Thursday, October 08, 2009

StarWest 2009

Hi Friends,

I'm returning home from StarWest 2009 and found some time to blog as we are delayed out of Orange Country airport by about 3 hours.

It was a good conference. I was glad to see a higher attendance than at StarEast this year. In fact, the conference had a good feel for the week attendance-wise. It makes me hopeful that the economy is coming back.

There also seemed to be quite a few international attendees and people from the central and eastern parts of the U.S.

My Monday tutorial on Becoming an Influential Test Team leader went well and the two track sessions (one on Cheap and Free Test Tools and the other on Making Your Defects Pay) seemed to go well also. It's always great to meet new people and hopefully provide some helpful information.

It was also great to connect with friends. I really enjoyed Lloyd Roden's keynote on Top Testing Challenges. He and I approach the challenges from different perspectives, mine from a survey basis and Lloyd's from an observation perspective, but I really have a lot to think about from his session. I have been working a lot with test metrics lately and Lloyd's thoughts on making metrics meaningful and accurate is one that we should all take to heart. Everyone talks about test metrics, but few understand the work it takes to define them for a particular organization. I'll blog more about that later.

I also enjoyed Julie Gardner's session on test environments. Very few people tackle that topic in a conference setting and she did a good job on striking a balance of covering the topic without getting too specific.

I heard several people say they had a hard time deciding which sessions to attend. To me, that's the sign of a good program. It seemed that people were picking up lots of good testing tips and techniques.

The vendor expo was pretty well attended by vendors and attendees. Once again, another hopeful sign of an economic recovery.

So, I give the conference high marks. Kudos to SQE for a great conference.

On my free day, Tuesday, Janet and I went to a taping of the Jay Leno Show, but got there a little late. So, instead being part of the studio audience, we got to watch the outdoor segment where Tim Allen raced a Ford electric car. That was fun. We were just a few feet away from Tim and Jay and we were on camera, too. Last year, Jay waved at us at the stop light as he was one his way home driving his Arial Atom hot-rod.



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