Welcome to my second blog about Test Automation Day 2016. A while ago I wrote a blog about attending Test Automation Day 2016 and shared my expectations about the event. You can read it here if you missed it.
The day has come and gone. Test Automation day 2016 has ended. And to be frank, reality did not quite meet the expectations that I wrote about in my earlier blog.
This can mean one of two things:
1. My expectations weren’t realistic
2. (on a brighter note ) I am better informed about test automation than I thought I was.
I did enjoy myself during the conference. The venue was nice and I was able to reconnect with some former colleagues that I hadn’t talked to in a long time. From a social point of view the day was a big success.
I have mixed reviews for the talks that I attended. The first keynote from Sally Gobble about testing at the Guardian was really good. The other three keynotes did not meet my expectations.
The keynote about Test automation health was a pretty straightforward story about test automation health. This included things like maintaining your tests, and as such it didn’t really break any new ground for me.
The third and fourth keynote sessions had interesting topics, but lacked in presentation. The keynote about model based probabilistic testing was really good content wise, but the presentation itself was a bit incoherent. This made it challenging to stay focused on the contents. The final keynote was late in the day, so really had its timeslot against it. Again, the story was good, but the presentation wasn't that dynamic, showing once again that presenting is a hard skill to master.
Between the keynotes, there were breakout sessions. I had hoped to learn some new skills in these sessions, but I learned that it's hard to actually teach people something new in a diverse audience that is attending a conference.
The "Agile Functional Test Automation Masterclass" started off pretty good. Linda Hayes is a good presenter, but she tried to fit a day's worth of content in a ninety minute presentation. So to me it wasn't surprising that she didn't have the time to finish her presentation, which unfortunately meant that only the basics were covered.
"No More Magic, A technical Demo in writing understandable test automation code" was basically an overview of how to apply best practices of programming to test automation. Since I already have basic programming skills, this session did not teach me anything new.
The last session I attended was a fun one about Blunders in test automation. Dorothy Graham too is a good presenter and she had a coherent and amusing presentation about aforementioned blunders in test automation.
So, the fact that my expectations weren't quite met doesn't mean I didn't have an interesting day. I learned that as a seasoned test automation specialist who hoped to learn a few new tricks, a conference might not be the place to pick up new skills. If you're new to test automation, this conference is definitely worth attending as you would pick up a few pointers. Regardless, a conference is however a good way to stay in touch with others in the field and to reconnect with former colleagues.