Inspiring times

Inspiration comes from many sources and this was no more evident than at TestBash 3. I hadn’t though much about what I was looking to get out of the conference as the previous few weeks had been exclusively working on and worrying about my own presentation. Even once at the conference, organising the lean coffee, then spend the rest of the day worrying about my talk didn’t really give me any time to think about much else.

That said, my first inspiration came from watching Scott Barber (@sbarber) performing his opening keynote. I saw Scott back in 2012 at agile testing days, and found him to be such an engaging and interesting speaker. His energy seems to be limitless! But above all, the passion he has for his industry shines through and makes his presentation style so natural.  I hope that in time my presentation style moves in this direction.
At the end of the day were the 99 second talks, and it was during these that the final two inspirations were realised for me. Firstly, Vernon Richards (@TesterFromLeics) gave a brilliant, energetic, engaging talk about myths surrounding testing. All were true, some were so real they were funny, others were just hilarious. I think he got through about 30 myths in the 99 seconds.
The final inspiration came from Emma Keaveny (@EmJayKay80). I’d seen her around during the course of the day, but didn’t realise she was the winner of the ministry of testing scholarship. She used the 99 second talk to say thank you for the opportunities and support so far, and how she was looking forward to her career. It was such a heartfelt and genuine speech that I came away with nothing but admiration for her. Her passion, energy and enthusiasm was evident and I’m expecting to see great thing from Emma over the coming years.
The other inspirational highlight of my day was one involving me. I received quite a few mentions on twitter during and immediately after my talk, but one stood out and made me feel very proud and humbled of my achievement.
“@chrisg0911 is proof that u should never let1part of who u are hold you back. I’m2scared2do a talk but he’s an inspiration4me #TestBash”
I suppose one thing that I should say is that I have a stammer, and have had since I was about 4 years old. I’ve only started presenting in the last year or two, and that was done quite (read very!) reluctantly. However, I actually quite enjoy doing it and I have had very positive and encouraging feedback on the 4 talks I have done.
But to get this tweet, to learn that I’ve inspired someone in some way at a personal level, really made my day/week/month and made all the worrying and nerves worthwhile.

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