My thoughts on SWET4

Getting there
Sigge and I arrived late on Friday evening after a five hour train ride and an unnecessarily long taxi ride to Kilsbergen were the conference was held. The fog was so thick that the taxi driver couldn´t find the hotel and went back and forward on the road several times. When we arrived most people were already there, drinking beer and enjoying themselves in lively discussion about testing and wolves.

Facing my worst fear
I almost went straight to bed to be able to wake up early in the morning to make the last preparations for my presentation.
Since this was my first time ever to present in such a conference with people I highly respect for their knowledge and experience I was really really nervous.
In addition to this I can honestly say that I hate to stand in front of people and talk. I actually find no thrill at all in doing it and I have avoided it as long as I’ve could. So I am still not sure why I challenged myself to do this. I knew there was a  risk that I would be selected to present when I sent in my abstract for the conference. But I had such good experience from the discussions from SWET3 so there was no hesitation about participating. I think it is hard for someone  that does not have this fear to understand what I felt during the presentation that of course did not go very well.
First of all I was really nervous, secondly I thought I was presenting an Experience report which I now know that I wasn’t. The open season after the presentation went better though, especially for me since I got questioned in ways that gave me a lot of ideas on how to proceed with my story the next time I tell it.
The next time, you might think. To be honest I had a few moments were I thought: “I will never ever do this again!” It was so terrible that I wouldn’t like to experience it again. Though after many hours of reflections and helpful constructive feedback I will present again.

My overall experience
In overall I have a very positive experience from the conference. I got a lot of good questions regarding the subject of my presentation “Model based Exploratory Interviewing” which I will process and use to evolve my thoughts.
I got very useful feedback from James on how to improve my presentation and how to present an experience report. As usual James presentation was fascinating and inspiring.
The discussion were of high quality and I was inspired by all of the participants who belongs to a group of people I respect and enjoy for their experience and skills within software testing. I also met some great new people that I hope to meet again!

What happens now
Unfortunately my experience was a little bit blurred by the fact that I was to do/did a presentation but there are several things that I’ve already done since I came home, all inspired directly or indirectly by the conference:

  • I called for a meeting with my fellow testers to discuss collaborative testing/ mix-up testing which I’ve thought about for way too long now. Just do it!
  • I booked another occasion to make a presentation about Tester skills.
  • I booked a meeting with a new team to start up RCA of bugs in production.
  • I am already doing this with one team.I wrote my third blog post.
  • I booked a meeting to have breakfast with a coach in communication and presentation skills

I also have things that I will give some more thought in the coming weeks.

  • Look over the Low-tech dashboard again and try to figure out why it didn’t work out as well as I was hoping to.
  • Try out collaborative TDD with my husband (who is a programmer)
  • Practice in visualising my thought process.
  • Write an experience report.
  • Continue the work on Model based Exploratory Testing.

More reading on SWET4

If you would like to read more about the conference, check out Johan Jonasson blog which gives you a great summary of all the presentations and talks.

Erik Brickarp also shares his experience on SWET4 here.

Thank you

To all of you who participated!

Anna Elmsjö, Simon Morley, Tobbe Ryber, Oscar Cosmo, Erik Brickarp, James Bach, Johan Jonasson, Sigge Birgisson, Rikard Edgren, Joakim Thorsten, Martin Jansson, Saam Koroorian, Sandra Camilovic and Henrik Emilsson.

4 thoughts on “My thoughts on SWET4

  1. Well done Maria! Using the feedback and working out if/how you’ll do something different the next time is a great strength! You reflect, learn and get better – hey, that sounds like some of the attributes associated with good testers!

    Great that you’re using experiences from SWET4 in your work already.

    Until the next time!

  2. I love your list of things you’ve already done and things you’ve planned to at least look into. I should really try something similar to get even more out of my SWET (and RST) experience! Great stuff!

    Also, I’m a fairly confident speaker but the format used during SWET scares the … out if me (superinspiring as well but still very scary). So like you said, I can never understand how you felt but just knowing how I would have felt gives me tremendous respect for your performance! (and I liked the idea even though it needs some refinement).

    Thumbs up!

    • Thank you for your comment Erik!
      I find it helpful listening even the smallest things that you want to achieve and that you have achieved after attending a course, a conference, reading a blog or had a small conversation with someone that inspires me to do something. Unfortunately I don’t practice it as much as I want to and I don’t always follow up on it.
      But now it is public which puts some pressure on me to actually follow up on my findings. It is much like what you actually do with your blog which in turn inspired me to put my list on this blog post.
      Yes the format of the peer conference might seem scary. But I find it so inspiring, enlightening and helpful. And to be a bit egoistic it is great getting your own presentation questioned. Even though the questions might not be directly regarding it .

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