Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fun and Games at STPCon 2011 - Part 1.

I can hardly believe that it has been a month since I wrote a blog entry.  It has been a remarkably busy month. 

STPCon, the Software Testing Professionals Conference (as it is currently branded) was held in Nashville March 22 through 24.  As has become common for many conferences, there were also workshops and tutorials on Monday, March 21.  I was fortunate enough to have been selected to speak at the conference, along with my boss.  So, we headed down on March 21, driving to Nashville.  We are close enough that was a feasible option. 

We had some interesting adventures on the drive down, but that will be a different story at another time. 

We arrived Monday evening, checked into our rooms and collided with a variety of people we know.  Monday evening was a nice relaxed evening with Nancy Kastl and Dan Mish, just chatting and talking about testing and enjoying each other's company. 

Tuesday was the day of my first presentation.  Before that, however, James Bach gave an astounding presentation on test coaching.  I had seen recordings of James speaking, but this was the first time I heard him in person.  I was impressed and inspired. 

The first breakout session I went to was Karen Johnson's presentation on Strategy.  What I thought interesting was her take on Strategy, as opposed to a document called a Test Strategy.  It was interesting and, for me, very thought provoking.

This was the two great presentations I heard before I spoke.  What an inspirational way to start my day! 

My presentation was a session, as opposed to a workshop, on Test Process Improvement.  The room was quite full, and most of the folks were interested in the ideas I presented.  The gist of these, which I've written about before, focus on improving the skills and abilities of the test team, rather than a fixed process, to realize improvements in testing.  It led to conversations that lasted through the week.

In the afternoon, Nancy Kelln gave a great presentation on working with and leading Business Testers.  I hate to say it, but I was stopped by a couple of people who asked questions and wanted to chat, so I only caught the last 20 or 30 minutes or so.  What I heard, I thought was very good, and I regret being delayed.  and missing the start.  I then heard Jon Bach's presentation on Threads - He called it "My Crazy Plan For Responding to Change."  I had read some blog posts on the idea and thoroughly enjoyed it.   

I then had an interesting hallway conversation with Jon and James Bach.  It was brief, yet very enjoyable and informative. 

The evening was a meet-and-greet where I got to catch up with people I had not seen in some time or had not had a chance to talk with much before in the day.  For me, it was a who's-who list: Catherine Powell, Scott Barber, Dan Downing, Dawn Haynes, Jim Hazen, Lynn McKee, Nancy Kelln, Selena Delesie, Kristin Dukic - I know I'm forgetting some folks...

I kept running into during the day incliuded Abbie Caracostas.  All in all, it was a great day and a good way to start a week of learning and thinking!


  1. Peter,

    It was good finally meeting you and talking face to face. Nice to finally put a face with the 'voice' behind the message on the forum discussion.

    Hope to see you at another conference in the future and drink a beer (or two or three...). Thanks for tweeting my 'favortie saying' after Selena's presentation. I saw it on the Live website.

    Best to you in the future

    Jim Hazen

  2. Hey Jim -

    It was great meeting you in person! My next road event is in August at CAST. Of course, the local test group is discussing "Complete" Testing if you want to fly in for a night of pizza, adult beverages and a rollicking debate...

    Cheers -