Xhymshiti, Lilit Sharkhatunyan and Pooja Shah couldn't make it this year. At one point we will get the whole group together for sure!Highlight #1: @S_2K's very emotional keynote about being lucky to survive cancer. #AgileTD is not a normal conference about agile testing. Seeing this first keynote ending with standing ovations, immediately made that clear and connected us all a bit more.— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 9, 2019
What better way to close the day than going for speakers dinner? I had the pleasure to be a speaker at Agile Testing Days for three years in a row now, and this dinner was always special. It's amazing me to see how many people I already know these days, people that I didn't dare to approach just a few years ago. These days I can even connect my own connections! Like having Michael Kutz getting to know our power learning group. (By the way, Micha took my Test Automation University course while traveling to the conference, how awesome is that?) Time was flying and soon it was time to go home and rest before the main conference started.It’s the #PowerLearning at #AgileTD! Where are you @lisihocke ?! @mirjanakolarov @profesor_dragan @tottiLFC @Iki_Kviki pic.twitter.com/7VPoTDBkX4— João Proença (@jrosaproenca) November 4, 2019
Done 😃— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 4, 2019
Amazes me how similar @lisihocke's and my own experience is on topics like test automation, pairing, avoiding bottlenecks and much more.
A good course to get some inspiration how to improve your team's quality 👍https://t.co/eWQvDXbJ8y https://t.co/FTrME9yF9t
Tuesday: Lean Coffee, Conference Rush, and a Community Award
Tuesday started - traditionally as every year for me - with a lean coffee session with Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. As we had more people than would fit on two tables, I decided to help out facilitating and open a third one. I've done this so many times now I'm not even anxious about it anymore, a big achievement for me! :D We had great conversations at our table including different perspectives and everyone took new insights and ideas away with them.
Then it was time to open the main conference. For those who haven't been at Agile Testing Days yet: the program is huge, there are lots of options for everybody and fear of missing out is high. This can easily become overwhelming, so I've decided to use my strategy from last year again, which means: keynotes and workshops only. I was well aware that this way I'd miss out on a lot of fabulous talks (and I did...). I don't regret this decision for my own mental health (less context switching and less sketchnotes to create) as well as my personal learning style (I prefer learning by applying new knowledge hands-on). While I still don't regret this decision in general, I really regret I was not listening to my fellow power learning group members João and Mirjana and their talks, and didn't create a sketchnote for them. The same goes for a few other dear community friends, as well as the new voices I'd have loved to support. I'm truly sorry for that. I hope I find a better mixture next year.We had such great conversations! Thanks again to volunteer facilitators @lisihocke & @jrosaproenca ! Always nice to have extra tables and more expert facilitators! https://t.co/DWLDelymy3— lisacrispin (@lisacrispin) November 14, 2019
- Keynote: More Than That by Damian Synadinos. What an energized opening keynote. I really agree to the message - we're all more than whatever label is put on us. Let's "un-just" and rediscover ourselves! The presentation was impressive, yet extremely fast and therefore hard to follow.
- Workshop: A Lawful Thing To Test by Han Toan Lim. GDPR applied - or so I thought. Unfortunately I misinterpreted the workshop abstract as it was rather an introduction to exploratory testing on the example of testing for GDPR compliance instead of focusing on the latter and providing more detailed guidance.
- Keynote: Influencing without Power by Marianne Duijst. Powerful advice for everyone how to influence even if you're not in the position of power. I especially related to "take the loss" - sometimes there's no sense in continuing a lost battle. Instead it's better to calm down first and then come back to the discussion on another day.
- Workshop: Confident fast-pace delivery of microservices by Alex Schwartz. Alex made our working groups research important concepts and terms and explain them well to each other - a great technique, that alone was teaching us a lot. It was only such a pity the conference wifi broke down every other minute. This way we could do a lot less hands-on ourselves as expected and had to fall back to demonstrations instead.
- Keynote: Where Next for Tech Ethics? by Cennydd Bowles. Thought-provoking! Great advice what to do to change our current situation to the better when it comes to ethics in tech. An immensely important topic.
After retreating to my hotel room, I realized that the recording of my TestBash Manchester talk "A Code Challenge of Confidence" was published and made accessible for anyone having a free Dojo account. I was super happy about it as I wasn't sure if I would get another chance to give the talk again.
