European Testing Conference 2020
This is the most diverse conference I have ever been to.
While this remark my friend Patricia Aas makes during the retrospective is about the attendees of the 2020 edition of the European Testing Conference, it strongly resonates with me and I will extend it to the wide range of topics that were covered in keynotes, talks, workshops, an open-space, lean coffee, the hallways track, and evening get-togethers. I would use diversity further as the decisive reason for the experiences I had sharing two days with people from typically separated professions: testers and developers. Both were represented plentiful, with industry veterans, newcomers and all shades in between. Finally, attendees were coming from all over the world to meet with people who care about quality, customers, mental health and bring the desire to learn, share and teach.
It is a safe place to acknowledge that we, our behaviour and our skills are far from perfect, to connect with others and figure out together how to be better humans who work on computers.
The closing keynote by Ulrika Malmgren summarized this perfectly:
It is our responsibility to have honest conversations about our work because we happen to be influential to the lives of other with every keystroke and we owe it to our users to deliver the best possible solution.
You can find all the content I discovered and highlights I had this year in my twitter feed under the hashtag #EuroTestConf, but I would like to point out two specifically:
Pact: Fast, easy and reliable testing for your APIs and microservices during development.
With the help of Nelis, Matteo, and Bernardo I got a good impression of its usefulness for my area of work. I plan to look more into it for providing stronger documentation of my public APIs, which right now are described for other developers using Gherkin Scenarios. It would be straightforward to create pact contracts out of these scenarios which would provide a significant benefit for the frontend developers which consume these APIs. It would also provide a explicit, safe and unambiguous way to communicate API requirements and changes, which currently is done using Confluence, Slack and email.
from: Discover to Deliver
This is super useful technique to uncover blind spots in a project and can be done with straightforward exercises which don't take up too much time. I will add this to my toolbox when talking about (new) features.
The slides from this workshop have been uploaded here.
2020 was the last year for European Testing Conference, I will miss it deeply and I am grateful for the three years I got to attend it, because every year helped me to become a better developer but also because it provides an inspiring proof that diversity in tech is not a pipe dream, but achievable.
On Friday we met with some of the speakers and attendees from Domain Driven Design Europe, one of them being Lisi Hocke who spoke and attended the European Testing Conference many times before. She could share first-hand how large the overlap between the three communities is that were present at the table: attendees and speakers of European Testing Conference, Domain Driven Design Europe, and Softwarecrafters/SoCraTes Conferences share the same DNA, and hopefull next year, we can bring these three communities closer together.