A week in a fun fare of Testing, Games, Leadership and Networking

Experience report of Test Leadership Congress 2020 pre-conference week

It has been great fun attending Test Leadership Congress 2020 so far. I like the fact that the conference is spread across the month and sessions are organized in such a way that there is something for everyone from different parts of the world.

Being a newbie to this field, I am still testing the waters and trying to get the feel of the interesting world of software testing, which I am getting to experience through TLC-2020. 

Here is my experience report from the pre-conference week. 

Monday, July 20th

This is my first time attending a testing conference. I have never really dealt with the topic of software testing today, but we should always remain curious and always be ready to learn something new. So I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

The day opened with a session by Ramit Manohar Kaul and Ajay Balamurugadas with the dual topics: “What Not to Do – Testing in Agile” and “Working with Tools for Testing”.

I liked this particular session because it gave us a little reminder of what we should not do while testing if we are part of the Agile team. With so much focus on delivering in time, in the world of Agile sometimes we forget or get carried away in the fast pace of things.

In this session, Ramit shared a few simple strategies to avoid chaos. For example –

  • Risk-based approach and execution based on breadth wise or depth-wise coverage or a mix of both. 
    • Breadth wise: all risks covered at a high level before moving deep down.
    • Depth wise: one risk deep testing before you move to another
  • Write a sprint objective on top of the task board so everyone remembers what and why they are doing and the outcome of it.
  • May sound funny but take breaks. If you see that the team has continuously put four hours without break, ask the team to take 30 mins compulsory break. The same goes for a heated debate.

Ajay demonstrated a variety of tools that help him do his job as a tester. Not just automation tools! All the little helpers that make professional testing easier and more effective.

Later on the day, another interesting session happened that was led by James Lyndsay. It was about a testing game including networking. This session was run throughout the week. 

James was running Questions for testers to help testers build connections. QfT works with teams who know each other well, and strangers who share an interest in testing. It is a game to connect testers and trigger conversations. 

If you are interested to try it by yourself and use it in your team in the future, then please find the information below. 

You can play it in person with cards from https://github.com/workroomprds/QuestionsForTesters or online by using http://exercises.workroomprds.com/qft/

Rules of the game

Process 1: Make a group. 

Process 2: Take turns. Each turn, one of you reads a question, and its options, out loud – then chooses one option, privately. Harder decisions are more interesting.

Process 3: Talk. The reader may give points to anyone who predicts (or sways) their choice. Return to 2.

Ranking: Points are pointless.

Give it a try and see how far you might go. 

Tuesday, July 21st

The second day started with a session about “NPV for Test Automation” talk + “Business-driven test automation” demo led by Nishi Grover Garg and Ashutosh Garg. 

Test automation seems to be an interesting thing in testing. A lot of automation projects are just started, continued, and then shunted without measuring the impact automation created. Automation should be done with a purpose, either saving effort (or cost) or increasing coverage. This session was focused on how we can use the NPV (Net Present Value) financial framework on test automation to decide whether to start the project or not.

The latest release of the Sahi Pro Software introduces the brand-new concept of Business-driven Test Automation which solves the problem of functional automation simply and elegantly. 

Nishi explained about data-driven and on-data driven tests using Sahi Pro. She shared how the auto-heal happens for the change in the element name & when it does not work, shown by a demo.

After that interesting talk, the founder of Test Masters Academy, Anna Royzman hosted a brainstorming event all about the questions “What’s on your mind?” and “What problems do you want to solve this Summer?”

I am sure we testers are going to ask ourselves these questions again during the conference so if you don’t have your questions ready yet, I am sure they might come later and there still will be a time to share them or you already will find answers during the talks which are planned. 

Wednesday, July 22nd

On the third day, we had the opportunity to listen to Kunal Ashar and Santhosh Tuppad, who presented the “Externalization of Test Cases for Quick Delivery Talk + “Tools are my Servants. And I am the Master” Workshop & Demo.

Kunal explained through his talk how test-case management plays an important part in determining the success of automation and how externalizing test cases help us to pre-plan cases that need to be executed based on the bug-fix/impact areas.

In his session titled “Tools are my Servants. And I am the Master”, Santhosh gave us a live demo. In this tools demonstration, he was focusing on a variety of aspects or ways in how a specific tool can be used in our testing activity.

Thursday, July 23th

We started day four with another Game + Network Session by James Lyndsay and a group testing session modeled after the famous Weekend Testing, all in the name of Test, Learn and Collaborate. It was led by Ajay Balamurugadas.

In the afternoon we attended “The Art of Situational Leadership” talk and “Scale your automated tests using all one automation tool – TestProject” (demo) led by Sumeet Panjabi and Geosley Andrades respectively.

Sumeet and Geosley’s talk was focused around a shared language for talking about leadership bringing the relationship between an individual’s development level and the leadership style to follow. He talked about how to be a situational leader allowing you to partner with your people and build an environment of higher trust, positive intentions, and significant results. It was a powerful session on the art of situational leadership.

Though I have been a silent learner and observer, I was very happy to be here this week and attended the inspiring sessions with a lot of interest and I hope to see you all again next week.


Astrid WinklerAstrid Winkler is a budding freelance journalist and content writer from beautiful Switzerland. She is a Project Manager by profession.

Creativity is her passion and writing is her lost-and-found love which she is willing to develop with more care. 

Connect with Astrid on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter @AstridWinkler4