I attended my first STAR EAST in Orlando last week. I have been to a few other testing conferences, most local ones through TISQA here in NC and 2 QAI conferences a few years ago in Florida. Overall it was a good experience, some interesting talks and topics and a few ones that I thought could have been replaced by better.
Some general thoughts on the conference:
- If your going to be a speaker ( here or anywhere ), record yourself first and watch it. I have done this before and it’s amazing the ticks and other things that you do that are distracting. This is for all speakers, new, veteran, and potential. Being critical, it’s easy to pick out 6 things that your doing that you should stop or change.
- Why are the locations so expensive? Is it the price the keynotes or other presenters charge? Is it the space required? It just seems like a lot of overkill to have that grand a place with that much of a cost involved to get the information needed.
- Most of what I got out of the conference is that I’m doing things right or headed down the right path at work ( at least in testing ). There are lots of ideas for helping other areas get on board with a push to agile as well.
- Some of the more interesting things I come home with are side notes or passing references to tools or books mentioned by speakers. I’ll have a list in a bit but I’ve already ordered 3 books from amazon. I wish presenters didn’t fly by this information so quickly.
- Lot’s of people and very diverse. I’d guess 900 at the keynotes on Wednesday. A lot of variety there to ,US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Norway, Britain, India, China, and many more. Lots of difference ages, sexes, attitudes, and opinions.
- Lots of information about user info from Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft. Testers are customer advocates and/or users, but not the customers or the users the app’s are designed for.