I returned from Potsdam, Germany roughly a week ago.  I had the immense pleasure of participating in Agile Testing Days – speaking and interviewing speakers and participants – and on the Monday, “moderating” the finals of the Software Testing World Cup – an international testing contest.

Others have written about the testing contest in detail – I judged some continental contests and was present for the finals.  The cool thing was that the conference hosts flew the winners of each of the continental qualifying contests to Germany for Agile Testing Days, put them up and gave them all conference passes.  Pretty cool.

I found myself doing something resembling “play by play” at the testing contest – which proved more difficult than I expected! The challenge was describing something I could see but – even if you zoomed over with a camera – might not “see.”  I don’t know if that makes sense – ah well.  It was an excellent time.

The rest of the week, I kept running into various competitors.  We talked about testing and life and communications and… well, there were a few other points. 

As I was on my way out – at Tegel Airport checking in for my flight – there were some tester/competitors there also.  We spoke of the conference and the experiences we had individually and together – and the takeaways we had.

Then there was the topic that is always near and dear to me “This was great. I learned so much and have loads of stuff to bring back.  They (the company) will never pay for me to come back here next year.”

So I said, “Well, there is a way – Speak.” (Insert a chorus of “No! I can’t! I’m terrible at speaking in front of people!”and other similar comments.)

Here’s what I mean –

You just returned from a conference with loads of opportunity for learning and meeting people and hanging out and talking and… yeah.  You get the idea.

You have loads of notes and ideas.  The boss is probably going to want to know what you came back with and – really importantly – how can they be implemented at the company. 

BING!  (as in a bell going off…)

There is your entrance! 

Take the information you brought back – make sure it is written down or recorded in some way to help you remember it. 

Here’s the hard part: Try the ideas.

Maybe not all at once – but maybe one at a time.  Look at the ones likely to help your organization and try them.  Not just once but try them several times.  If they work the first time, you want to be sure that that was not a one-off.  If they don’t work the first time, was that because of the way you tried to implement them?  Who knows!  Look to see what happens. 

Record what you tried to do.  Record what you hoped would be the results. Record the results. Then, record your own reactions to what you learned from the trying of it. 

Record what you learned – how did it impact what you do and how can it be of value to your company?  Then, take these notes and ideas – write them out.  Describe your journey.

Then share it.

Writing. Speaking. Having a coffee with people at the office.  Having a beer with folks after work. 

The more you do these things,  the easier it becomes. 


What triggered this was a conversation leaving Agile Testing Days.  That is a really good conference.  However, these ideas can be applied to any set of conference learnings or take-aways. 

Try them.  Be bold.

I have every confidence in you.