Yesterday and today, I had the privilege of attending some of the talks of the first ever 100% online testing conference – the online test conf. It was an interesting experience. I was unable to to fully commit to the entire experience as I was not given the day off and so had to work between (and sometimes during) the talks I attended. Overall while I can see the appeal of something like this as it much cheaper to not have to have many people (and speakers) travel to one location, there are some downsides as well.
One of may favorite aspects of conferences is meeting other testers in other contexts and getting excited about testing together, and it seems that the online experience does not do this as well as an in person conference (although the slack channel helped with that). One of the other things is the ease of dropping in and out of a talk. This may seem like a good thing as you can easily (without social pressures) drop out of a talk that isn’t relevant for you, but it also means that you can easily get distracted or have something ‘important’ come up which causes you to drop of talks that could be very helpful.
In terms of the actual talks I learned some really great things from some of them. My favorite talks were Rob Lambert’s talk on the traits of employable people – I really got a lot of actionable items out of that one – and Adam Knight’s talk on risk. Both of those talks gave me a lot to chew on and think about and apply in my life as a tester.
I’m glad I could (kind of) attend this conference and I’m thankful for Joel Montvelisky and his group for putting this together. It’s exciting to see and try new things, but I’ll still be asking my boss for money to attend some ‘in person’ conferences as well 🙂