Monday 13 December 2010

EuroSTAR highlights

Hi all,
Sorry for not updating the blog for ages. The last few weeks have whizzed by and now it's less than 2 weeks to Christmas! Where has the time gone?!
One thing that has kept me busy recently is EuroSTAR, a software testing conference held in Copenhagen. The conference organisers invited me to display some of my cartoons. To begin with, I was apprehensive, I wasn't sure how the cartoons will be received (I don't get to see people's reaction to the cartoons when I post them on the blog). Thankfully it was all positive, lots of people visited the cartoon stand, I even heard a few of them laugh out loud! Below is a photo of the stand:

I also managed to produce business cards to give out (not that I own a business!), so people could take them home and check out the blog. Each business card had an individually hand drawn mini-cartoon:

It was certainly a highlight to share my cartoons with other testers and chatting with them - a lot of them gave me really positive feedback on the cartoons. Another highlight was attending the many track sessions and workshops. It was unbelievable the wealth of experience and knowledge at the conference. The most interesting topic for me was SBTM (google it if you don't know what that means) but it is now better known as MTBS (coined by Carsten Feilberg). After one of the sessions, I met up with a few other testers who work in a similar environment to mine and we agreed to set up an email group so we can share our experiences on using exploratory testing and MTBS (that's another thing that's kept me busy over the last week - in a very good way!)
The social side of EuroSTAR was great too. I was kindly invited by Shmuel Gerson to attend the Danish Alliance. It was a real pleasure to chat about testing over a couple of beers (or maybe a few more). One of the nights I got the group to do an exercise (more on this in a different post). Suffice to say, I was glad I did the exercise even though I was nervous and not at all prepared! Many thanks to Shmuel and Jesper Ottosen for organising the Danish Alliance events. I won't forget the experience :o)

Last but not least, the biggest highlight by far during EuroSTAR was completely unexpected. I met Rob Sabourin. I knew of Rob through a children's book he created 'I am a bug'. I remember reading the e-book version a couple of years back and loving it. So, during the Danish Alliance, I approached him and introduced my self, to my surprise he said he was hoping to meet me! Wow! He wanted to give me a hard copy of the 'I am a bug' book, I was so honoured. The book has a great history - all the pictures/cartoons were drawn by his daughter - how cool is that?! I've since read the book to my kids and they love it :o) I got my wife to take a photo, you can tell they like the book as usually they can't help but look at the camera.

To finish off, here are two cartoons. The first one was designed and drawn by Nathalie Rooseboom DeVries (@FunTestic). The second was designed by Bart Knaack (@btknaack). He was one of the guys behind the Test Lab at the conference.

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