I’m currently writing this introduction on my way down to Brighton for what will be my third Testbash conference and I couldn’t be more excited. Testbash, for the un-initiated is a software testing conference that happens every year down in Brighton, UK. It’s by no means the largest conference on the testing circuit but it exudes an amount quality that easily matches the bigger conferences abroad. A single-track conference with a workshop day preceding the main event and a lot of other activities surrounding it such as an early morning run, pre-party, pre-pre-party, a lean coffee and a hangover-coffee - there’s more than enough to do over the course of the few days it’s on for.
There’s a fantastically strong lineup of speakers and workshop co-ordinators this year including: Lisa Crispin, Christina Ohanian, Richard Bradshaw, Martin Hynie, Nicola Sedgwick, Dan Billing, Emma Armstrong, Bill Matthews and a special guest star in the form of Michael Wansley, of ‘Thrift Shop’ fame.
However I think a lot of testers that go to these such events agree with me that it’s not always about the talks or the workshops, it’s the stuff that happens in the pub, in the meetings of people and friends between talks or at the lunch break. It’s the swapping of personal, honest and down-to-earth stories ‘from the trenches’. Not to say the talks and workshops aren’t worth it, they are the formal and structured presentations of information, stories, models, theories or whatever else people want to share to a room of 10/50/300/1500 people that we need to be able to easily regurgitate back to others. But there’s something special about the 1-2-1s that happen after conference hours that really fuels the passion and gets even the most quiet of tester out of their shell - for me anyway.
Then there’s the overall passive energy; you get ~300 dedicated and passionate people from a disciple like testing in one area, the energy levels are going to FLY through the roof. This comes from people wanting to try new ideas, techniques, tools or the general excitement of the aforementioned story swapping - creative people will always find a way to be excited by the smallest thing and it’s a brilliant fuel that you can’t help but become infected by.
Here’s to a great event and to learning, laughing and being goddamn awesome!