The second LIC meeting kicked off in San Francisco on Thursday June 24th and it was a great success! Vladimir Belorusets shared his experience with test automation data (feel free to download if you are a Basic Member) and it offered the group a lot to think about and discuss at the conclusion of his presentation. Dave Willmer, Executive Director of Robert Half Technology shared his insights into some employment trends RHT has been experiencing over the past six months. Beyond the presentation, it was great to see Dave again having worked with him over the past several years so closely. He had a number of his team members attend the meeting and it was nice to get to speak with professionals so closely aligned with the current quality, development and IT testing employment market. They are an impressive group.
Automation continues to challenge the test and quality community in a number of areas. What to automate, what the best tools for automation are, and the relationship between test automation engineers, development, and quality assurance pros continues to dominate the conversation. There are some great practices going on out there and one in particular was shared at this meeting. One organization is driving a culture change that places stronger expectations for a higher quality of code on the developers before passing it on to the quality group. There was some conversation around the process reducing the need for testers, but again a robust debate generated interesting perspectives for the meeting attendees.
I received requests and volunteers for more LIC meetings in the SFC area. One of the attendees was active in a user group and highlighted the important differences between what we are doing at STP and user groups. Boiled down it is simply that we at STP want to encourage discussion on all topics of interest to the software test and quality community - where user groups want to focus on the topics around their tools. That is not a bad thing, just a different approach. We at STP pride ourselves in building bridges between people, process, and technology. We also know that every group and meeting will be different for each LIC. Member control and delivery will guarantee these meetings are timely and useful for the professionals in our industry.
I am so heartened by the fact that this group in SFC like NYC found the meeting a great first step in creating a long term initiative within the local community. It seems like there is a definite interest in our community to get together to help each other. We are optimistic that in a year from now we could have 30 active Local Interest Chapters around the country. That would be a very satisfying result for an organization that believes in the power of connecting people.
I am currently working on a supporting document that will help STP members to host a meeting in their area. It will include the vision of the Local Interest Chapters, logistics for putting on a great meeting, along with topics and facilitation that has proven to be valuable for the attendees. We here at STP will be the backbone of the infrastructure to put these meetings on - but it is the knowledge and passion of our community volunteers that will make these meetings a great success.
My next two meetings will be in Colorado Springs (our home base) and Denver. I have received interest in PA, MI, MA, and TX. If you are interested contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org...