Sunday, 30 March 2014

Testbash 2014 - Part 1

Hello one and all to my blog, I've revitalised my last one so it can hopefully be used for something more useful than it used to be and that will hopefully be testing :). This blog post is a recount my trip to Brighton for Testbash 2014

I'm a relatively new tester, I officially started full time as of last May and only graduated from uni in January 2014 so I'm still in the process of solidifying the basics I know and expanding out into the deeper regions of QA. I won't give you my whole life story from last year until now so I'll skip over the finer details. A few months back, Dan (everyone knows him as 'the tallest guy in the room'), my boss, proposed that we all go to Testbash which was some conference coming up in March. At first I didn't take notice and left him to it but the idea was set in his mind, he took it to one of the higher-ups in the company and approval was given. So that was settled, four of us were going to Testbash!

What the HELL is Testbash I ask myself? After some lengthy research I painted a rough picture of what it consisted of, watched some videos including a few previous year's 99 second talks and went about suitably preparing myself for the bash. I took to Twitter to see if I could find some testers that would be there and boy did I find some...I found A LOT. This suited me down to the ground as I practically live on Twitter so to find the testing community were such avid users was exciting! Before I knew it I'd invaded the lives of TobytheTester, Simon Knight, Richard Bradshaw, Dan Billing, Rosie Sherry and was stalking a few more that were yet to know of their curly haired lurker. 

Skip ahead a bit more and I'm booking my train tickets and hotel room, which I've given the title of best named accomodation ever "Motel Schmotel", and I'm getting quite nervous but excited at the same time. I think both of these things stem from me meeting my peers for the first time. I'd previously met Richard and Vernon at Notts test gathering earlier in the month but nothing on this scale.

So! The day came, I left the office after breaking the application I'd been tasked with testing (more on that later) and made my way to the train station. The time spent on the two trains to Brighton was spent trying desperately to keep up with the Testbash Twitter chatter that was going on between people already there and those who like me who making their way down. Dan and another colleague of mine, George were already down there after attending courses on previous days. The first train consisted of watching the backlog of The Simpsons episodes I'd accrued and the second train I fortuitously bumped into Rich (aka The Friendly Tester) and we nattered from London to Brighton about testing, the people we were going to meet and the drinking times of the thirsty masses on Twitter. I tweeted a list of the people who I'd like to meet during that evening and the next day based on the interactions I'd had on Twitter, I found this helpful in setting up my first round of introductions which eased the small amount of fright I had in mingling with my fellow testers. 

We arrived at Brighton train station and I walked to my accommodation, taking in the little bit of Brighton I could see. I quickly got settled and within minutes I was immediately ordered  beckoned out of my room by Dan and George so we could head off to the pre-Testbash party in a local bar. When we arrived it was abundtly clear I knew NO ONE else other than my work colleagues and this was slightly daunting until just after my first drink forage I was spoken to by Tony Wells, an employee of Centre4Testing (who did some of the Testbash sponsoring) and we immediately got talking about who we were and what we did. I started my sentence off with "I work for a small company in Derby called CommonTime, you've probably never heard of us" like some pompous hipster but meant in genuine way....promise. The bar slowly started to fill and within half an hour of our arrival the numbers had crept up significantly, this was Testbash in full swing!

End of part 1

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