Monday, November 26, 2012

At Agile Testing Days, Retrospective

I arrived in Potsdam Saturday afternoon, with my lady-wife.  I was planning on spending the week at Agile Testing Days, while my wife visited the sites with our daughter who was flying in separately from DC.  As luck would have it, we were sitting in the airport at Amsterdam when up walks Matt Heusser.  Cool.  We were on the same flight into Berlin.

Suffice to say that the entire week went that way - happy meetings. 

A series of happy meetings with people I had not met in person, but I follow on twitter, read their blogs, articles, books.  The list is legion - Gojko Adzic, Huib Schoots, Markus Gartner, Sigge Birgisson, Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory, Paul Gerrard, Simon Morley, Jurgen Appelo, James Lindsay and ... yeah a buch. On top of that, reconnecting with people I already knew, like Matt.  I could not ask for better company.  I had many conversations with Dawn Haynes, Scott Barber, Tony Bruce and more.

There were many people I had heard of, but had little contact with their work - at least not very much, like Meike Mertsch.  Then the folks I simply met - Carlos Ble, Alex Schladebeck, Anne Schuessler, Chris George.

It was inspiring, invigorating, enlightening, sometimes frustrating, and exhausting.

In my blog posts from the week, I tried to capture the excitement I felt, the energy of the people around me and my general impressions of the various presentations I attended and participated in.

The organization of the conference itself was really, really good.  Jose Diaz, Madeleine Griep, Uwe and all the crew did a fantastic job of  making sure people were comfortable, had what they needed and feel welcome.  The events were great - the speakers dinner was astounding - with great conversation, good food and wine... and beer (Germany.  Duh.)

Then - Tuesday, talking with Jose - he said "Your family is here?  They must come tonight to the award ceremony.  It will be wonderful!"  Umm - yeah - it was.

Throughout the week, the conversations were astounding.  Hanging with crazy-smart people does more for teaching yourself, and learning.  In my case, sharing some small bits of copper among the silver and gold put out by others.

I tried hard to not be the smartest person in the conversation - far from it in fact.  In a gathering like this - its easy.

So, yeah.  I'm sitting in my living room thinking back to last week.  Frankly it amazes me all that happened.

I've been to some very good conferences and hung with, talked with and learned from smart people.  While I recognize that many of the people I talked with over the week were very like-minded to my own views on testing - not all were.  In fact, quite a few were not.  We talked, shared ideas and generally got to set up the opportunity for future learning opportunities.

Yeah.  This was a great conference for me.  


Addendum: Other folks I should have mentioned and simply did not - lets see - Jean-Paul Virwijk (yeah, Arborosa on Twitter); Rob van Steenbergen (rvansteenbergen & TestEvents on twitter); Ralph Jocham, Scott Ambler, Eddie Bruin - and - yeah - a long list - too long to really put here.  It was good.


  1. Good to hear you had a great time and a lot iof the names are familiar....

    But what is going to come out of it ? What ideas are you going to out into practice next week, next month ? Any new innovations in testing going to be announced ? Are we any closer to knowing what agile testing is and what agile testers do ?

    A week with all those smart people together must have produced something better than unicorn jokes, right ? Future blog posts will reveal all ?

  2. Indeed - a week with all those smart people revealed much. Some of their ideas are noted in the live blog posts. As the coffee kicked in each day, and as I focused on the points each speaker made, I made some observations within each section/presentation description.

    One takeaway was a reminder that you could disagree with someone, and if they had reasonable logic and thought behind their presentation, still learn something. People who spouted the same stuff I tended to chat with and spend as little time as politely possible with - then again - that is true for me at every conference I have attended.

    Matt gave a reasonable summary of one of his main takeaways here:

    If you note, the vast majority of people I named are clearly in, or align themselves with CDT. I am OK with that. I can choose the people from whom I learn.

    And yeah, there is more coming.

  3. Nice to meet you Pete :-)
    Hope to get the chance to talk in the next conference.

    Best regards