Even more great news: I received the confirmation that I made the program for Agile Testing Days USA! Even with a talk and a workshop. I'm so much looking forward to see the American edition of this great conference and to visiting Chicago for the first time.
Now it was finally party time. This year the theme was "80s Glam & Rock". I'm not a fan of wearing costumes myself, so I decided to just go with a simple shirt themed with what I love that roughly fits the 80s. The good thing: no one reprimands you for not being in costume! I love this. It's super fun admiring the costumes of others AND feeling comfortable and safe at the same time. By the way, my former colleague Barbara Stecher won the best costume award, the second year in a row! Absolutely amazing and so well deserved!
Now, this party also includes the award ceremony for the MIATPP - probably the most unpronounceable award title ever - the "Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person". The last year I was stunned that I got into the top 10 list, even the top 3! Couldn't believe that I got voted for at all. I mean, this community award went to such amazing people in the past, my absolute heroes! You know, the big names. Many people told me throughout the year they would vote for me again and I felt flattered and extremely honored. Still, what came - came completely unexpected to me. Because I won this year. (Me? Yes, me.)Discovered this afternoon I won the ATD Costume Competition and am still walking around with a wild smile on my face! I had fun imitating one of Nina Hagen's crazy looks.— Barbara Stecher (@barbarastecher2) November 18, 2019
Thanks so much to everyone! I'm already excited about attending the ATD 2020 conference in Potsdam. https://t.co/ytPWZjVHDS
I cannot even explain the moment when I realized it was really me. I sat there with my lovely power learning group friends, having Abby and Melissa Eaden on my other side. We enjoyed our dinner and then it was time for announcing the award winner. This year it was up to Lisa and Janet to go up on stage and announce the lucky one. They started sharing rather general statements and comments about the winner. They added more and more details, yet still I was unaware. And then they shared that this person has listed "sociotechnical symmathecist" in their Twitter bio. At that point my jaw dropped and I couldn't believe it. I was certain no one else in this room (besides Lisa) had listened to Jessica Kerr's keynote at Mob Programming Conference 2018 that inspired me to add this title to my Twitter bio. Lisa and Janet continued, yet I couldn't listen anymore and my whole table already celebrated. Abby ensured me that it was really me. João even recorded a video of the moment. And suddenly Toyer was behind me, asking me to stand up, accompanying me to the stage and handing me over the award. What an incredible moment. What a feeling. I was speechless. I only could think of all these people who had voted for me. Me! Me, who had received so much support and encouragement from the community myself. The only thing I could do the last years is to pay it forward! And this is exactly what I will continue doing. Learning myself, sharing what I experienced, supporting others. My biggest thanks go out to all those who supported me, who followed me on my journey, who believed in me. It was such an honor to receive this community award through the hands of two of my biggest idols, Lisa and Janet, and my most amazing learning partner Toyer - and then getting celebrated by our lovely power learning group. Not to forget all those other wonderful people who ensured me I really won and I could really just accept this as a fact. Because I deserved it. I'm still not too sure about the latter point, yet I'm doing my best to embrace it.
You can imagine how many late night conversations I had with so many amazing people. They also shared why they wanted me as MIATPP and why they thought I deserved it. Some said that it's about bravery; that I'm great at publicly sharing what I do and inviting people to follow along on my journey; that I'm the every day hero people long for - if I can do it, you can do it, too. You can't imagine how happy I was to hear this feedback! This is exactly what I'm trying to show. I'm not a super human, I'm just a normal person who received support, took their opportunities, put lots of effort in - and shared what I learned over the last years. I'm far from perfect, there's so much more to learn! And that's fine.
