Hello to the Testhouse family! This is what I hope will be the first in a series of blog posts aimed at sharing insights into things I have learned or experienced in my career in testing to date. If you find anything that sparks your interest, or have follow up questions, then please do let me know.
This first blog is about mentorship, conferences, and the value of networking; I hope you find taking a few minutes to read this will be time well spent!
A couple of weeks ago I received a call from Paul Gerrard, who I have collaborated with on several software testing conferences and forums. He is currently the Programme Chair for HUSTEF 2022, the Hungarian Software Testing Forum. HUSTEF attracts approximately 750 delegates from over 22 countries, and as such it is one of the largest international testing conferences in Europe. Paul asked me to be on the team (programme committee) helping to curate and deliver the programme for this year’s conference.
Paul, apart from being a recognised, award-winning thought leader in the Software Testing industry, happens to be a good friend of mine. He was once my mentor and as he got to know and trust me, he started asking for some help with event management and delivery of testing conferences.
I first got to know Paul when I attended the Test Management Forum in 2009, a networking and knowledge sharing event that Paul had been running for a few years. I had my first job in Organisational Testing Strategy and needed some input from more experienced practitioners, who could act as a sounding board for some of my ideas and challenges. I was recommended the Test Management Forum as place for learning, debating and ideating solutions with industry peers.
I was glad I attended and I quickly became a regular as I truly valued the open, honest and supportive nature of the event. The insights I gained, and the experiences others shared with me provided me with focus, and the confidence I needed to perform well in my role. I became part of the fabric of that community and soon started giving my first conference talks and facilitating discussion sessions.
This platform led me to speaking at other events, and I delivered my first keynote in 2015, addressing the “Evolution of Testing” at the QA & Test Conference held in Bilbao.