What I took back to work with me from the conference
By Alan Ark
One of my favorite things about PNSQC is the fact that it gives me a chance to hit the pause button. Blasting through the day-to-day responsibilities that are thrown our way can lead to a laser focus that can create blind spots. The conference breaks that cycle, giving me a few days to get the perspective of my colleagues. I always look forward to talking story and sharing our different and varied experiences with each other. PNSQC 2016 proved to be all of that and more.
This year, as with previous years, the conference gave me immediate takeaways that I was able to apply at work. In the fourth quarter of 2016 – right after the conference – I was responsible for starting up a completely new scrum team at my company, SureID. Previously, all of the SDET’s on my product line were embedded on various scrum teams. While this made it easy to focus on the needs of any particular team, there was mounting technical debt that needed to be attacked as to reduce the friction in our collective development activities.
In part, based on what I learned at the conference, I was able to convince the rest of engineering leadership that the SDETs should be a shared resource that could tackle the problems that affect our engineering teams across the board. While the wheels were put into motion before PNSQC, many of the talks I attended, along with the many face-to-face conversations had with fellow attendees, reinforced ideas that I need to remember as I move forward in this new role.
Keynote speaker Peter Khoury, a consultant, and coach reminded me in his address to draw upon my past experiences to apply to current situations, to continue to accumulate new positive experiences to use in the future. I’ll use these thoughts when I’m in strategy meetings or brainstorming situations for new projects.
Brian Okken’s presentation, How Testing Strategy can Increase Developer Efficiency and Effectiveness. reminded me that using the proper testing strategy can make everyone more efficient. I’ll use this as we cull the current swath of automated tests to see if they are relevant, efficient, and as useful as they can be.
Rebecca Long was so right when she said it is all about the people. Sometimes we forget the human factor in our work. Without people, where would we be? No process moves forward if there is no one to execute on it. No team can move forward without people working together towards the same goal.
Harish Krishnan gave me some new ideas to try around application security in his co-presentation When Continuous Integration Meets Application Security.
What ideas did you take away, and which ones have you tried?
I would love to hear about your experiences as well! How do you want to be involved with PNSQC 2017?