The whole evening was incredible. Returning to my hotel room, I allowed myself to have a look at Twitter - and saw it had completely exploded. Slowly the truth started to sink in. I really had won this award! To never forget this incredible moment and all the wonderful feedback I received, I gave myself permission to retweet all of the congratulations and kind words people shared on Twitter. I tweeted that I won, I pinned it to my profile. I learned a lot how to acknowledge my own achievements better over the last years, yet that's as far as I wanted to go. Plus adding here some of my personal highlights. ;-)
I won the award "Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person" 2019 - what an amazing feedback to receive from the #AgileTD community! 🙏 I put in effort, and you made me fly. THANK YOU. 💚Now let's all help the next ones soar to new heights! 🕊 #MIATPP #AchievementUnlocked— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 6, 2019
And the #MIATPP 2019 is a very speechless @lisihocke! She is a true inspiration for us and many people in the community and we at #AgileTD are happy to be part of her journey in becoming such a great influence in the #agile #testing community. ❤️🦄 pic.twitter.com/f2lwjWtJgr— Agile Testing Days (@AgileTD) November 5, 2019
A privilege for me & @janetgregoryca to introduce @lisihocke as this year’s Most Inflluential Agile Testing professional person award, with help from @tottiLFC & @jdiaz_berlin #agiletd pic.twitter.com/toRn6v4Iye— lisacrispin (@lisacrispin) November 5, 2019
Highlight #11: Listening to the great award show speach for the #MIATPP 🥇 by @janetgregoryca & @lisacrispin. I was voting for @lisihocke since being most inspiring is currently her real nature. Everybody on my table seemed to agree, we were all crossing fingers & cheered 👏— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 9, 2019
Sitting w/@melthetester as @lisacrispin & @janetgregoryca did a FABULOUS job introducing the #MIATPP I guessed...hmm this may be @lisihocke. It wasn't til I heard the most polite "scheiße" whispered behind me that I was sure!— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 5, 2019
Most well deserved Lisi & excited to see what's next! https://t.co/iLTGWP3NWo
Congratulations @lisihocke! The #CodeConfident journey that you've taken over the last 12 months has been truly inspirational. I have referred testers to your writing -- https://t.co/JhkqYsPWxR -- and they have been inspired to challenge themselves too. Well deserved. https://t.co/SgV7f1cxwU— Katrina Clokie (@katrinaclokie) November 6, 2019
Congratulations @LisiHocke on #MIATPP award. You are awesome is so many ways and I am delighted the community appreciated you this way. https://t.co/tMleyHrF0s— Maaret Pyhäjärvi (@maaretp) November 5, 2019
Huge congrats, @lisihocke!!! Well deserved. You continuously push yourself while also inspiring others to do the same. #AgileTD #MIATPP https://t.co/1JpfZzXFfF— Angie Jones @ #AfroTech (@techgirl1908) November 5, 2019
Power of peers! Amazing group celebration! The bright comet at the agile sky! @lisihocke you deserve it! Have a great night! #AgileTD @Iki_Kviki @tottiLFC @jrosaproenca @eddybruin pic.twitter.com/8hFJTBxve6— Docendo Discimus (@kriscorbus) November 5, 2019
@lisihocke has done it! Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person for 2019 : MIATPP award. So well deserved and proud to call you my learning partner - happy to celebrate with some of the #PowerLearningGroup members @AgileTD #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/BjCZIO9CrL— Toyer M (@tottiLFC) November 5, 2019
Wednesday: Wonderful Workshops & Power Dinner
You can imagine the last night was very short (yet it was so much worth it). Waking up this morning, seeing the award on my hotel table, the fact I truly had won became clearer and clearer. Still, it was another conference day, which means a lot more to learn! And it was an awesome day, too.
- Keynote: Being Mortal in the age of Artificial Intelligence by Raj Subrameyer. Great keynote how to treat AI with caution and how it can help us - and a call to the community to use it for the good. Great topic, well presented.
"Being Mortal on the Edge of Artificial Intelligence" by @epsilon11 #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/d4vK1K6CNJ— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
- Workshop: Gamify your testing to lower risk and raise value by Lisa Crispin and Lena Wiberg. What an amazing workshop! We had so many valuable discussions in our group, coming up with lots of risks to consider for the target product. Especially triggered by Lena's wonderful card game "Would Heu-risk-it?"! I really want to have a set of them.
- Keynote: Empowerment through Observability by Abby Bangser. I loved Abby and Benni's tutorial, and I loved her keynote. Such a complex and increasingly important topic broken down in comprehensible pieces. Perfect.
