My blog post about NTD2014

On November 6, 2014, in Events, Nordic Testing Days, by Elo Eilonen

Nordic Testing Days 2014 was my first bigger conference about software testing and I loved it. I would like to start by thanking the organizers for giving me such a great experience.
I was there for two days during which I listened to many interesting tracks and talked to some stunning people. I am rather new in the field but as Pete Walen in his track about leadership said – the less you know the more you’ll learn. So I consider myself very lucky.

My first track was held by Dan Billing who talked about security testing. I had always wondered how people get into security testing – are they just natural born hackers or how they learn it without pissing everyone off all the time. Dan gave some great tips on how get started and showed some tools for practicing different kinds of attack methods without doing a DROP-ALL on your customer’s test environment database.

Stephen Janaway, loved him. I wrote ‘So positive and fun’ and ‘CATS-best presentation’ to my notebook. I really wanted to be friends with him. If only all co-workers were so nice to each other and every office had a kitty-corner, no-one would ever get frustrated… well… maybe the cats. But back to the real world. He reminded me about using my emotions as heuristics during testing – I often tend to forget that and just ignore my emotions. Also the emotions I have when I start testing affect my work, so I have to be aware of them. Of course – be nicer to co-workers. And make my boss put cat wallpaper on the office walls.

My favorite track was by Gitte Ottosen. She talked very enthrallingly about being a pragmatic tester, and how she uses her classical test school background in a context-driven way. Everything she said just made so much sense to me. Some projects may need certified people. Formal documentation is useful in larger projects when you need to communicate your work to many people, classical testing school teaches how to do that. Standards help organize work in large scale projects. But most of all I liked her though that classical testing school and context-driven testers actually are one testing community with overall the same goal. As I myself have been trained to be a context-driven, mostly exploratory tester and all I know about classical school are some stories I’ve been told about the “dark side”, then it was great to learn that classical school might also give me useful tools. I’m going to look into what kind of certificate training is out there. If I have time, I’ll create a blog post of my research results.

During the conference I tried to find some people who could tell me more about classical school and people who are working according to its dogmas. I walked around and asked people from different companies to describe how they work. As I expected then different companies use different methods for test planning and management, but everybody agrees that testers should have as much freedom as possible when it comes to test design and execution. I was a little disappointed that I was not able to find any proof of the “dark side”.

The first keynote of the second day was Anto Veldre. His talks are always so much fun as he kind of mingles between the real world and totally crazy paranoid conspiracy world. But I like it when someone comes and just slaps me in the face with stuff that I thought to be rather sci-fi. It makes me see beyond the cute kitten videos on Youtube and reminds me to be more of a critical thinker.

Erik Boelen gave a fun presentation about mobile testing. Turns out that as mobile app functional testing can be pretty similar to web app testing, but when it comes to performance and cross-platform integration it is so much more challenging. Does the app even load on different platforms, how does it work in different language environments, how does it act on jailbroken phones, what happens when someone calls while the app is running and so on. Got some great tips for the future. And Erik is just such a nice and fun guy.

Iris Classon was the last keynote speaker. I loved her speech about her journey from a fitness expert to a Microsoft certified programmer. But even more I loved her. She seemed to have mastered the art of being a woman in the software development world. And in the context of impressing people she is a great example of how certificates can help with that. She also reminded me to push myself more to try new things. Which is actually what I am kinda doing now – you just read my first blog post.

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