From Russia with Love: Notes from TestCon Moscow 2020

Marko Manić, QA Engineer @ HTEC

Let's start from the beginning. I was keen to attend TestCon Moscow as early as 2018. Unfortunately, it was not possible at the time, as my previous company decided to send me to a conference held in London instead. I was disappointed at the time, but it turned out to bring me a step closer to my goal. The London conference was only related to behavior-driven development (BDD), and even though I was just an attendee there, I realized that I could also share a lot of useful experience and knowledge on the subject with the community if I get a chance.

Journey to TestCon

Fast forward to the autumn/winter of 2019. I’ve just joined the HTEC family, and suddenly, TestCon came into my focus once again. This time, I wanted to be a conference speaker. I’ve submitted my abstract but kept the whole thing to myself until I would get some feedback from the conference organizers. And just a few days later — it happened! They told me that they liked my submission and asked me if I could record a 10-15 mins video, where I would demonstrate my English language and presenting skills. I felt like a YouTuber recording myself in conference room No. 7. :)

The TestCon 2020 organization didn’t take too much time to give me the green light once again, and it was official — I was selected as one of the conference speakers! It made me feel really excited and happy.

The next step for me was to get in touch with HTEC’s HR and engineering teams in order to discuss the company's logistics support. Being an organization that supports and encourages knowledge-sharing and the professional growth of its employees, everything was arranged quickly and efficiently. Everyone was really supportive and made everything regarding my planned trip to Moscow look easy.

The conference was initially scheduled for the 30th of March, but I guess there is no need for me to explain further what happened at the beginning of that month and why the event was canceled. I must admit, I was disappointed, but it was the only reasonable thing to do considering the situation.

TestCon Moscow 2020 was moved to the middle of September. I had my hopes that I would still be in a position to visit Moscow and be there on-site, but once September came, it was clear that the circumstances would not allow it and that I would only participate in the event online. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the professionals working around the event. They made my life easier by creating a relaxed atmosphere which allowed me to focus only on my session.

Marko Manic holding his online presentation at TestCon Moscow 2020

The joys of BDD

My session was titled “Make Your Life Fun and Easy with BDD”. A look at BDD from the QA engineer’s perspective, it was designed as a sort of a personal best practice guideline stemming from practicing BDD continuously on diverse real-life projects over the span of four years. It detailed the implementation of the BDD process from beginning to end, providing BDD novices with a view of the entire flow through an easily understandable use case, and hopefully giving those with previous experience in BDD a different point of view, with different tools and procedures.

The presentation lasted 45-50 minutes with about 25-30 people in attendance on-site in the Moscow conference center, and an unknown number of people joining the online stream. I was delighted with the number of audience questions at the end of the session. For me, it was a signal that I’ve succeeded in engaging the audience with the topic. The final scene of hearing and seeing the applause from Moscow — it was like scoring a Champions League finals goal for me! :)

Right afterward, I was contacted by one of the organizers with their congratulations on the presentation. I was also asked whether I would be able to come up with one more presentation for tomorrow in case someone cancels at the last moment but, fortunately, there was no need for that.

To conclude, I just want to say how happy I am with how everything went down. I’m hoping that next year, I will be able to actually travel to Moscow and find another interesting subject to present. I also wish to encourage everyone in HTEC to apply to conferences in their field of expertise and if I can be of any help - you know where to find me. Let’s continue engineering the future together!

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