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Tatiana Shabskaya QA Engineer 16.09.2016

Learning to test. Testing to learn. How was it?


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At Binary Studio we believe that constant learning and knowledge sharing are key factors that develop IT communities. By regularly organizing and hosting meetups of highest quality we improve collaboration and learning experience of IT specialists from all parts of Ukraine. When organising an event, it is attention to each detail what makes our meetups exceptional and unique.

EuroSTAR Roadshow 2016 competition resonated with our aspiration to support local QA community and that is why we took on a challenge of organizing QA meetup Learning to test, testing to learn competing with other companies from all over Europe.

The Agenda

When thoroughly brainstorming the agenda for our event, we went through EuroSTAR conference programme and the latest quality trends, so we came up with the list of the actual topics our community might be interested in.

When the list of topics was in place, we moved to finding speakers who could cover topics we shortlisted. We researched and watched dozens of conference videos with best ukrainian conference speakers and found perfect matches!

Alexei Lupan, experienced QA trainer @ Astound Commerce, is an author of a popular QA blog testitquickly.com, that helps QA to establish the tester's mindset since 2007. The speaker was going to demonstrate the audience, how to apply test design techniques in a live session.

Oleksandr Khotemskyi, QA Automation Lead @ Lohika, who also has QA mentoring experience, suggested to talk about a popular UI automation Framework, Protractor.

Tatiana Shabskaya QA Lead at Binary Studio wanted to share her experience of testing in a distributed team.

Viktor Tolkushyn QA engineer at Binary Studio prepared the presentation of another powerful UI automation tool - Ranorex.

The interesting part is that all speakers had previous experience of coaching & mentoring QAs, so the meetup topic, “Learning to test, Testing to learn”, was quite close for them.

Preparation

So, we already had an interesting topic and great, experienced speakers with desire to share their knowledge. We had an agenda, so preparation has started.

Having organized dozens of tech meetups we already had lots of know-hows and used our best practices to make this event exceptional.

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Location: Binary Studio office is a perfect place for meetups - it’s spacious, light and cozy. It can host up to 70 participants. Though we had more people willing to attend the event, all those who registered after 70 seats were taken - received a video recording of all the presentation right after the event. Format: four talks with 4 coffee breaks (5 hours in total) proved to be efficient and not tiresome.

Preparation included:

  • 1+ month of extensive work to polish every detail of our meetup
  • Sleepless nights brainstorming design of badges and other printed materials
  • Designing our supercool meetup T-shirt you will never want to take off
  • Thorough communication with our participants to inform them about latest changes concerning the meetup

We engaged the audience with online campaigns on our web-site, on 2event web-site and on Facebook.

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How did the meetup go?

We have opened the event with a welcoming speech from the organizers and introduced EuroSTAR 2016 conference.

The first talk was: “How to approach testing in a distributed team”. Tatiana, speaker from Binary Studio, shared common problems that distributed teams face, and suggested a few ways of mitigating them from her experience. The theme was quite actual: 95% of the audience had experience of working in distributed teams, so participants contributed with their problem solutions as well.

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Our next speaker Oleksandr presented ProtractorJS, tool for end-to-end testing of web applications on AngularJS. He has experience of successful automation projects with this tool, and he is writing his own library for this tool. Oleksandr also answered many question that QA automation specialists faced while using this tool. He shared his own tips and tricks, compared ProtractorJS vs Java frameworks and pointed out ProtractorJS role in Selenium Webdriver ecosystem with deeply explained pros and cons. The topic sparkled lively interest in the audience and the discussion continued at the coffee break.

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QA Trainer Alexei Lupan shared information about test design techniques as a live session, so it initiated very intense discussion too. We revised a lot about test design and received another point of view on some classic techniques, such as Boundary value analysis, Equivalence class partitioning, Decision tables and many others.

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We closed the meetup with the presentation about Ranorex Studio, UI automation tool the audience was not familiar with. Viktor explained how you can automate your UI testing using this tool and what are Ranorex hottest features. Testing with Ranorex is a good example of testing to learn. It has everything to start automating your tests, even if you have minimum knowledge of the automation process and the tool itself. However, its potential is unleashed when the user gets more experience with it, and the more you use it and test with it, the more you learn how to use its advanced features.

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Next few days were quite busy as well. We gathered feedbacks from our attendees & speakers, posted photos and shared videos of the talks.

The participants particularly praised:

  1. Great speakers and truly interesting presented material
  2. Awesome T-shirts that were given as presents to all the participants
  3. Delicious snacks
  4. Healthy balance between talks and breaks
  5. Well-thought through organization
  6. Cosy and well equipped venue

Here are some feedbacks we translated from ukrainian & russian:

“You are Amazing, folks! Perfect from A to Z. I came from Kharkiv and did not regret!”

“Organization was great, keep it up! Go on to invite interesting speakers, as you have done this time.”

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“To be honest, initially my reason to go on this meetup was Alexei Lupan with his topic, but it exceeded my expectations! An interesting and easy to understand talk by Sasha Hotemskoj, no less informative and useful talk by Tatiana. I’m glad that format of the event gave all attendees to discuss with presenters all questions after the speech. Thank you for such an open format. In general, well done! Keep it up! I’m looking forward to the announcement of the next events.”
“I really liked "Test Design" and "Test automation with Ranorex studio" talks. There is a wealth of experience to the speakers, Alexey presented to the audience his vision of test design, other processes and relationships. And it was interesting to hear about the work of Ranorex studio and its capabilities for testing desktop applications.”
“Useful information, a good place, nice organizers and surprising banquet.”

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“Everything was as I expected, even better. Amazing location, great community, schedule like on clock and I'm looking forward for next one.”

“Interesting topics and talks. Good organization (event started on time, balanced number of participants - not too much but also not empty hall, no technical problems). Great t-shirts and delicious food.”
“I liked that it was not only dry theory, but there were at least some examples with code fragments.”

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“Talk about ProtractorJS was very deep and structured. Thank you guys to make it happened.”

We Learned, We Tested and We connected our local QA community. Everything that was planned - was done! We are grateful to EuroSTAR for encouraging companies to organize cool events and develop local communities! Looking forward to meeting you in Stockholm! Check out the #esconf_lviv to see online activity and see more photos of our event on Facebook.

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