I've been pretty busy since StarWest, so I haven't blogged any since then. Hopefully, I'll make up for that on this trip to The Hague and Rome. I plan to blog on three topics the next couple of weeks: 1) Highlights from EuroStar, 2) My thoughts on the economy and software testing, and 3) Travel tips for The Hague and Rome - complete with pictures.
The flight over went well - as good as it gets in coach on American Airlines. In the airport in Oklahoma City I discovered I forgot my power supply for my MacBook (Darn - I didn't use my checklist!). The Apple factor introduced a complexity factor because the airport shops assume nobody owns a Mac! So, using my iPhone in Dallas, I saw there was a PC World store in Heathrow which carried Apple accessories.
I had a five-hour layover at Heathrow in the new Terminal 5. It is an amazing place. And yes, I found a power supply for my MacBook at a great price. Even with the exchange rate, I was happy to pay it!
The British Airways club there is awesome. Man, the American Airlines' Admiral Club could take some lessons from them. They have all sorts of food and drink at no charge (of course there is the elite status required), plus wi-fi included, and one of the best things after a long flight are the individual wash rooms. This all made the long layover not so bad.
I was surprised that BA had food service on my 45 minute flight to Amsterdam. We don't even get pretzels anymore on US airlines!
Luggage is often a challenge when travelling solo overseas. I took the train down to The Hague. I had a large suitcase plus a duffle bag for my computer and other carry-on essentials. I had two people (other travellers) that helped me with my bags on and off the train. I was impressed by their hospitality!
The room here at the Golden Tulip hotel by the World Forum is great. A nice bed with a U.S. sized room and weekly rate wi-fi is awesome. I only can use 3 TV channels - CNN and 2 BBC channels, but at least I keep up with news back home.
Yesterday I presented a full-day tutorial on "Becoming an Influential Test Team Leader", which seemed to go well. I haven't seen the evaluation results yet, but we had about 50 people and it was a great time together. By the end of the day, we were all good friends!
The biggest challenges are getting adjusted to the time change (I started my session at 2 a.m. CST and ended at 10 a.m. CST!) and adjusting to the cultural differences in my remarks.
This afternoon the conference starts. James Whittaker from Microsoft speaks. Later, the guys from Google (Bharat Mediratta and Antoine Picard) give their "Testing on the Toilet" talk. That has been a big hit in the U.S.
Tommorow morning I deliver my keynote address on "Trends that May Shape the Future of Software Testing". I'm making some last-minute tweaks to reflect some recent events.
Better go now, but I'll post again soon with some impressions from the conference and some pictures.