Don’t underestimate the power of the #NoEstimates message – TEAM meetup number 5

After missing out on the fourth TEAM meetup (by virtue of being on the other side of the planet), it was good to get back in time to have plenty of input into the organization of the group’s fifth meetup which took place on 12th November, held in the groovy office of Acconex (shout out to them for their willingness to host us again, as well as providing pizza and drinks).

After a short introduction by Paul Seaman, the formal proceedings kicked off with Neil Killick providing an overview of #NoEstimates. Although he claimed to be nervous speaking to a group of testers, there was little sign of any nerves and this was a great introduction to the topic. Neil’s pragmatic approach to estimation and simple suggestions for improvements resonated well with this audience, especially with the folks in agile projects. This was essentially the same talk as this one Neil has shared from an MYOB brown bag session in 2013:

Basing it around the “three E’s” – Ethics, Empiricism and Emergence – split the presentation into nicely timed chunks and Neil made the content very accessible. Although this was not a testing presentation, the content was still very relevant and shows the importance to us as organizers of the meetup to include content that is not directly about testing into our programmes.

After a brief networking break, it was time for me to take the stage with Rajesh Mathur to give our joint presentation on “Remaining Relevant and Avoiding Commoditization”. The crux of our talk was the need for testers to build themselves a personal brand and reputation in the community, so that they reduce their risk of being commoditized (by being different from the crowd) and, should they lose their job, at least they will have some standing in the community to help them find a new one. This topic again resonated strongly with our audience, with many of us having all too familiar recent experience of colleagues losing their jobs as the commoditized outsourced factor testing model marches on in many larger organizations.

Rather than providing any more formal content for the evening, we decided to give the rest of our time over to networking and it was a great group with lots of good conversations going on with friends new and old. We’re always delighted to see new faces and also welcome back the TEAM stalwarts, so thanks to everyone for making the effort to come along and make the effort of organizing these events feel really worth it. The buzz of testers chatting and sharing experiences as I left reinforced what this meetup is all about, it’s our mission remember, Connecting Testers!

For further meetup announcements, remember to follow our page at:

Our group also has a new website, to collect together all of the different offerings we will be making to the testing community, including a new Melbourne testing conference, weekend workshops and the opportunity to take the Rapid Software Testing course with the one and only Michael Bolton in May 2016 – check us out at

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