Every edition of the test:fest conference in Wrocław sets the bar high for all other events taking place throughout the year. This is a good information for all participants because in February you can find out what will be this year’s trends in testing and what will be discussed in the upcoming months. The organizers of those events will have a hard nut to crack, both organizationally and substantively. Why? You will find out below.

This year I decided not to participate in workshops or discussion panels but to focus on lectures and something that jumped into the agenda as a novelty: a short 15-minute case study. From the first category, three have been especially memorable and I would like to talk about them in the first place.

Lectures

Tomek Dubikowski opened the conference with his speech “DIY: Build a Robot”. It may seem strange, but just as I loved Tomek after hearing it for the first time a few years ago, now, after couple of times, he slowly begins to become boring as a speaker to me. It’s the same stand-up resembling narrative and an interesting topic. But somehow it didn’t feel exciting this time.

Maybe because the speaker started with the things that make us become robots. It was only later that he said that we should reverse everything and never do so. Unfortunately, this approach did not speak to me. Sorry, Tom, but I won’t let myself be fooled by this trick. I prefer more substantive and less technical presentations like the one at the Request 2.0 conference. You set the bar very high there. I can’t say that I was disappointed, but I expected much more than just an OK presentation from such an experienced speaker.

Marcin Sikorski intrigued me with the subject of “Confessions of Anonymous IoT Tester – how to make design failures a heroin of one’s career”. At the pace of the machine gun, which characterizes all Marcin’s speeches, we could learn a few interesting facts from the world of IoT testing, which is rather inaccessible to many of us. A few design situations, a few failures, which translated into practical advice for all testing adepts, not necessarily related to the title topic. In the end a simple but significant summary – how to give the client the wow effect. This is something we should all remember. Always.

The best presentation of the test:fest

The presentation I was looking for the most was “Education for living in quality” by the duo Bart Szulc and Kasia Balcerzak. Just after first minutes I knew that I won’t be disappointed. The speakers decided to share their own experiences in the field of team cooperation models. Starting from independent development and test teams, through the subject of a tester as a member of the team, the role of quality assistance and ending with the lack of a tester. All these models have been described in detail. Not only their advantages and disadvantages have been presented. Above all a framework has been drawn up of what needs to be done and how to proceed in order to implement it and what amount of work it requires. Undoubtedly, it was the best and most practical presentation of the entire conference.

Case Studies

The session devoted to case studies was started by Emilia Lendzion-Barszcz. With a real-life example, she tried to convince us that the problem called “Ah, these reports …” is not as complicated as it might seem. It was a solid dose of knowledge. In the case of performance tests, the interpretation of their results is just as important (if not more) as their performance.

Another person who shared his experiences was Andrzej Doliński. We learned different curiosities taken straight from the “diary of the recruiter”. It was a valuable information, supported by extensive experience, dozens of conversations and a critical look. You should appreciate the honesty of the speaker, who was not afraid to answer difficult questions. Recordings from this part are worth watching on the test:fest’s YouTube channel. It will be an invaluable source of knowledge and a guide for anyone preparing for a job interview.

After the lunch break Wojciech Froń presented his story “How to accidentally earn 15k? Authentication bypass in Google Docs” Sounds interesting, right? Who isn’t dreaming about making some cash in an easy and quick way?! Wojciech was successful in this matter, with just a little bit of charm and a ton of luck.

The last short lecture in this series was led by Michał Krzyżanowski. He intrigued us with the title of hisspeech “Building rockets for cavemen – the reality of software development for a corporate client”. It was an interesting retrospective about the imperfections and lack of clients’ maturity, their poor knowledge of the processes. Imagine, what they could achieve if they wanted to listen to the advice of people more experienced than them?

Summary

The fifth, jubilee edition of the test:fest conference was organized perfectly. Having experiences from previous years, however, it seems to me that it couldn’t be different. The amount of work organizers put, great speakers, a large group of sponsors. It just couldn’t go wrong. The conference sets the bar high for the next events and test conferences this year, which should only be enjoyed. I am looking forward to next year’s edition.

Have you been to the test:fest 2019? Share your opinion and thoughts in the comments below.

Certified Agile Tester and Requirements Analyst, holds a postgraduate diploma in software testing and requirements engineering. As a Scrum team member infects everyone at Aspire Systems Poland with his uncompromising attitude towards quality assurance.