CAST 2015 has come to a close; I always have mixed feelings after each one of these conferences:
- Glad they are over because I am absolutely exhausted, brain dead, and looking forward to getting back to my family
- I WANT MOAR! The amount of awesome experiences, networking, and knowledge at these events always astound me. Every year I come in wondering what new thing I could possible learn about and every year I leave staggering with the amount of stuff I have to think about
- How do I keep in contact with everyone and keep the momentum going?
- Now what? How do I take all this awesome new stuff I learned about, distill it down to what I can actually take and use at a 20,000 person company, and then start using it?
So what now? Where do I start? Seems to me the best place to start is list out three things that really resonated with me.
- The CDT community as a whole seems to be embracing the inevitability that test & programming are slowly becoming one. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be testers or that testing won’t be done, it’s just that the expectation of what a “developer” is is changing. I feel like there is a whole blog post on this one so I will probably expand on it more later but it felt like an unintentional theme of CAST this year was “The Tester role as we know it may not exist in the future, how do we not only survive but thrive during and after this metamorphosis?”
- Put your Exploratory Testing charter in the backlog stack so they are pulled off in order just like normal stories. I’ve been struggling to figure out how to get exploratory testing become “just something we do” and I really like the way Pivotal does it.
- I want to do more experiential training, both participate in and design/lead. Between the experience I had in the “From Velcro to Velocity” workshop and the number or discussions I had with people at the conference I am really excited about the possibilities with experiential learning!
I have my three takeaways, now I need to figure out how to take action on each of them.
- I want to submit proposals and speak at at least 2 developer conferences in the next 12 months. As the testing and programming roles converge it’s important that we start broadening the reach of our message, instead of just “preaching to the choir.” I already have my first proposal title ready to go “So you got rid of testers, now what?”
- I’ll be working with my local team to do a trial run of something like this and see where it goes. I would love to see success with individual teams and be able to start expanding it across the company.
- I am going to immediately start working with our training department to come up with some new experiential learning classes. The first thing I’m going to do is a trial run of Robert Sabourin’s “From Velcro to Velocity” training for TDD. I also want to try some experiential training for exploratory testing but I don’t quite know where I’m going to start with that yet.
When you look at the bigger picture, I go to these types of conferences to better myself but also to find ideas that can be applied to my day job. Due to the fact that I work at a larger company that isn’t always easy; in fact I pretty miserably to apply anything I learned at CAST 2014 to my day job. I am not going to repeat that same mistake this year. In addition, I really hope to spread some of the stuff I heard using the local Bay Area Software Testers (BAST) meetup group. I’ve really let that stagnate and it’s time to start engaging the 130+ people in that group.
At the end of the day, if I’m not spreading things I learn to other people I’m only being fractionally as impactful and effective as I could be. I want to be a multiplier. I will be a multiplier.