Testbash 2017 – wrap up – my thoughts…

Testbash 2017 (the Brighton edition –  aka the original and still the best) is over all too quickly for another year, and I sit here in my lounge after doing battle with the M25 on my journey home to Bedfordshire. With comic relief on the tv, it puts so much into perspective, and makes some of the issues we face in our professional lives so very very unimportant compared to the hardships and life-or-death struggles that so many of these kids face very day.

I found Testbash this year to be another mixed bag of takeaways and inspiration, and it felt like the event has sort of grown up a bit being in a bigger venue… that’s not to say it’s matured because I hope it never does!

My working environment over the past year has slowly evolved to one that is starting to embrace agile development, continuous delivery and session based test management. This represents a significant shift from the established development processes and a shift in mindset for testers. So to see Amy Philips give the opening talk on CD was very apt and interesting. I found the tips for testers in such teams very helpful and a great reminder of stuff we should be doing every time we join a new team.

Testing careers is a topic very dear to my heart and a topic that occupied my professional world while I was head of test at Redgate, and more recently something that is on my mind as I mentor junior testers at Cambridge Consultants. So the talk given by Del Dewar was not only very funny, but also struck a few chords about career progression. Especially the fact that everyone needs to take control of their own personal development.

I found some sources of further investigation from Prof. Harry Collins talk especially relating to machine learning which is something I’ve come across and struggled to test recently.

Conferences like Testbash are such a fantastic source of knowledge and information and in my experience alot of that comes from the conversations inbetween sessions and at the meetups. For example, last year at Testbash I had a conversation with the legend that is Mark Tomlinson about perf testing, and subsequently implemented a load test system on my current project using jmeter based on his recommendations. This year, another chat with Mark has led to some other potential load testing tools, and I was introduced to Behave Pro, the BDD plugin for JIRA by Alan Parkinson, together with the SBTM plugin… both things are very interesting indeed and I will be following up with him about this.

Not only tool recommendations, but speaking to people such as Leigh Rathbone and Rob Davies who are so passionate about promoting testing within their company, talking coaching with Toby Sinclair, and general testing chat with Danny Dainton, and some new people that I apologise but I can’t remember their names!

There is so much more I need to wrap my head around and process but for now I’ll sign off and rest my weary little brain for a while.

So until next time there is only one thing left to say…

… DAN ASHBY! 🙂

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