After the PTaQ Day One Conference

On March 30, the first full-day conference was organized by the Poznań test community that works on creating the PTaQ meetup every day. The popularity of this type of events is proven by the fact that the tickets disappeared in seconds and you had to be lucky enough to get one of them. To me, this difficult art has succeeded, and I would like to tell you a few words about the lectures that took place that day.

Challenges

Leszek Tasiemski began the conference with his speech ‘Cybersecurity challenges AD 2019’. Because he is a representative of one of the companies dealing with cyber security, he shared with us a portion of statistics on the directions, types and effects of attacks that have occurred recently. The next part of the lecture concerned the issue set in its title. So what challenges we are facing this year?

First of all, all IoT devices, whose security today is at a poor level, hackers will try to get to our data not with the help of computers but all the devices that we have at home. From cameras to the intelligent speakers. Second, Artificial Intelligence and the results of its operation. At present, almost no one bothers how to fool the learning algorithms, but in the near future it will have to change radically. The ingenuity of those who want to harm us and our privacy, as we know, knows no boundaries. Therefore the digital arms race is in full swing and it cannot be seen that it would end sometime.

A story of the road

‘How I accidentally went in (mobile) TestOps’ by Piotr Wicherski was a story of ‘the road’. The road to the goal which is to create a laboratory designed for testing mobile applications that contain physical devices. Piotr wooed the audience with his story, and despite the fact that there could have been more substance in his presentation, a true stand-out approach made Piotrek listened with bated breath.

If you would like to learn how to start this type of project from scratch, the knowledge conveyed by the speaker should be an interpretation of how you should act, how long should it take you (and why it will be several times more than initially planned). But above all, how to cope with the challenges what will be waiting for you along the way. It is very regrettable that the presentations were not recorded, and you will not be able to come back to them. The only thing left to count on is that Piotr will repeat the subject on one of the next testing events and this time he will be immortalized for posterity so he is heard not only by a narrow group of recipients.

Interesting facts

Paulina Vera Szmidt presented the topic “Game testing”. Reading the agenda of the conference it was my first choice on the list of lectures. Not at all because I like to play, only because there are very few representatives of the game dev industry at test conferences. So the greater the willingness to find out what its characteristics are and whether all the myths that we hear about they have confirmation in facts. We could find out whether test automation has any application in this industry, which distinguishes the tester from the ordinary player, whether you can work from home and most importantly how much the game tester earns (not enough). The presentation was interesting, but it’s hard to relate because competition in the subject as I mentioned is missing and every opportunity to listen a bit about testing games is good and you have to use it.

Transformations

‘Transformation from formal to exploratory testing. My story’ was told by no other than Radek Smilgin, who continues his series of speeches about the superiority of exploratory testing over formal testing. It was a story told from the perspective of a lot of experience and work in many different companies, with different specificity of work and approach to project management. We learned how to try to convince our superiors to depart from the formalization of our processes to use the ingenuity and creativity of ourselves as testers. Is this a good way to go and at least try it? Everyone has to answer the question whether it is worth taking up such a challenge. Radek gave us advice, but whether and how we use it, depends only on ourselves.

Best of the best

Ola Kornecka presented the subject ‘At the focus’. She told us how her team was completely changed, and the radical focus method was applied, thanks to which the team can focus more on their work, bring functionalities without wasting time on distractions. This idea assumes planning tasks only for the next week, but they must be realistic to achieve and not necessarily associated with adding new functionalities to our application. Thanks to this approach, everyone feels responsible for the whole process and you can avoid burning too much time to organize fruitless meetings. It is thanks to such presentations that it is worth going to conferences. A specific application of the presented theory, supported by information about what has come out in practice, what are the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach to software development.

From the chronicler’s duty I must also mention that in addition to the above, I also listened to three other lectures, which did not impress me much, and I expected much more or simply missed them, and they were ‘How to train your… replacement (even if you’re not leaving)’ by Milena Sobolewska and ‘The psychology of testing or how to gain superpowers thanks to the discoveries of modern psychology’ by ‘Bruno Mańczak and ‘Stinky tests. Systematics, symptoms, treatment’ by Bartosz Walter.

Summary

The conference was very successful and even though it was the first edition, it can boldly compete with other events. The substantive value of the majority of lectures was at a very high level as well as all organizational issues. I am looking forward to the next edition of the event which I will definitely participate. If I only can get a ticket, which, as I mentioned, is not as easy as it may seem.

Have you been to the conference? Do you want to share your impressions? Be sure to leave a comment.

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