Hi, my name is Christian Baumann and I´m a software tester. During the last 15+ years, I´ve had many different roles at a lot of different companies in even more projects. But a couple of things didn't change over all these years: I always worked in software testing or at least with a focus on quality, I love to learn and expand my horizon and since my first attendance at the Agile Testing Days in 2010, I only missed one edition of this very much outstanding event.
The topic of this series is "My favorite ATD moment", and boy it's difficult to choose a single one. For me it already starts with a lot of fun choosing a costume for the MIATPP award night, months before the actual event. Next highlight is leaving home for travelling to the conference venue, doing that trip I've done so often during the last decade, to finally arrive at the hotel and meet old friends and make new ones.
Actually, I was not able to select one single favorite ATD moment, thus I decided to bend the rules a bit and go for two: One that enabled me to grow a lot professionally in my favorite field of work: test automation. A second one that totally changed my perception of who I am and what I'm doing, how I perceive myself as a person, professionally but also in private life.
I think it was in 2014, when I attended Jeff "Cheezy" Morgan´s talk about his book "Cucumber and Cheese", where he presented some test automation design patterns and even demonstrated them doing some live coding. Until then I thought I was quite an experienced and knowledgeable test automation engineer, as I was familiar with a lot of tools, frameworks and approaches. Boy I was wrong. I ordered Jeff´s book while still being at the conference and started working through it as soon as I reached home. Researching the handled topics deeper, opened up a whole new world of test automation patterns and the communities around it. This has been a real eye opener to me, added so many valuable things to my toolbox as a test automation engineer and enabled me to grow a lot professionally. I definitely wouldn't be where I am today as a test engineer without having attended that talk.
In 2019, Damian Synadinos gave the keynote “More than that”. One important advice he gave during that talk is to „un-just yourself“. By that he means that we should not make ourselves small. We’re not „just“ testers; we are testers. That resonated strongly with myself, already during that talk.
Why? I think I’m using „just“ way too often. For example at work, when I’ve filed a bug, and a developer or project manager approaches me and asks: „How the heck did you spot that? That’s such a difficult thing to find!“, I used to reply „I’ve just done my job.“. And thanks to Damian I now have a totally new perspective on that: I found that bug by doing my job, by being a tester. I've been in that field for over 15 years, I learned it, from the ground, attended training, workshops, meetups & conferences, I’m reading books & blogs, I’m practicing testing to constantly get better at it.
I’m a professional software tester, that’s why I’m able to spot that difficult-to-find-bug, that a lot of other people would not have found. I’m a tester, not „just“ a tester.
And that’s one of my most important takeaways I ever got at a conference.
There´s way more to tell about Agile Testing Days than would fit even into a whole book, and I can't wait to go there again in about 6 months from now!