Romania Testing Conference 2018 Through A Volunteer’s Eyes

Romania Testing Conference 2018 Through A Volunteer’s Eyes
“Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something” -Frederick Smith

Romania Testing Conference is a 3-day conference that takes place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, once a year, usually in May.

I first took contact with it in 2012, when I think was at the first edition, and after that in 2014, both editions as attendee. During the years, the event had grown a lot: the number of speakers, number of people attending the conference and the workshops, the people diversity. At least that’s what it was seen from the outside.

2018 started with many ideas running through my head, lots of initiatives, seeds planted waiting for them to start growing and being volunteer to Romania Testing Conference was one of the challenges I set for myself. And I succeeded in making it happen.

Many of you may ask how I got to be volunteer- there’s no secret. I went to the event site and filled in the form from “Call for Volunteers” page, had an interview motivating my will and that was it.

The event this year was between 9–11th of May, the first 2 days being reserved for workshops and the last day for the conference itself. As volunteer, I attended one workshop per day in both days when the workshops were hosted and also attended the conference. Main responsibilities were to check that all the prerequisites required for the workshops are available (programs, laptops, logistics) and to give support to the speakers, if needed.

The first two days had between 150 and 200 participants per day.

On the first day, I attended Beren’s workshop, talking about how to “(RE)Invent Your Test Strategy”. We got introduced to the concept of “RiskStorming” and Beren proposed an exercise to the participants. Thinking to a booking application, they had to decide (in groups of 5–6 people) what is important to test and discussed this topic in the team. Each team received a set of TestSphere cards helping them picking 6 aspects that are important to the application under test. Aspects could be Accessibility, User Friendliness, Performance, Security etc. After selecting the aspects, the participants had to identify the risks with respect to those aspects.

It really looked like a cool exercise and even I was not directly part of it, I got a bunch of ideas I would like to put in practice. At the end, the participants were able to put all the parts together and create a test strategy. You can find here more information about how to run the RiskStorming.

On the second day, I had the pleasure to be part of Richard Bradshaw and Mark Winteringham’s workshop called “Strategies For Automated Regression Testing”. Spent an amazing time listening those guys talking about how to model your teams context before actually thinking to plan your regression testing. By modelling they were suggesting to think to people, users, application, technology and documentation.

I liked so much the following thing Richard Bradshaw was saying:

"While knowing how to code is a great tool in your tool belt, there is far more to automation than writing code."

And I totally agree with it. What Richard and Mark were trying during the workshop was to give a perspective of how to decide what to automate, what test data to use, deciding at which application level the automated test should be written, what language or framework to use or what makes an automated test valuable.

Ta-na-na-na! And here it comes the Friday morning of the conference day, when we received more than 500+ participants, giving them bags with goodies, programme of the day and a sticker with their names. It was quite a challenge, I must admit. But at the same time, it was fun! Seeing so many people in the same place, being driven by a common passion was amazing.

The programme offered a vast variety of subjects and speakers so the participants could pick whatever suited them best.

Being part of the Romania Testing Conference 2018 volunteering team was a great experience for me. Have (almost) never thought that someday I would be part of this. I can confirm that there is a lot of work behind organising such an event, continuously thinking to the logistics, how to make the speakers feel comfortable and to create the perfect frame for the participants.

Hope to see you next year!

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash.