Tales from Agile Testing Days 2015

Wow! What another exceptional conference by the team behind ATD! Lots of great talks and workshops at this years event, and I’m very proud to have been involved in presenting again for the second year running.

This year I ran my workshop on “A note on note taking using mind-maps”, which focussed on teaching how to use mind-maps for documenting your exploratory testing. I think the attendees had some fun (I know I certainly did) and I got some great feedback from them at the end too.

And as always at ATD there was lots and lots of great people there – friends that I’ve bonded with over the years and new friends that I’ll keep in touch with. And of course, there was lots of socializing! (there were a few 6am sessions again – its lethal having everyone stay in the same hotel that the event is running at, with a hotel bar that always seems to be open!!).

The best keynote for me this year was Selena Delesie’s keynote. I saw her speak at TestBash NY the week before, and this was a different talk, but I knew that it was going to be good. I like her style of speaking.

There were also many great sessions from Lim Sim, Jose Lima, Abi Bangser, Alan Parkinson, Toby Sinclair, Emma Armstrong, Richard Bradshaw, Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Mark Winteringham, plus many, many more!!

Some of the talks were filmed, so look out for them becoming available online soon.

Christina Ohanian’s sketch notes were outstanding (as always!), as was Stuart Young’s! They were given the mission of sketching a few big massive posters with sketches relating to every talk at the conference (this is no small task), so look out for those pictures appearing as they are amazing… Christina’s Death Star and Millennium Falcon sketches are brilliant!

And of course, there was the games night too. My “communication game” went down well, with the team of 30 players coming so close to achieving the challenge, and they can definitely hold their head high.

But finally… One of the biggest highlights for me was the “build anything and test anything lab” that was hosted by James Lindsay and Bart Knaack.

James and Bart are just amazing people and are really fun, wacky people to hang out with. This, coupled with the pairing that I did with Richard Bradshaw to help build a robot hand for people to test, from Lego Mindstorms, while others put together an epic set of technological and mechanical linked devices
(a marble was set off spinning through a pipe and triggered a switch, which nudged some bead that in turn triggered a toy car to run down a track into an internet button connected to the Wi-Fi. This turned on an electric fan that spun a cardboard pulley, which triggered a weight to fall off of a beam, with the string it was connected to triggering a Lego device to crawl down a wall. This then caused a rubber chicken to trigger a hammer to fall and lightly tap Bart’s mobile phone to turn on an app that controlled a remote-controlled ball to run up a ramp and into the end goal!!).

Good luck saying all that in one go!! And that’s how complicated it all looked with it being put together with lots of power tools and cello-tape 😊. It was genuinely great fun just watching it all occur. Bart and James done a great job!

So hats off to Madeleine, Uwe and the rest of the ATD organisers for another awesome event in Potsdam.

I can’t wait for the submissions to open for next year so that I can submit and hopefully get accepted again (maybe one day I’ll get to do a keynote here too! 😉

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