I love going to conferences. After a good conference I always come back to work full of energy and with a thousand new ideas to try out. Conferences inevitably boost up my enthusiasm a couple of levels. Usually my network has expanded quite a bit too, and I’ve met people that are not only friendly and interesting, but also amazing sources of useful tips, advice and insight.

Even though I’m fortunate enough to work with a great bunch of testers, nothing beats the intensity of the testing conferences where approaches and techniques are scrutinized, refuted and worshipped into the wee hours.

What do I look for in a conference?

  • Enthusiasm: Attandees that are there because they’re passionate about the topic, and not because the conference is at a fancy resort, or because they want to skip work for a couple of days. Judging the level of enthusiasm at a conference is hard to do in advance if it’s a conference you’ve not been to before, but I have faith in my peers and ask around – someone is bound to have been there.
  • Topic: I want to be enthusiastic too, so of course the topic of the conference has to be something I care about strongly.
  • Socialising: The time outside the sessions is usually at least as important. There must be time for just hanging out and talking about testing. That’s one reason why I usually prefer to stay clear of the really huge conferences – there seems to be an inverse relationship between the number of attendees and the number of productive interactions.
  • Price: Yes, the price matters, but I’m also prepared to pay for quality (come on, I’m a tester!).

What’s on my confence schedule for the next couple of months? Well, no less than three conferences I’m very much looking forward to:

  1. Let’s Test, Sweden, May 7-9
  2. CAST 2012, USA, July 16-18
  3. TesTrek Vancouver 2012, Canada, July 25-26

I hope to bump into you!