Looking back at EuroSTAR 2023 Conference

After a few years I’ve decided to attend a testing conference again. I always perceived the EuroSTART as the best conference in Europe, so when the opportunity to attend it arisen, it was actually easy decision. I won’t lie, my expectations were quite high. Were they met? Let me start with the good stuff. The conference was so well organized - friendly stuff (sometimes maybe even too much familiar - not sure why were made to do mexican waves before one of the talks), great venue, everything was on time and streamlined. All of these also applies to the gala event. One can clearly see that behind all of there’s very skilled team with many experiences. All good then? Well, not really to be honest. Quality of some of the talks was really questionable. I’ve attended 15 talks within the 3 days. There were only like two of them they really stood out - what I mean by it, is that there were really inspirational and providing me a lots of value. Followed by talks I classified for myself as above average. I took from them one or two ideas I immediately started projecting into our team’s context. Unfortunately, there was not many of them, again maybe like 2 of them. And what about the other 11 talks? Well, the majority of them were either good in terms of form, but not saying anything new for me. But there was one more group of talks, within those 11 - and those talks were actually, ehm, weak? One of the reasons why I was not attending the conferences for some time is that I got tired of talks about how and why testers/testing activity is important. And guess what? The “we testers are important” themed talks were there. The problem is what kind of values those self-assuring talks provide? At a conference where majority of the public is from testing industry? I simply do not see it there at all. Actually, Maaret Pyhäjärvi said in her talks, that, we as testers, need to do better. And I agree with that (that’s why you attend a conference, right?), but those omnipresent self-assuring talks do not simply help that in any way.

Let’s enclose it by having a look at a different aspect of the conference, that’s social aspect of it. It can provide you great value if networking is what you are after. This year there was around 1000 delegates with very diverse backgrounds - developers, testers, managers, and many others. The conference mobile made it even easier, you could have asked to meet any attendant (delegate, exhibitor, organization) of the conference, or easily exchange contact information. Plus there were community gathering throughout the day as ask me anything sessions with the speakers or test clinic, where the delegates could have presented their problems and get the advices from the community.

As you most likely already understood, it really depends on your nature what value EuroSTAR conference can provide to you. If you are more like me, that’s rather an introvert so to say, you might have not got the same value from this event, as a person who is very extrovert and was able to make many new connections out there.

As a final note I want to say I have huge respect for all the speakers, for taking the courage to expose themselves to the public.

Published 16 Jun 2022