What would be the worst start to a conference? 2/3

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Let’s Test Sweden Day 2

After a lovely breakfast the first keynote of the day was opened in a fine display of “who cares how I look”, as the facilitators jumped on stage and shook whatever they had in some strange dance. (You can YouTube this).

Steve Smith then took to the stage to present Whose Ideas Are In and Whose Ideas Are Out. For this, groups of about 12 were formed and given a Flipchart sized sheet of paper. The rules were displayed on the screen and briefly discussed before for letting the teams loose. The object was to have as many people on the paper as possible without anyone touching the floor. The first round didn’t prove too difficult, but each subsequent round, the paper was halved. I spent a lot of time trying to convince our facilitator, Lars Sjödahl, to let us bend the rules by either creating a large paper loop for everyone to stand on, or allowing me to place a group photograph, taken from my mobile phone, on the piece of paper, thus having us all aboard for a whopping 12 points. Naturally the exercise was nothing to do with points, rather how people reaction in teams when decisions have to be made. I’d like to say thanks to my team for making the experience so enjoyable. https://twitter.com/Brickuz/status/471210995877425152

We then presented our findings on stage, where I gave my “first keynote speech”.

Later that morning I visited Panda’s Testers as respected business solvers a true story workshop. I had high expectations after the session he gave on day 1 with James and Panda did not let me down. I was impressed with his spin on Business Driven Testing, taking what I conceived to a new level. I was impressed and definitely wanted to talk to this guy!

After a tasty lunch Carsten Feilberg’s Getting Problems Sorted workshop was on. I was a little disappointed with some of the ideas after such a good start to the conference. It seemed rather over the top to act out situations where communication is the main bottleneck. It may have help some people cope with issues, but I did not take much away from the session.

Follow that I attended Tim Coulter’s Marketing yourself (or why quitting is something you should consider). This was also not really what I had hoped for. I understand that losing the presentation notes for whatever reason can set you off to a bad start, but Tim did manage to pick up the session after a bit of a downer, which saved him. His point about quitting is valid and is something I have done before, but regulations in many European countries don’t allow you to jump ship from one day to the next.I would have liked some new ideas, but I did take away that I am not the only one to have had 10 projects or jobs in 10 years and that others do the same to market themselves.

Bill Mathews did a very interesting demonstration about security testing with SQL injection, where he hacked a prepared site and showed us what to look out for when testing.

That evening I spent my time connecting with as many people as possible. I had a good chat with Richard Bradshaw and sat until 4 o’clock the next morning talking to Dawn Haynes, Huib Schoots, Stephen Blower and Lars Sjödahl. It was already light again by that time so sleeping wasn’t really possible anyway.

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