I’m Excited!

Posted: May 3, 2013 in Testing Profession, Testing Skills & Education

Note – This isn’t intended to be a “catch all” post about OZWST 2013, but rather a quick introduction and my thinking at this time. Will hopefully be writing a few more posts as the date draws nearer (as well as post-event).

To quote the immortalised words of Big Kev. But thankfully, no cleaning products or other cheap, Australian-made household goods are involved with this excitement. Come August, I’ll be heading down to Sydney for OZWST Two: “This time it’s personal” (OK, so that’s not a tag-line associated with the event in any capacity, though I did make an impassioned argument for its inclusion. Well, no, I didn’t, but I thought about it. No, didn’t even do that – but it would’ve… I’ll stop now).

OZWST 2013 Logo

A shortish back-story from a personal point of view… I missed the inaugural event, largely due to having no idea it actually existed until I stumbled across the web-site in late September – too late to do anything at that point. By all accounts (well, most certainly this one), it was a smashing success. A few months later, I emailed David Greenlees (OZWST’s organiser) on an unrelated note, we got into a discussion of how to apply context-driven testing in the Australian workplace (if memory serves, I sought him out for his thoughts regarding testing consultancies – of the few Aussie testers I’d heard about at the time, his name was one of the more prominent). We backed-and-forthed a little, and when the subject of OZWST was brought up, he was kind enough to invite me to this year’s event. You bloody rippa*!

For the few of you who read this and aren’t familiar with how these peer conferences work, OZWST models itself on the LAWST events that were held through the late 1990s and early 2000s. It’s a peer conference, which is (in very basic terms) a group of professionals from the same profession / industry / trade come together to discuss matters of the day. I could attempt to explain OZWST in detail, but David does a far better job (funny that), so here’s a link to the official site. Unfortunately, you won’t find “This time it’s personal” anywhere on the site, but I did try to tell…

Collaboration is the theme of the workshop, and it’s a topic that probably gets under-played within the testing profession. For all our consorting / cavorting / cajoling with developers, BAs, project managers, business experts and users, we as testers (well, maybe I’m speaking for myself) don’t tend to spend much time thinking about HOW we collaborate, and what we do well or not so well. So it’s an interesting subject, and one that will require much thought and reflection.

Having to present makes me slightly uneasy, simply for the fact that I am completely inexperienced in presenting Experience Reports (oh, the mildly grammatical irony…). Perhaps it’s because when you deal with others you respect (and know the craft / trade / profession better than yourself), it feels like you need to do a superlative job just to keep up. But thinking about, it’s probably more about a desire to meaningfully contribute to the event – the last thing you want to do in a peer workshop is to have input that’s little more than “measuring pass/fail metrics are bad, OK?”. Well, here’s hoping the nerves will help to motivate and not stifle creativity.

For all of the nervousness though, excitement is still the predominant emotion. Sharing a room and two days of intense discussion with so many like-minded testers in the same room will be a fascinating and fantastically educational experience. Since my last post, I’ve put considerable attention towards ensuring my “testing education” is not squeezed out by my “tertiary education”, and this is an opportunity too good to miss. Bonza, mate*!… or something like that.

* Yes, occasionally I get a little too parochial with my use of ‘Strine’, at least when I get excited. It tends to manifest more as an excessive use of “bloody”, and thus the examples displayed here should be taken as purely illustrative of the ‘Strine’ language and are not necessarily terms I would normally use.

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