October 19, 2022 - 5 min
Q agency at The Testival Conference
The main goal of the Testival conference is to gather QA experts and discuss various topics of our own choosing. The conference is divided into two sections over two days. On the first day, everyone gathers up and suggests different topics, and on the second day a schedule is created and attendees choose to participate in discussions they find interesting.
First day of the Testival conference
The first day began around 19:00 and over 130 participants gathered in the main hall. We were welcomed with snacks and drinks and very soon the introduction of our host started. In the introduction, the agenda was presented with the announcement of two keynote speakers and short sessions of lightning talks in between sessions.
After a short intro from organizers and sponsors, we all started discussing what topics would be interesting for discussion. As soon as someone had an idea about the topic, he or she would write it on a sticky note and place that note on the big whiteboard. After 50 minutes of discussion, the whiteboard was full of suggestions and now the second part began. Each participant went to the whiteboard and put a vote on a sticky note with a topic of his interest.
After everyone voted for their favorites, votes were counted and we had our list of topics for the next day. We concluded our first day by making new connections among participants and playing some board games that were provided in the main hall.
Second day of the Testival conference
The second day of the conference is the main part where we attend the presentations or discussions that were voted on the day before. There are 20 topics divided into 5 stages/rooms for us to choose from, so each person could attend 4 topics of his own choosing. Although most of us from Q shared a similar interest in presentations, we decided to split into groups so we can cover more topics and discuss them later among us and share some new knowledge.
The morning session started and we all went our separate ways to listen, participate and learn until we all gathered together at lunchtime. The concept of the conference is very interesting and it differs from topic to topic. Some presenters choose to have presentations and have more theoretical discussions, and some presenters just gather all participants in a circle and start an informal discussion about the topic.
After the morning sessions were done, we had a lunch break where we all gathered and discussed the topics we listened to. This was also a good opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old colleagues, and discuss ideas and ways of working with people from different companies. After the break, we continued with the conference where we again went our ways and had the opportunity to listen to many interesting topics.
Interesting topics from Qumans perspective
“This topic was in the form of a presentation. The whole presentation was mostly theoretical where we could learn a lot about different approaches to penetration testing. The presenter had many examples from the real world where companies were hacked and he used those examples to explain to us how to prevent those kinds of attacks. He also presented a list of tools that are used for penetration testing. This workshop was really interesting, but the only thing that could make it better would be some practical examples.”
How to test a tester:
“This discussion was about testing the knowledge of testers. How to separate tests by seniority, prepare test data and environment, test documentation writing and test the mindset of a candidate. It was also discussed which types of testing should those tests contain, how to test cultural fit, and how it is important to look for good junior candidates at universities, and give them opportunities based on character not only on technical knowledge. It was a very open discussion with many interesting points of view which benefited us all.”
How to train a non-QA person:
“This presentation was really informal where we all sat in a circle and discussed this topic. It was very interesting to hear how QA team leads conduct interviews with persons that don’t have any previous experience in the QA field. There was a discussion about how to approach those interviews, which questions to ask, and how to recognize the potential in that person.
The next point was how to begin training a person without any experience and it was clear that the presenter is experienced in those situations because she provided many interesting examples and proposals.”
“In this presentation, we discussed the importance of performance testing, especially for web testing. Performance testing is for sites and applications that have a large number of users so we can see how much data the system can “take” before it breaks. Here we measure how long it takes to load the elements, how much load it can take, and at which point there is an impact on performance.
This type of testing is also very expensive because we need a performance environment and it would be best to test it overnight when there is no user activity, and for that budget needs to be ensured. This led us to the last point of discussion where we talked about how to teach sales to sell such things, and how to convince clients to pay for such things. It was a very interesting topic where we covered both technical aspects of performance testing(how to test, when to test, why to test) and business aspects (budgeting, risks, and impacts on business if we don’t include performance testing).”
Testival conference is unique in their own way. I personally never attended a conference where participants are the ones who make the agenda on-site, but from my point of view, that is something that makes this conference so special. We all went there to listen and learn, but at the same time, we became “organizators” of the conference. This was a valuable experience for all of us, and after listening to our internal feedback I have no doubt that we will be there again next year. 🙂
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