So after another fantastic trip to EuroSTAR I started writing this post on the train home, having gotten way too little sleep but having met yet again some wonderful and fantastic people, and I felt I had the need to write about it instead of sleeping.
[Update]: One danger of writing a post like this is that you inevitebly forget someone. In my case I realised I had forgotten Simon Knight and Anna Baik from the UK, sorry guys I liked meeting you and hope we run into each other 2014.
In some of my previous blog posts I have mentioned that one of the biggest takewaways for me when going to a conference is meeting the people there, old friends I only see once or twice a year, and also a hoard of new friends and aqcuaintances as well.
I'm continoually amazed that I still meet so many new people in addition to old friends.
But I also love the fact that our community is so diverse and I get too meet people from so many different countries, just have a look at my mind map below.
I would really have loved to give you a recap on which days I met who, but I got to admit that the memory is a bit fuzzy, so instead I just want to mention the people I met so you know people of interest if you're ever on the same conference, or who to follow on twitter.
It would be a bit amiss if I didn't mention that this year one of the persons I really looked forward to seeing again was Rob Lambert (@Rob_Lambert), if you've read my blog post from last years EuroSTAR you might remember us hitting it off there, now Rob and I have communicated back and forth over the last year in email, twitter etc, but it actually feels like I've known him much longer.
Though you should be warned: On the first "Non-Rob-Lambert-Day-At-EuroSTAR" I went responsibly to bed just after midnight, on the first "Rob-Lambert-Day-At-EuroSTAR" I ended up going to sleep just after 4 a'clock in the morning... just saying...
I also met up with some of the "DEWT:s", the every so loud and lovable Huib Schoots (@huibschoots), test lab apprecntice Ruud Coox (@ruudcox), and the kind and intelligent Jean-Paul Varwijk (@Arborosa). Also this year I got to know a new member from DEWT, Jeanne Hofmans (@JeanneHofmans), apparently one of the few women who can keep Huib in check with just a look.
I was glad to meet up again with two of the Swedish testers from the blog "thoughts from the test-eye" again. Rikard Erdgren, who this year was on the EuroSTAR Program Comittee, and Martin Jansson (@martin_jansson) who on Monday was part of organizing "Test-Out-West" a local meetup in Gothenburg for testers.
On my first sunday evening I met with my glad, and very tall, test neighbour from Norway Geir Gulbrandsen (@GeirGulbrandsen) who I now somehow have managed to meet up with at both EuroSTAR 2012, Let's Test 2013 and then EuroSTAR 2013.
I spent a lot of time in the test lab at EuroSTAR and that of course meant spending time with the "test lab masters" Ru Cindrea (@ru_altom) from Romania, now living in Finland, who also is a total "Little Prince" fan, which I'll come back to a bit later, and of course my namesake Kristoffer Ankarberg (@KrisAnkarberg).
I also go to meet and discuss a lot with John Stevenson (@steveo1967) again, a man that's frightfully intelligent and always can be found with a vey friendly smile (check out his blog).
And of course I got to spend time with two of my favorite Canadian testers, Michael Bolton (@michaelbolton), Program Chair at EuroSTAR 2013, RST Class Instructor, Tester Extraordinaire, and Fiona Charles (@FionaCCharles) a woman with a ridiculous amount of testing experience, always friendly and available for a chat, but who is one of the strong women in Software Testing that I know of.
I love talking with Fiona, and it would be amiss to not mention that I to this date partook in the best workshop ever that Fiona led at LetsTest 2013 on "How to say no as a tester."
But as nice as it is to meet old friends and catch up (there was a lot of catching up into the late hours of the mornings), it's equally fun to meet new people, some of which I have a feeling I will consider friends for many years to come.
Richard Bradshaw (@FriendlyTester) and me have been conversing and following each other on twitter for a while now, and this time around I got to meet him (finally!), although I am afraid I insulted Richard on our first evening together (don't ask...), something he of course was a real good sport about. Richard is one of those treasures to meet.
I have previously briefly met Tony Bruce (@tonybruce77) at LetsTest 2013 but we only got to exchange a few words at lunch one day. I listened to Tony's talk on asking questions at EuroSTAR this year and I'm glad to have socialiced a lot more with him "after-conference-hours" now.
Some other fantastic UK testers I met with this time was Stephen Blower (@badbud65), Vernon Richards (@TesterFromLeic), David Evans (@DavidEvans66) and Dorothy Graham (@DorothyGraham) who I co-fasciliatetd with on wednesday.
