I spent some time at the EuroSTAR conference this week. It was predictably awesome. I owe a debt of thanks to Rosie Sherry for sending me along on an STC ticket once again – so, thanks for that. 🙂
Congratulations and thanks due also to Paul Gerrard for chairing a fantastic event.
Links to my mindmaps from the seminars and keynotes I attended are below. I didn’t take notes for everything – either because I didn’t find the talk sufficiently engaging, or because I was distracted by Twitter conversations about NVC (more on this some other time), or because the talk didn’t seem to have a coherent enough structure for me to be able to capture my notes effectively (Julian Harty).
As such, they represent my own personal pick of the best:
- Shmuel Gershon’s “Six Secrets for Exploring Non-Graphical Systems”
- Alex Rotaru’s “Changing Mindsets – Learn, Test, Lead by Example”
- Ashfaq Ahmed’s “Fostering Your Innovators DNA”
- Shmuel Gershon’s “Why we have it Backward”
- Zeger van Hese’s “Everything is Connected”
- Graham Thomas & Phillip Isles “Programming for Testers – It is Easy” – no notes, but a great workshop!
There seemed to be quite a lot of talk about innovation and thinking outside of the box at the conference. Perhaps there always is, and I’m only just noticing it due to my own recent focus on innovative thinking. I was particularly impressed by Shmuel’s “Why we have it Backward” though. Thinking about software as a medium for transferring knowledge and facilitating human evolution was quite fascinating and will provide me with food for thought for many days to come.
Sadly the book he cites as a source of inspiration is rather expensive. I’ll add it to my Wishlist!
Shmuel’s caterpillar metaphor also got me thinking about software testers…
He talked about an old joke where a caterpillar spies a butterfly and says to his caterpillar pal – “you’ll never catch me in one of those things.” Little realising that failure to take the next evolutionary step in his existance would inevitably lead to certain death.
What I’m hearing, reading and to some extent seeing in the software development industry leads me to think that testers face a very similar choice. Failing to take the next step, or refusing to make a choice in the first place will likely have a detrimental and possibly fatal impact upon one’s career. Toby Sinclair’s recent post on Testers as Second Class Citizens refers.
If you need some further impetus for action – try reading this too.
Learning to fly (metaphorically speaking) is a necessary next-step in our evolution as knowledge workers. Perhaps all it requires is a Big Leap?