Taking ideas directly to the testing community via Poster/Concept Paper presentations is a valuable way to get discussions started on new trends or build up thoughts for a future Technical Paper.
Q: Why did you decide to do a Concept Paper?
A: To be perfectly honest, I initially decided to write the paper for the discount to the conference! My company didn’t have a history of sending testers to conferences at the time, so I knew I’d be paying out of pocket, but attending the conference was important to me. I needed a way to fit it into my normal budget, and the discount made that possible.
The discount is what initially drew me in, but the chance to share ideas I’d learned that may help others was also a motivator. I was hopeful that I’d get more good ideas for resources and new insights from other attendees. I’d been reading a lot of testing resources that encouraged community participation and the sharing of ideas. So once I realized I had something others might benefit from, I wanted to try it out. The poster paper was a really good way to do that. It was less intimidating than trying to create a technical paper and a presentation, but it still gave me the opportunity to expose my idea to lots of people and generate conversations with others in the testing field.
Q: How was the experience?
A: The things that stand out the most strongly are:
I had lots of conversations with great people about the work I presented.
A few people questioned some of my ideas, which was a good thing, and I appreciated that.
No one made me feel like a fool. Luckily, I participate in an online chat room with other testers, so my idea was vetted pretty well.
The conversations were intellectual but casual.
I didn’t need to have any prepared statements, but in hindsight having a loose brief summary in mind might have helped.
People appreciated my presence and what I had to say.
I didn’t put my name on the poster! Whoops! Put your name on the poster!
Q: How did it help you in your work?
A: The biggest benefit from presenting the paper was that it increased my confidence in what I was doing and the approach I was taking. It encouraged me to continue learning to find new ideas to bring to my work.<
It also allowed me to attend the conference, which exposed me to lots of different types of professionals. I talked to people who worked in mobile spaces and talked about things to think about when testing our new mobile app. I talked to business professionals about ways I could communicate with the business-oriented people in my company, including my boss
My takeaways included a big increase in confidence, a sense of community, a desire to continue participating in conferences, and encouragement to explore more ideas that I can share in the future.
Q: Would you encourage other people to try it?
A: Yes. This could be your only presenting experience, or it could be the first step to presenting more in the future, but it’s worth it either way.