I was very glad to meet briefly with Laurent Bossavit (@Morendil) who wrote the book "Leprechauns of software development", if you havn't read it then its a must, its available as an e-book but also in paper print.
From our neighbouring country in the north east I got to meet some really fun testers (got to keep an eye on finnish testers as I discover more and more of them), crazy (again don't ask...) Pekka Marjamäkki (@pekkamarjamaki) who did a very moving personal experience report at EuroSTAR, one of which I unfortunately missed due to fascilitating, Teemu Vesala (@teemuvesala) a finnish tester that had gotten on board towards the end in the test lab, a guy who you should watch out for if you need a security tester, and also of course Maaret Pyhäjärvi (@maaretp) who is one of the members of this years program committe for EuroSTAR.
I had a very long and good discussion with Mareet about testers, developers, and culture in an organization.
A person I've known about for a long time, but for some reason havn't met until now is one of the organizers of LetsTest and also one of the prominent testers on the Swedish Test scene, Johan Jonasson (@johanjonasson).
I fascilitated Johans talk on "Test Strategy - Why Should You Care?", if you can, then make you sure you watch his presentation on the subject, or invite him to your company or similliar, it was top notch stuff and I think I'll never look at a test strategy again in the same way (note to self: Aqcuire slides from Johan somehow).
I also met with Mauri Edo (@Mauri_Edo) from Spain, someone I've known from twitter for a while now, and if I have one regret from EuroSTAR 2013 it is that I didn't get to spend more time with Mauri as we just kept running past each others... hmm trip to Spain perhaps?
On the night of the EuroSTAR party I got seated next to Keith Klain (@KeithKlain) from the states, something I was very glad for as i could tell him how much I liked he's key-note and also chat a bit.
I simply must mention now that I spent some time with Paul Holland (@PaulHolland_TWN) as well, one of the most funny (and sharp) testers I've met.
Paul was the lead fascilitator at EuroSTAR, gave us training on the subject and made sure to organize it all, kudos to Paul for making a fantastic job on that.
Paul is also "the third" RST guy since a year or so that teaches Rapid Software Testing together with Michael Bolton and James Bach (@jamesmarcusbach). I partook in James's workshop on Monday on "Rapid Software Testing Management".
And last, but not in the lest, I got to mention meeting with Adina Moldovan (@adinnaplus) and Alexandra Casapu (@coveredincloth), they are also sometimes known as "the Altom-girls from Romania".
I've met them briefly before at EuroSTAR last year (they were part of TeamStar), but it was only this year I got to know them a bit more.
Adina was this year a test lab apprentice, and I got to spend a lot of time with her and Alexandra on the night of the EuroSTAR party as we were next to each other on the same table.
Now Alexandra and Adina is a close friend of Ru, and one of the discussions we had was about "Alice in Wonderland" and all its fantastic metaphors.
They then mention that "Little Prince" is also a fantastic book with depth and apparently about exploration, a book I somehow have missed but a lot of people I know read when growing up.
So before we knew it Adina and I had made an agreement that she would read "Alice in wonderland" from a testers perspective and I would do the same with "Little Prince" and then blog posts from the both of us would emerge, stay tuned.
I attended Alexandra's session as well on "Uncovering the unknown unknown" (sorry Zeger...) a presentation that simply blew me and Huib Schoots away, and we tweeted wildly about it during the session.
Alexandra did a personal experience report about when she was on a remote project and about the mistakes she made, what she learnt from it and more. It.Was.Fantastic.
So much so that before Alxeandra knew it the session had been selected for the "do-over" session, a new thing at this EuroSTAR where the participants could choose one session from all of the days that would be given again on thursday afternoon. Since I enjoyed the session so much, and I was fascinated with Alexandras presentation technique I decided to attend her session a second time and the room was full. The reviews and feedback on twitter afterwards have been raving.
Last year I said at the end of my "EuroSTAR 2012 - People" that it is the people and the friends and new acquintances you make there (I don't like the term "connections"), and I still stand by this after this years EuroSTAR.
Our community is such a friendly place and I would encourage all of you the next time you go to a conference to really try and not socialize too much with your colleagues, if you're there together, and instead meet new people.
I still recommend joining twitter and starting to follow people and that way get to know a whole lot of them beforehand so you look forward to meeting them and they you.
I'm already looking forward so to meeting my friends at 2014 years conferences, LetsTest and EuroSTAR in particular.