- Workshop: You have fears and doubts, too by Viktorija Manevska and Eddy Bruin. I was so glad I joined this workshop. On the one hand, because Viki and Eddy became learning partners in Toyer's and my workshop last year. These two made a pact to coach each other, kept their commitment and coached each other on their challenges throughout the year. Now they returned to Agile Testing Days with a workshop themselves, sharing their lessons learned and the techniques that helped them. How awesome is that?! On the other hand, the content came so timely for myself. I really hope these new additions to my toolbox will help me conquer some of my current challenges at work.
Great to see this pairing give a workshop @AgileTD so proud of you guys @Iki_Kviki and @eddybruin cc #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/GwweUq0K2r— Toyer M (@tottiLFC) November 6, 2019
- Keynote: QADevSecOps: Leading a Quality-Driven DevOps Transformation by Stacy Kirk. With DevOps being a movement for quality, we need to understand how to champion for it and what obstacles to look out for to succeed.
"QADevSecOps: Leading a Quality-Driven DevOps Transformation" by @queenofagileqa #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/ao15QX8yq9— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
After a quite sleepless night, I grew tired in the evening. Being at the conference all around the clock can be exhausting, so Toyer and I decided to give ourselves a break and also spend some quality time together with our amazing power learning group members. They didn't need much convincing! ;-) So we dismissed the scheduled evening program, and off we went to Potsdam to have a fantastic dinner together. We really missed our beloved other members and already discussed plans for a get together with all of us.
Returning back to the hotel, we - naturally - ended up in the lobby. This let me finally and properly say hello to Thomas Rinke who joined the conference mid day. Thomas is a lovely human I heavily appreciate - and he never stops surprising me! This time he gave me a gift: the book "Leading Quality" by Ronald Cummings-John. A book that Areti had just recommended me on Monday. That got recommended by Lisa on Twitter shortly after. And here it was in my hands! Thomas, your skills are amazing. Thank you so, so much!Part of the #PowerLearningGroup bonding over dinner! @mirjanakolarov @lisihocke @profesor_dragan @jrosaproenca - thank you @AgileTD for making this reunion possible #agileTD pic.twitter.com/Q8O0j3hqls— Toyer M (@tottiLFC) November 6, 2019
Thank you @thomrinke for this amazing gift! I'm still speechless. Please keep being this wonderful kind person that you are! #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/Pl6fJmp8ey— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
Thursday: On Safety, Mental Health and Allyship
Phew, Agile Testing Days is indeed a testing festival rather than a conference. It's a conference, too, with all that comes with it; yet also a festival. It's so much about the people and all these amazing inspiring conversations that we really have to take care to get enough self-care. And Thursday is usually already hard if you've been there the whole week. So, I had a slow start, yet managed to arrive just in time for the keynote.
- Keynote: Humans by Zoë Rose. Well yes, us humans. Ruining things since forever. Zoë showed what and how we are lacking and what we need to increase: diversity, inclusion, motivation, communication.
- Workshop: Improv(e) Your Testing! by Damian Synadinos. My dear friend Patrick Prill said I needed to meet Damian. One more reason to join his workshop! He shared lots of principles and advice from improvisational theater and how we can apply them as well in testing. I would have loved to get hands-on experience with them, yet unfortunately time did only allow a demonstration. Still, I took along a lot of advice for life in general, for work and collaboration, and testing itself.
- Keynote: Testers, are you really engaged? by Smita Mishra. A wonderful keynote. Smita shared her observations of everyday life in two great stories, connecting them with testing. I loved listening to her!
- Workshop: Becoming aware of psychological safety by Gitte Klitgaard and Morgan Ahlström. This was another tough workshop - mentally tough. Gitte and Morgan managed to create a safe space for everyone to talk about safety, to experience discomfort while still being and feeling safe, and to share difficult stories with each other. I had a wonderful group. Thank you Clare Davies and João for listening, sharing, and being there.
- Keynote: Let's Talk About Men's Mental Health by Kevin Harris. What an important topic. What a story. What courage to share it. Kevin went through hell, and managed to share his story on stage. Emotional, touching, and triggering. Especially to talk about mental health, finally. No matter their gender. I can only say it again: thank you.
