|The Climate Corp orb knows all :).|
To celebrate the first event, we chose to focus the evening around "99 Second Lightning Talks", in honor of Rosie Sherry, she of Software Testing Club and Ministry of Testing fame (aka the original publisher of the "99 Things You Can Do to Become a Better Tester" eBook).
To not keep anyone in suspense, I did not make the 99 seconds (and I proved to be the only one, so my "perfect record" of just on time" delivery of lightning talks is now shattered. Ah well, had to end eventually ;) ). I covered the fact that of the 99 Things eBook suggestions, only about 10% of the topics were technical. 90% of the topics were non-technical and skills that many people could do without a major investment in technical skills, which I think makes for an interesting comparison. We see all of the talk around tools and technical skills, but the community seems to feel otherwise. Worth investigating, I think.
|One of several 99 second lightning talks.|
Another talk from Fred Stevens-Smith was based around "building QA as a Service", either in using the concept, or in helping build the process. Fred is part of RainforestQA, which is developing this model where tests are written in "plain English", and then the service releases the tests out to crowd sourced testing (sounds intriguing, definitely something I'd like to explore as a Weekend Testing topic :) ). For those who want to see or know more, check out rainforestqa.com or +RainforestQA on G+ and @rainforestqa on Twitter.
Eric Proegler talked about two recent conferences (WOPR and STP-CON) and how the subject of technical debt came to be a recurring theme in both of them. His (highly rhetorical, I might add ;) ) question was, are only the old dinosaur traditional companies dealing with this, or are these hip, new Agile development initiatives immune from technical debt? that elicited a chuckle, but brought home an interesting point, which is, if we are not actively working to pay down technical debt or prevent it from accumulating, we are accumulating technical debt, and we all had better give some consideration as to how we are going to deal with it.
Another crowd source testing talk was given focusing on QA as a service. This whole "QA as a Service" thing may actually have legs, and it was interesting to see two takes on how organizations are making this work.
Our final talk was about how we view negative testing and the way that we talk about it. Using a simple example of a light switch, and asking how we confirm that there is both a passing test and a failing test, or that we neglect to see when the light is turned off as a negative test. It was a fun way to wrap up the talks.
|A spirited discussion about metrics ensued.|
We broke off into smaller groups, and I had some interesting chats with some new friends about how we approach automation, and whether or not it made sense to do so from the perspectives that are so common (UI testing vs. API testing, which makes more sense and why).
|...and resulted in this mind map,|
along with some good suggestions.
Overall, I would say that the first BAST meetup was a success, and I want to give my thanks to everyone who I met lat night, thank you for coming out and helping us get this off the ground and we hope we made a memorable first impression. Now, of course, comes the next challenge... following up from here.
|Thirsty Bear for a post Climate Corp wrap up.|
To that end, we are looking to get speakers from multiple perspectives and disciplines, such as marketing, finance, operations, sales, customer support, as well as software development and software testing. We will, of course, also look to share ideas and structure discussions around good testing practices and using them in the right contexts.
To close this, I want to say thanks to Curtis for taking the bull by the horns and getting BAST started, to Climate Corporation for providing us a great space to hold our first meeting, to the Association for Software Testing for helping seed this initiative with a grant so that we could hold this event and also help hold future events, and most importantly, thank you to all of the participants that came out on a Monday night to talk testing and hang out together. Curtis and I have long hoped to create a space where testers from around the Bay Area could get together and share ideas and knowledge from a number of different perspectives, and not have to haul down to Silicon Valley to do it. It's a great first step, and we look forward to many more to come.