I have reported on Estonia before. Now we’re doing a peer conference, here in Tallinn.

Yes, the Context-Driven testers of Estonia (the ones who focus on their skills rather than “best practices” and “certifications”) are beginning to form an active community. <emperor voice>It is as I have foreseen it!</emperor voice>

The theme of the conference is “My worst testing moment and what I learned from it.” We have heard from:

  • Kristjan Uba, who spoke about almost missing a bug in a remote control.
  • Aire Kurgpõld, who was mildly disappointed in the rate of bug fixing in her company.
  • Madis Jullinen, who experienced boredom (while testing).
  • Ervin Hülp, who bought QuickTestPro and then didn’t like it.
  • Indrek Kõnnussaar, who had trouble fixing a bug.

(Oh, and I read some items from a list of more than 30 mistakes I’ve made in my career. I couldn’t decide if being fired, almost being fired, or resigning were the “worst” moments. I also told a story about mismanaging testing for Borland’s Turbo Profiler.)

All I can say is that testing worst moments in Estonia are apparently hard to come by. But testers here are pretty young. They can look forward to a long career of mistakes and misfortunes yet to come.

Peer Conference Magic

Once again, I’m seeing the wonderful effect of peer conferencing: where everyone is a speaker, everyone is a delegate, and when you stand up to tell your story, you stay there until EVERYONE is finished questioning you. People get to know each other in a deeper way. Reputations are built. Community is created. You don’t get that from exhibition conferences. You don’t get that from just going to work each day.

When you speak at a peer conference, you are taking a mild but important risk. You can’t hide or run. If you say nothing, that is noticed. If you speak badly, that is noticed. You earn the reputation, pretty much, that you deserve.

I can think of nothing better for the testing world than to hold more of these events. It is excellent medicine against the encroachments of creeping certificationism.

Official List of Participants

  • Oliver Vilson
  • Madis Jullinen
  • Kristjan Uba
  • Rasmus Koorits
  • Indrek Kõnnussaar
  • Ervin Hülp
  • Aire Kurgpõld
  • Helena Jeret-Mäe
  • Raimond Sinivee
  • Aare Nurm
  • James Bach
  • Sergei Sergejev
  • Harles Paesüld