Highlight #20: @Kevin_A_Harris talking about men's mental health. It is so important that we talk more about topics like this in order to improve out society. It's really terrifying how suicide rates keep going up, especially for men.— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 9, 2019
One day to go until Toyer's and my closing keynote - which meant it was time for another rehearsal! This time we had my former colleague Barbara as our audience, asking great questions in the end (thank you!). Things went well again, so finally we both had the feeling of being prepared for the great moment the next day.
Then there came another highlight for me: the Women and Allies Evening Gathering. It was a highlight already the last years. I have to admit, in the first year the name nearly put me off, yet I gave it a try. I didn't regret it. I learned so much, it really opened my eyes, having me face a reality I didn't want to acknowledge before. Since this first time I went to this gathering every year, hoping to learn more and more how to become a better ally for underrepresented people. I am a woman myself - but besides my gender, I'm as privileged as one can be. I only realized that a few years ago, so now it's my turn to learn how to speak up - not to speak on behalf of others, but as an ally. Bad behavior also has a huge impact on myself.
This year Thomas proposed a similar topic like we had two years ago, and I jumped on it: harassment. #metoo. How to speak up and address bad behavior. How to be an ally. We instantly had a small group, and it grew steadily throughout the evening. We even continued talking after we had to move out of the reserved room. I so much appreciate these people for sharing their perspectives, stories, worries and concerns. I learned a lot about myself again. Once more I needed to tell myself: do it. Create a commitment for yourself, decide who you want to be - then follow it and hope people will join in.
Highlight #21: Women and Allies Evening Gathering facilitated by @NativeWired and @Kevin_A_Harris. Kicked off by Kevin's great talk, I had some real good conversations about mental health & harassment. Learned a good deal about myself.— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 9, 2019
Friday: Our Story, Our Community
The day of our keynote arrived! Finally, and I was still feeling quite healthy. So far so good. Still, I felt tired, so I decided to grant myself a bit more sleep by skipping the first keynote.
- Workshop: Being the Blockchain by Filip Joele. Great workshop! By having us play a game, mimicking a blockchain, Filip managed to get us the experience what a decentralized system really means, how important it is to agree on rules, and which impact they can have. Awesome.
- Keynote: Uncomfortable Questions about Testing Addressed by Maaike Brinkhof and Göran Kero. I was really looking forward to this keynote. Maaike and Göran did an amazing job (and I know a paired talk is not easy, especially as a keynote). I loved how they really addressed these very uncomfortable questions we testers have to face these days. I could so much relate to their personal stories. Great way to get all of us thinking about our own cognitive biases. In the end, we're all human."Uncomfortable Questions about Testing Addressed" by @Maaikees & @ghkero #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/DlExRgNGiS— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
- Open Space - Help and get help. As always before a talk, I could not focus anymore on any other session. Therefore I decided to join the open space for some time and then take a break. We had a great discussion around the question and answers parts of conference talks and how we could design this better for a healthy conversation we all can learn from.
Then finally it was time for I can’t do this… alone! A Tale of Two Learning Partners - the closing keynote of the conference by Toyer Mamoojee and myself. Although Friday evenings tend to show rather low participation rates as most people left already to travel home (and I can't blame them), we were happily surprised and super grateful that quite a lot of people stayed for our keynote. It was an incredible moment for us two to share our story on stage. We got inspired three years ago, on this very keynote stage, to become learning partners. It has brought us so far! Our journey included our first year's public speaking challenge that brought us back and back again to Agile Testing Days where it all began. We shared our second pact including Toyer's technical workshops and my Testing Tour. This year I've become code-confident and Toyer focused on growing his leadership skills. Overall, we had so many benefits out of our learning partnership. Personal growth, visibility, promotions, and more. We both had each other's backs so we could dare even more! We really hoped we could inspire people through our story and get them thinking - "who could be my learning partner?" Maybe they met them already! Maybe they are still to meet them. We hoped they will be on the lookout, keep their eyes open and grasp their chance when they get them.
