It’s time for Techtoberfest at work – a technology summit held every October that provides an opportunity for employees from all over the company to sign up and present on a technology of their choice. It’s traditionally been very developer-heavy, and submissions from my team are often rejected with a quick “we already have a presentation about testing, we don’t need any more.” But there was a changing of the guard this year, and a new group was asked to take it over and revamp it. Seeing an opportunity to beat our own drum and show off the hard work the test automation group had put into completing the model-driven automation framework, I asked the automation lead to submit a presentation.
As we were brainstorming about the presentation, we came up with the idea to use the AutoTweet PowerPoint add-in to tweet the talking points as the presentation progressed. We created a Twitter account to use (@ScrippsQA), installed the add-in, and got to work on the presentation. It wasn’t until a week or so before the presentation was to be delivered that we learned the organizers wanted everyone to use the same laptop to avoid glitches, snafus, and keep things rolling smoothly. While not a show stopper, we knew that we would not be able to install the AutoTweet add-in on that machine, so automatically tweeting the talking points was out. Not wanting to totally abandon the Twitter idea, we decided that we could manually send the tweets during the presentation.
There’s nothing groundbreaking in doing this, but we thought it might generate more involvement or interest in the presentation, and provide an alternate method for people to participate if they were unable to actively attend. Also, because of the rapid growth of social media and online collaboration tools and their acceptance in the workplace, it gave us the opportunity to show that we’re proactive and ahead of the curve; we’re not your parent’s QA department. Going beyond Techtoberfest, we could see continued use of Twitter as another viable means of communication with both our teams and our customers.

With that thought, I’ll leave you with the Storified version of the tweets we made.