Summary Nordic Testing Days 2017 – Updated

I am just back from 3 exciting days in Tallinn attending the Nordic Testing Days.

TL;DR: it was just awesome conference! Plan it for 2018.

And now the long story. Just after I arrived in the hotel, I had only a couple of minutes to prepare for the speaker’s dinner. Looking out of my window, I knew directly our ride for the speaker’s dinner.

Nordic Testing Days - Adventures in QA
Already in the hotel lobby I met many awesome testers and the organizers, like Guna, Helena, Erik, Stephen and many more. Immediately it felt like seeing old friends and the fun started in the train. Look at the pictures.

Nordic Testing Days - Adventures in QA

The train was so small we had to squeeze in, but it was so nice to see the beautiful city of Tallinn from our ride. Lucky me, Helena was sitting next to me and she told me about the buildings we just passed.

After a couple of minutes we arrived behind the Orthodox Church and took a little walk to an awesome scenic viewpoint over Tallinn. The organizers surprised us with strawberry’s and champagne.

Nordic Testing Days - Adventures in QA

Nordic Testing Days - Adventures in QA

After some time and some champagne later, we walked to a super cool restaurant called Olde hansa, a medieval restaurant.
The food, the honey beer and the atmosphere was just amazing.

During the dinner I was chatting with Raj Subramanian from Chicago, Risko Ruus from Estonia and Oleg Nikiforov from Ukraine about Mobile testing. Plus I think our table had most of the fun 😉 (Insider: terriblesex and spelt).

After the dinner, with a full stomach, I walked back to the hotel to tweak my slides for my talk, while other speakers where heading to the next bar.

Nordic Testing Days – Day 1

The day started with a keynote from Henrik Roonemaa with the topic “Enjoy the Ride!”.

He brought up interesting views about problems in the current IT industry and what he thinks need to be fixed. I really like keynotes like this one, because they are not directly related to testing and give me always a refreshing start into a conference.
After the keynote I joined the workshop from Raj about de-mystifying mobile app testing. Since this is my field of interest I was curious if there might be something new to learn.
I really liked the introduction from Raj where every participant had to write down three reasons, what she or he likes about one app.

Once everyone was done with this talk we spoke about the different reasons. Most of the points were

  • Usability
  • Performance
  • Stability
  • Functionality

just to name some of them.

After that Raj showed his mobile testing mind map and he guided us through topics like

  • Interrupt testing
  • Consistency testing
  • Installation testing
  • Performance testing
  • Battery life testing
  • Keypads
  • Networks

For each category, he brought up real life examples. The second task in the workshop was to gather log files from Android or iOS devices. To goal was to show how powerful log file information can be for testers. The task was easy for me, since I am doing this on a daily basis. However, it wasn’t that easy for other participants so I helped them get the information from the devices.

Raj ended his workshop with “cool things” to come up and provided more information about mobile testing. Since this was a beginner workshop for mobile testing there was nothing new for me, but I really enjoyed Raj’s style of presenting the topic and the way he was interacting with the audience. In the evening Raj, his wife and I had a nice talk over a beer about the mobile world.

After the lunch break it was my time. I was happy to see so many people attending my talk and showed interest in the topic about scaling Mobile testing:

At the end of my talk there were so many questions, it was just great. I also brought 2 versions of my book to give them to attendees who asked the best question.

Nordic Testing Days - Adventures in QA
After one hour I had to leave the stage to make room for the next speaker. However, more and more people approached me to ask more questions related to my talk and of course I had to sign the books.
Talking to so many people after my talk was great and the feedback was just positive. A special thank you goes to Denys Yaremenko

We finally met in person and had a nice chat about mobile.

The time between the talks I used to talk to the sponsors at their booths. Most fun I had at the booth from Playtech. The guys build up a physical Pacman game. To control the Pacman (which was a ball) you had to use a smartphone and the build-in sensor to move the ball to all directions. I was never good at Pacman but this game was fun and just after my first game I was on first place on the leaderboard.

Nordic Testing Days - Adventures in QA
Nordic Testing Days - Adventures in QA

First price was a Kindle but in the end, I lost, ended up on 3rd place. But the guys from Playtech were funny and we had a great time together talking about bugs in the game and how to improve the strategy of the game play.
Alan Richardson closed the first day with his talk “Creating Yourself as a Tester – Make Your Own Testing Path”. Alan provided some nice ideas that you should check once the video recording is online on the conference page.
The day ended with a nice dinner, drum players and nice conversations.

Day 2

I used the second day of the conference to get up at 6:30am to go running around Tallinn to see more from the city. The air in the morning was nice a gave me the right kick to start the second day.

Fiona started the 2nd day with her keynote about ethics in software testing. She brought nice examples and provided us 10 Commandments for Ethical Software.

After Fiona’s talk I attended the following talks:

  • Thread Modeling – Masking Testing with big words by Amit Wertheimer
  • Integration Testing: You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think by Melissa Marshall
  • Up and away? How moving into software management gave me a different view of testing – Stephen Janaway

From time to time, I was checking Twitter and the hashtag #NTD2017 to see what was happening in other sessions. While browsing the timeline I found awesome tweets from Ekaterina Budnikov. Ekaterina was drawing sketch notes from each talk she attended and was tweeting them afterwards. I really enjoyed this and gave me a nice overview of the other talks, I couldn’t attend. In the end Ekaterina got a special price from the organizers for doing this, which I really like!

The closing keynote was from Kristjan Korjus with the topic “Building Smart and Reliable Self-Driving Robots”. I must say I don’t like robots and the movement behind this technology and I really hope that we will have a future without robots everywhere. But let’s see. If you want to get more information about this talk wait for the recordings, too.

In the end, the conference was closed by Kaspar Loog the conference chair.
However, the conference wasn’t closing without a party, but unfortunately without me since, I had to leave to catch my plane back to Hamburg.

Puh, this was a long post. I hope you enjoyed reading it and I hope it gave you an impression about the conference. If not, ping me on Twitter and I can share more insights with you.

I already marked the 2018 dates in my calendar. If I am not a speaker next year, I will be an attendee just to win the Kindle of course ;).

Thanks again to the whole Nordic Testing Days team to organize this great conference.

[Update] Talk recordings are now online


PS: More conference impressions can be found on the Nordic Testing Days Facebook page: