Ideas are worthless until you get them out of your head and see what they can do.
Before joining The Test Tribe as a full-time employee, I had a series of discussions with Mahesh Chikane about his plans and ideas for TTT as a community. Among the long roadmap of ideas he had in his mind was to have a conference that focuses on hands-on learning and not just PPT-based talks. Essentially, he envisioned having a conference of workshops.
This conference format was never ever tried in the testing community/conference space before (though it was tested in other areas from where we took inspiration). So there were a lot of unknowns for which we had to find answers, how long the workshops can be, how many workshops can we include, how long the entire conference can be, how do we handle a situation where we need to do it for more than a weekend, etc.
However, just before the TestFlix event days, I got a call from Mahesh that we could launch this on TestFlix Opening. The answers to all the above questions were still not with us, for we never had a discussion that focused on them (We discussed all of these fleetingly as a side topic in some other talks, but never as a focussed discussion). So we debated for a while on whether we should launch it or not, but in the end, we decided to go ahead and give it a shot at Launching with just a 1-page landing page that did not have any detail of the topic/instructors till then. (Remember, we still did not have any answers to these questions)
With some substantial initial motivation from the early believers, it was time for us to find answers to the unexplored paths which I shared above.
Over the next few weeks, we brainstormed deeply with our think tank (Ajay, Balaji, Geosley, Sandeep) on the potential instructors, the format, the documentation required, the duration, the rough schedule etc. Documentation was a critical step for Worqference since 100s would be taught together, and the instructors would have limited time to do the workshop, so the initial prep by attendees should be solid).
It was time for execution for Worqference to begin in full swing. One of the most vital parts of Worqference was its Marketing. Since this was a new format with a stellar instructor lineup, its value had to be communicated smartly to the entire community.
We talked to numerous community members and took their input for Worqference regarding how to improve it, what we can add, etc. and made changes accordingly. Being a new format, we needed to experiment comprehensively on its marketing and communication so that as many people could join it. (While some experiments did really well, some did not do well).
The hustling continued close to the event day, and then it was time for the D-Day.
After a grand welcome from our excellent seasoned host, Lalit Bhamare, it was time to dive straight into the workshops.
The first workshop was by Anuj Magazine on Sketchnoting. Sketchnoting is a skill known to few. Anuj demonstrated a framework using which sketchnoting can be done quickly and does not require one to be an extraordinary artist. There could not have been a better start to Worqference, for this workshop was not just learning but a lot of fun as well for the attendees.
The day continues with two parallel workshops. One on Contract Testing using PactJS by Marie Drake and the other on Digital Accessibility by Rajini Padmanabhan and Rohan Sharma. While Marie’s workshop was full-on hands-on, Rajini and Rohan’s workshop triggered the importance of accessibility and how it can be tested in organizations.
Day 1 had a fitting end with two parallel workshops, one on Systematic Product Modelling by Ajay Balamurugdas and Balaji Ponnada, the other one on Game Automation using Appium by Jonathan Lipps. While Jonathan is a stalwart in Appium (being one of its original creators), Ajay and Balaji are immensely respected for their grip on testing craft in the community. The day ended on a high, only to get better the next day.
Day 2, Saturday, 5th March, began with two parallel workshops. The first one by Lalit Bhamare on Session Based Test Management and the other one by Sai Kishore and Srinivasan on Gesture Automation using Appium.
Day 2 continued with full glory when Jess Ingrasselino and Anna Royzman took centre stage with their concurrent workshops on the Ultimate Shift Left and Leadership. On the one hand, Jess walked through the importance of understanding unit tests; Anna triggered some strong emotions and questions during her workshop, which had no slide. Yes, a conference that has a workshop with no slides and yet rated 4.7+ by the attendees.
As Day1 ended on a high with almost celebrity speakers like Jonathan Lipps, finishing the remaining days on a high was paramount. Who other than Leandro Melendez could do better? Leandro engaged (and almost mesmerized the audience) with his fantastic storytelling yet practical approach to Performance testing in the modern world.
It was now time for the final day of Worqference. It had to be a fitting end to the months of hard work put in by the organizing team, volunteers, instructors and everybody who supported us.
Day 3 began with 2 young but energetic instructors, Gaurav Narwani and Kunal Ashar, who took parallel workshops on Getting Started with Security testing and Getting Started with Cypress. The instructors jumped into practical hands-on from the first minute, engaging the audience through interactive polls and delivering 2 stellar workshops.
The youthful energy continued when Rahul Parwal took the stage in one of the two following workshops. While Rahul delivered a workshop on Bug Advocacy, Corina Pip had a workshop on a topic every automation tester must attend, “Making your selenium tests reliable using waits”.
Speaking of energy, if you have ever heard Rob Sabourin, you will not disagree when I say his energy is contagious. Hence, to wrap up this one of its kind events, it was Rob’s turn to do a workshop on code listening. Again, Rob did full justice to what was expected from him and the audience, who was constantly learning from the last 3 days, got the energy capsule they wanted.
Like all good things, Worqference came to an end. However, the energy of the participants did not drop. The wrap session was full of messages and emojis and
how this event helped them.
Social Media was flooded with attendees’ experience sharing posts, and nothing could make the organizing team happier.
Do you call it a conference if there are no contests in it? Worqference had some traditional and new games and had some fantastic winners from the 3 days. Round of applause for our contest winners.
TTT is because of its strong team. We cannot thank the entire team enough for pulling this new experiment off in such a manner.
And that’s it, that’s the end to Worqference. We hope the entire community enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed organizing it.
Signing off from the first edition of Worqference. We will be back with more editions, and who knows something different :P.
P.S: If you liked reading about Worqference here, don’t forget to check out our upcoming events 🙂
Oh! By the way, did you register for Cignithon 2022 – Global Hackathon on Digital Assurance, Quality Engineering & Software Testing by Cigniti Technologies