Keynote by @lisihocke & @tottiLFC starts with a recreation of the lunchtime conversation when they met & made a pact to submit to #AgileTD! pic.twitter.com/GgL6Y39lww— lisacrispin (@lisacrispin) November 8, 2019
You can tell these two have been working together for years. Such ease of conversation and collaboration on stage!— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 8, 2019
The start to their pairing was a desire to try something new. By both agreeing to stretch they had the support they needed!#AgileTD @lisihocke @tottiLFC
By making things visible (similar to @ozchihwayi's story 🤔), they had the motivation to really follow through.— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 8, 2019
And by building consistent calls meant they could build up sustainably and consistently making it seem possible.#AgileTD @lisihocke @tottiLFC
"we got selected to speak at #AgileTD! 🎉 .... We got selected... 😱"— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 8, 2019
Oh we have all been there!
But @tottiLFC & @lisihocke had each other to encourage writing the talk early, practicing and revising. By doing this in public they gained confidence AND an even larger community.
Sounds like a consistent conversation with a high trust relationship provides so much. Timely support around activities like blogging but also challenges like training juniors and tough release cycles. #AgileTD @lisihocke @tottiLFC— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 8, 2019
So pact complete...done collaborating then? Nahhhh new pact!— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 8, 2019
For @lisihocke, it was to pair and learn from people outside her company.
For @tottiLFC it was to share his automation experience...maybe a tech talk/workshop!
Partners don't have to have the same goal.#AgileTD
Personal challenges shouldn't be a chore. Self-care is important. @tottiLFC & @lisihocke have been making sure to do that too. #AgileTD— lisacrispin (@lisacrispin) November 8, 2019
Now today, as keynotes on the stage where @lisihocke & @tottiLFC created their 1st pact as attendees. Some clear wins in last few yrs:— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 8, 2019
- objective advice
- shared experiences
- multiplying support network
- share w/more people
- lifelong friendship
- shared achievements#AgileTD
And... @lisihocke was voted MIATTP for 2019! @tottiLFC just took a job as head of QA at a large multinational company in a new country! That's a heck of a learning partnership. #AgileTD— lisacrispin (@lisacrispin) November 8, 2019
Now it's on us. As #AgileTD attendees or Twitter readers, we are challenged to stop making excuses about distance and build on relationships from conferences and conversations and create your own partnerships. @lisihocke @tottiLFC— Abby Bangser (@a_bangser) November 8, 2019
"I Can't Do This ... Alone! A Tale of Two Learning Partners" by Lisi Hocke & Toyer Mamoojee #AgileTD #keynote @lisihocke @tottiLFC #sketchnote pic.twitter.com/2BmNeCpUvW— Marianne Duijst (@marianneduijst) November 8, 2019
Final keynote of the #AgileTD 2019: I Can't Do This Alone by @lisihocke & @tottiLFC— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 8, 2019
This is how to start a movement! 🚀 pic.twitter.com/2JY37nlIJv
As the closing keynote by @lisihocke and @tottiLFC gave me tears of joy here is my #sketchnote. Thank you both.— Thomas Rinke (@thomrinke) November 8, 2019
What a wonderful ending for #AgileTD
Other sketchnotes will follow later. pic.twitter.com/rBmrUyLEHJ
And another #sketchnote of ‘I can’t do this... alone! A tale of two learning partners’ by Lisa Hocker and Toyer Mamoojee at Agile Testing Days 2019! @tottiLFC @lisihocke #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/YrdXOeoj9d— Eveline Moolenaars (@EvelineMoolena1) November 9, 2019
Inspiring story: @lisihocke and @tottiLFC working together, supporting each other, creating pacts with learning goals, giving back, inspiring other people and celebrate together. This lead to loads of learning, a keynote and an award within 3 years… wow! Well done. #AgileTD https://t.co/fjWPhwYZrq— Huib Schoots (@huibschoots) November 8, 2019
Highlight #26: I heard Lisi's story already at @GermanTesting in Juni & was really looking forward to hear the whole story about @lisihocke's a @tottiLFC's journey. It is incredible what these two amazing people were able to achieve together 👏— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 9, 2019
Memorable @AgileTD ! With the MIATPP @lisihocke #LearningPartners #AgileTD pic.twitter.com/JEosCE2SRN— Toyer M (@tottiLFC) November 8, 2019
