ConTest, New York and a Mockingbird

Interesting times we all are going through, right? 

A lot of thoughts are rushing in my head as I am writing this letter from my home-office. I am looking outside the window, sipping a cup of coffee, getting up from the chair, moving around, then coming back, deleting some lines and writing them again. 

No, I don’t feel lost. I am just wondering what is the right thing to do in given times and the circumstances we are currently living.

Towards the end of January when Anna Royzman, founder of Test Masters Academy asked me to chair the Program Committee for ConTest NYC 2020, I jumped with joy. I have a special respect for conferences by Test Masters Academy and New York is the place that has always inspired me to do great things in life. Guess what must I be feeling If I know I will get to combine these two? Pure bliss! I tell you!   

When I asked Anna why she has chosen me to do it, she reminded me of the words Jerry Weinberg had said about me and the project Tea-time with Testers, which I am immensely proud of.  I enjoy bringing people together and create great stuff by working closely with them. Working with people to bring out the best in them and thereby bringing out best in myself, is something that truly motivates me from within. And I have accepted that challenge with great enthusiasm. 

Wasting no time after that, I am working together with Conference Chair Priyanka Halder and we have built an outstanding Program Committee to help us build a great program for this year. Each member of the program committee is someone I have closely worked with or have great respect for their abilities and specialties for this challenging task. 

In case you are wondering what theme we have chosen for the conference, then I would say it is QualiTri. The model for software quality that I firmly believe in and which I have woven around Project, People and Product notions of Software Quality. 

That said, we are thrilled to hear about your ideas, stories, lessons learned, inventions made or diverse implementation of existing ideas, your experiments with new tech stacks, processes that helped you or made things worse, or anything you think is something the world should know about. We look forward to hearing it all.  In short, we are looking for presentations and workshops on the following topics:

  • Latest IT trends and technologies
  • Modern Quality Engineering practices
  • Innovative techniques in software testing 
  • The testing of emergent and newest technologies (case studies)
  • Team player and leadership skills
  • Testing role in XP, Agile, DevOps
  • Hottest tools and methodologies
  • Mastering Software Testing  expertise
  • Working in cross-functional teams
  • Self-motivation and influencing skills
  • Career development opportunities
  • Effective communication and team-building techniques
  • Leading and influencing whole team quality
  • Coaching testing, facilitation techniques
  • Understanding and navigating through new organizational processes such as Agile, Lean/Kanban, DevOps (new skills, disciplines, and attitudes needed, etc.)
  • Managing and leading testing and quality processes
  • Games and interactive sessions to teach any of the above

Practical experience over generic statements is preferred.  Exercises and hands-on techniques are highly encouraged. And if you still need inspiration then here are some ideas to help you get started:

Considering given uncertain conditions around the globe, yes, we are accepting remote presentations too. 

As I am writing this personal CFP, I am picturing a great conference taking place in my mind and that makes me excited. However, I am aware of the situation around and the implications of the same on the possibility of the physical, lively, in-person conference taking place in November. But when I asked myself once again, what is the right thing to do? I remembered my brain-pickings from “To kill a Mockingbird” that I watched in Broadway last year. That is, “Trying to do the right thing, is the right thing to do”. 

As a passionate tester who has always loved doing things for the community, and as a Program Chair for ConTest NYC 2020, I believe that trying to make this conference happen and put together a great program for the community out there, is the right thing to do. 

Hence this letter, hence this Call for Proposals. Together with the entire organizing committee, I look forward to hearing from you. 

Lalitkumar Bhamare [Program Chair – ConTest NYC 2020]