Connecting testers, the power of the meetup

It’s been a while in the making, but the first gathering of the Test Engineering Alliance Melbourne (TEAM) meetup group took place on 3rd July in the city of Melbourne.

It’s been a long-time goal of mine to see a testing meetup group here and thanks to the other co-organizers of this meetup for making the event a reality. Rajesh Mathur in particular has been instrumental in driving this meetup group and doing a lot of the legwork in arranging the first meeting while I was away in Europe attending the Nordic Testing Days conference, so many thanks to him (and the other co-organizers for their enthusiasm and support, of course!).

We were “sold out” for the first meetup (capped at around 30 due to room size) and it was good to see that most of the RSVPs turned up, ready for Rajesh to give an introduction about our motivations for creating a testing meetup and revealing our context-driven tendencies.

Next up, I gave a twenty-minute presentation about my experience of attending and presenting at the Nordic Testing Days conference recently. I gave some background on the conference, in terms of its history, location and target audience, as well as describing my experience of presenting there. I also highlighted three talks with great takeaways (from Stephen Janaway, Rob Lambert and Rob Sabourin) and included a general discussion about the benefits of attending conferences, how to influence decision makers to give approval for conference attendance, and also gave a plug to the Speak Easy programme (for which I am a volunteer) to encourage new speakers.

Via the Meetup.com page, we’d asked for volunteers to give lightning talks and two people stepped up to the plate early, and co-organizer Erik Petersen also put his hand up, so we had three five-minute talks next. Erik went first and he talked about “testing” a little puzzle game as a way of illustrating the use of testing heuristics. Next came Pavan with his neat talk (and great graphics in his slides) on “The Age of the Divergent Tester”, an interesting topic around psychology and how we think as testers. Finally, Paul Crimmins (a colleague of Rajesh’s) who talked about his experience of undertaking the BBST Foundations course, run by the Association for Software Testing – he is part way through this intensive (and very well regarded in the context-driven community) course, so it’ll be interesting to hear more from him when he’s finished the course. It was good to see people volunteering to give a lightning talk and it’s a great way of gaining experience in public speaking in a supportive environment without the pressure of a full-length presentation.

After the presentations were completed, the attendees were encouraged to network over drinks and nibbles (which they did willingly) or take part in the famous Dice Game. Having previously facilitated this game at the Tasting Let’s Test conference in Sydney a couple of years ago, I was happy to run it here (as well as training others in how to facilitate the game). Two groups took up the challenge and the game was a big hit – simple but thought-provoking with some great testing skill takeaways too. (Now that Rajesh has bought so many interesting dice, we’ll definitely run the game as a regular part of our meetups!)

It was a great feeling to see a bunch of passionate testers giving up their free time (on a Friday evening too!) to attend our meetup, talk testing, and network with others in the industry. Watching these testers getting to know each other and sharing stories & ideas is what makes it all worthwhile; it’s what this meetup is about, connecting testers!

Here’s how to stay up-to-date with the TEAM meetup and it would be great to see more new faces at our next event!

TEAM LinkedIn group: https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=6968269

TEAM Twitter handle: @AussieTesters

TEAM website: http://www.meetup.com/Test-Engineering-Alliance-Melbourne/

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3 thoughts on “Connecting testers, the power of the meetup

  1. tildequalitytester

    Lee, I thoroughly enjoyed presentations from you, Rajesh, Erik and Paul. Listening to someone like you is such a refreshing change to me who has been shackled with the existing social order of testing:). – Pavan

    Reply

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