The most amazing thing: our hopes were answered! Besides the three learning partnerships we could strike with our workshop last year, we now learned that even more learning partners found each other. There are seven more learning partnerships we know of already. We're super curious to hear more about their endeavors and what they will learn on their journeys!The slides for @tottiLFC's and my #AgileTD closing keynote are up! "I can’t do this… alone! A Tale of Two Learning Partners" https://t.co/SyVuI3mxzF Thanks to everyone who joined our #LearningPartner keynote, you were amazing! 🙌— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 10, 2019
@Kevin_A_Harris Thanks for accepting my idea of doing something together, even before @lisihocke & @tottiLFC suggested I find a partner in their keynote! Now we only need to figure out what. 😃😀😄 #AgileTD— Stephan Kämper (@S_2K) November 8, 2019
Highlight #28: Following @lisihocke's and @tottiLFC example, @jrosaproenca & I will strike a pact to reach some of our long shot goals. Which those will be we did not decide yet, but I'm really looking forward to this 😃https://t.co/3Zdq6gtLuV— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 9, 2019
After our keynote, we received our speaker gifts. I know that the conference organizers are always very good at personalizing their gifts, yet when I read the card and then unpacked my gift I was blown away. They got me my own volleyball with my name on it! How awesome is that?!Thanks for the tip. Will suggest to add that to our learning pact. That sounds like something that could help us both. /cc @canisrufus— Huib Schoots (@huibschoots) November 10, 2019
Thank you to the #AgileTD organizers for the opportunity, for making everything so easy and for this absolutely stunning speaker gift! pic.twitter.com/CkE9UqxrXT— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
The conference was over. Time to go for a final dinner. A great bunch of awesome people was still there, and I really enjoyed hanging out with them that night. Being able to reflect on the week together with them, having further intriguing discussions, and enjoying our time together. After a great dinner we ended up for a last time in the lobby. Special thanks to Anne Colder and Vincent Wijnen for our wonderful conversations on one of my passions: computer games! I could feel they loved them just as much as I do, and also consider them a wonderful medium to tell stories and express art. Amazing.
Highlight #27: (I actually had some plans regarding sauna & sleep) having dinner with @lisihocke, @tottiLFC, @a_bangser, @marianneduijst, @darktelecom & @TG2G. It was a great looooong night with you all.— Michael Kutz (@MichaKutz) November 9, 2019
The only downsides? Well, it was the last evening, the post-conference blues was about to come. And: my flight home got canceled due to strikes. Well, I tried to make the best out of it and booked a late check-out instead to sleep in as long as possible. Self-care, you know.
Saturday, Again - Time to Go Home
So, sleeping in it was. As I had the last evening flight, I took things very slowly. When it was finally time to say goodbye, it was quite sad to sit alone in the lobby. To not see unicorn toilet paper everywhere anymore. Unicorn land needs to wait one more year again. (Wait, only half a year, Agile Testing Days USA are coming first! :D).
Leaving for the airport I nearly couldn't follow-up with all the messages I received meanwhile. It was a long week. I got back home late. There was a lot to follow-up on. And yet I was tremendously happy. So long, and thanks for all the fish. See you all again next year!
#AgileTD is over and the post-conference blues starts to set in. And still: I'm overly happy to know so many wonderful people from here. I can't even express how impactful this whole week was for me. THANK YOU ALL. FOR EVERYTHING. Can't wait to return next year! Thread.— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
Thank you @tottiLFC for being my #LearningPartner and friend through thick and thin. We both helped each other so much, and we've come so far. I am so glad you're here. I can only hope you know how much. #AgileTD— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
Thank you to our amazing #PowerLearningGroup and your incredible support in so many ways! @jrosaproenca @mirjanakolarov @Iki_Kviki @profesor_dragan @tottiLFC so great you were there! @dxhymshiti @alientester @lilitshark @TechGirlPooja hope to see you soon again! #AgileTD— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
Huge thanks to the whole #AgileTD community for making this conference what it is! Thank you for making me #MIATPP 2019. I'm still in awe looking at this tremendously encouraging feedback! pic.twitter.com/N9lOdX72gv— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019
On my way back home from #AgileTD I've just finished the book "Banish Your Inner Critic" by @denisejacobs - incredible how many things resonated with me! And how many things helped @tottiLFC and me already on our #LearningPartner journey. Absolutely recommended read. 📖👍— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) November 9, 2019