Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why Go to a Testing Conference?

Today I will be packing and driving to Dallas to attend the Fall session of the Software Testing Professionals Conference, STPCon.  I am extremely energized, but I got to thinking last night as to why should testers go to conferences.

Before becoming a Software Tester I was an Analytical Chemist.  Although at times I could think outside the box, for the most part my life was run by SOPs, standard operating procedures.  When I started software testing I guess I expected the same.  There is one and only one way to test software.  In October 2010, I attended my second testing conference.  Why did I go?

Sure I was blessed by the fact that my company was paying for the conference.  I am definitely indebted to my company.  But the primary reason I went to that conference was to learn!  How do other companies test software?  So in essence the second reason for going to the conference was to meet people.

Honestly some of the sessions I attended did not provide me with anything new.  Perhaps some of them educated me on the things I did not want to continue to do from a testing perspective.  But when you meet people like Jerry Weinberg, Michael Bolton, Kent Beck, Matt Heusser, Lynette Creamer, Adam Goucher, Dan Downing, Goranka Bjedov, and Scott Barber,  a crazy thing happens.  You become inspired!

There are more names to add this list, but conferences exist to educate, which was my original premise for going.  I had no clue that conferences could be so magical at inspiring.  STPCon March 2011 I met more amazing people,  James Bach, Jon Bach, Karen Johnson, and Janet Gregory.  I do not think I can even put into words how much more I was inspired.

So my conclusion as to why testers should go to conferences is two fold.  One is to learn!  Two is to become inspired.

There are many conferences and all may contain an inspiration.

If a conference is not affordable, then meet with your local testing community and hone the craft of testing.

I am anxious to see what inspirations I get from STPCon in Dallas this week.

Keep on Testing!

1 comment:

Pete Walen said...

Carl - I fell behind my reading before STPCon. I just read this post. If I had read it before (or during) STPCon, I'd have bought you a beverage of your choice. As it is, the next time we are at the same conference, find me if I don't find you first. I owe you one. Nicely said.