Attending the EuroSTAR conference 2014 in Dublin

Working as a software tester you always have to stay in touch with everything that is new in the field: technologies, tools, platforms, best practices etc. You read articles, blog posts, books or even syllabuses for various certifications. But joining software testing communities and attending conferences stays on top of all these because it is the best way to meet new people, share ideas and get in touch with the latest trends in the software domain. There are many events worldwide where people present their work in the field of software testing and EuroSTAR is one of the greatest events.


The way to EuroSTAR 2014

Since 2012 I have attended the events organized by the national community of software testing in my home city of  Timisoara. It is called “Tabăra de Testare” (the testing camp) and it is a community of testers and other professionals in the IT industry where people share their knowledge and learn from the professional experiences of other members during informal monthly meetings. Monthly meetings at the Tabăra de Testare are organized by using Meetup, a dedicated events platform.


In October 2014 Tabăra de Testare organized the contest called “Tabăra de Testare is camping at EuroSTAR !”. I have entered the contest and written an article called “Tabăra de Testare – meeting people and sharing ideas”. I was fortunate enough to have my article drawn as the winner of the contest. So, I have won the prize: a 3 day conference ticket to EuroSTAR! The company I work for has taken care of accommodation and transport expenses.


The EuroSTAR conference

Every time I have searched for the main events that are held in Europe, EuroSTAR was always the most interesting conference found in the results list. The agenda always includes the most relevant topics presented by well known and experienced speakers from around the world. I always wanted to attend such a great event and now I got this opportunity!


The location in 2014

EuroSTAR is the premier and largest gathering of European software testing professionals. It takes place every year since 1993 in different cities like London, Edinburgh, Munich, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Brussels. In 2014 EuroSTAR was held in Dublin, Ireland. The venue was the CCD (Convention Center Dublin), a perfect place to host it.



The agenda

The first day was reserved for tutorials and the next 3 days for the conference. As I have written before, I had access to the 3 days conference. There were keynotes held in the main auditorium followed by parallel presentation sessions which you could attend. You could choose between 4 different topics. The fact that you could see a short preview of all the topics on the conference website was very welcome. I liked the way each keynote started: before each keynote in the auditorium, highlights videos were displayed on the large screen above the stage while the official conference music was played. After that, the programme chair Paul Gerrard introduced the topic and its speaker and welcomed the speaker on stage. This also proves why EuroSTAR is such a great event! There were plenty of brakes for discussions between participants and speakers. An expo area for companies was also organized. There, you could interact both with companies that offer software testing services and with companies that develop software testing tools. For testing your skills and social activities, there was a testing lab available. Social events were held every evening in various places including the famous Trinity College and Guinness brewery for people to interact, chat and share experiences. In the lunch break I could try the traditional Irish food that was offered to the participants and in the evening an Irish band entertained us with traditional Irish music for about a half an hour.

In the end, the closing ceremony was really impressive because Paul Gerrard presented a summary of the 2014 edition and all organizers went on stage while a traditional Irish song was played in the background. He concluded the 2014 event by welcoming on stage the programme chair (Ruud Teunissen) for the next EuroSTAR conference that will be organized in 2015 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Ruud announced the EuroSTAR 2015 theme “Walking the testing talk” and invited us to join the conference in 2015. During this closing ceremony I had a feeling I was attending the Olympic Games closing ceremony!



The topics

I have attended different presentations covering various topics like automation, skills, leadership, test strategy, agile and security. All of them were interesting and it was quite hard to decide which one to attend. I will further describe some of them which I liked very much.

The Internet of things presented by Andy Stanford-Clark (UK): Andy gave us an insight on how the Internet is growing and its impact on our lives. Nowadays, you can see in real time if your train, plane or ship is running on time. You can also monitor the electricity consumption in your home and the consumption of every home appliance like TVs or refrigerators directly on your smartphone or tablet via the Internet. All these require a large amount of data to be transmitted and the systems must be designed accordingly. Solutions should be based on some key aspects like scalability, availability and security


Gamification –  How to engage and get help from users of a test framework, presented by Kristoffer Nordtröm (Sweden): Kristoffer presented to us how his company implemented a method to get more feedback for a test framework developed inside the company. All the employees were involved in a game: they were asked to participate with any idea that could improve the tool and they were rewarded with points for that. After obtaining a specific number of points, they got some prizes: t-shirts, pencils or coffee mugs. Basically, this activity is fun to do and it helps improve the activity within a company and the communication between people inside it.


Testing Traps to Avoid in Agile Testing presented by Janet Gregory (Canada): Janet summarized her experience with different problems she faced when applying the agile testing concept and she has put them into 5 categories called: Waiting for Tuesday’s Build, Testers aren’t “really” part of the team, Maintaining a “Quality Police” mindset, Trying to test everything manually, Forgetting the big picture. She has also presented the risks for every category and proposed some solutions in order to avoid problems.


What ? Why? Who ?How ? Of  Application presented by Declan O’Riordan (UK) won the best presentation award at EuroSTAR 2014. Declan has a lot of experience in web application security and he has described to us the web applications vulnerabilities and he provided us with examples for possible risks and attacks. He also invited us to read some guidelines written by him which contain some best practices regarding web application security.


Diversity in your team – embrace it or lose the best thing you have presented by Julie Gardiner (Sweden) was my favorite presentation. She described a method to assess the testers’ working style by answering a set of questions. She identified 4 tester styles: the pragmatist, the pioneer, the analyst and the facilitator. The presentation was quite interactive because Julie let us complete the questionnaire and so we could discover our own testing style! To better understand these types, she explained the 4 types by giving examples on a certain situation and told us how a person belonging to each type would react in that specific situation.


Changing Mindsets – Learn, Test, Lead [by Example] presented by Alexandru Rotaru (Romania): Alexandru presented a way to change the mindset regarding the software testing activity and emphasized the importance of it. He talked about the software testing community in Romania called “Tabăra de Testare” (the testing camp), a community that he co-founded.


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Final thoughts

Attending the EuroSTAR conference was a great experience. It is simply one of the most important events in the software industry in Europe, a perfectly organized gathering of the best professionals in the domain and a tremendous opportunity for me to discover the latest trends in software testing.


Thank you EuroSTAR for organizing this great event and “Tabăra de Testare” for offering me the opportunity to attend the EuroSTAR conference!




2 editii speciale la Tabara de Testare Bucuresti

In luna noiembrie am implinit 2 anisori!!! Deoarece era o editie aniversara ne-am decis ca aceasta intalnire sa fie una de socializare, sa ne bucuram impreuna de comunitatea pe care ati ajutat sa o cream, sa rasplatim cativa dintre membrii comunitatii mai activi si cu contributii speciale,bineinteles sa facem planuri pentru urmatorii 2 ani si sa ne bucuram de surpriza dulce pe care am avut-o.Ne-am intalnit la Have a Cigar Pub o locatie foarte draguta unde ne-am readus aminte de cateva lucruri pe care am reusit sa le realizam in ultimii 2 ani:

  • 400 membri chiar in ziua editiei aniversare – se pare ca devine o traditie sa ajungem la un numar rotund (anul trecut ajungeam la 300)
  • 26 de intalniri in cei 2 ani de Tabara de Testare Bucuresti
  • Realizarile membrilor Tabara de Testare: premiul pentru cea mai buna prezentare la SeeTest, participarea la concursuri de genul Software Testing World Cup, castigarea de bilete la Eurostar, scris carti despre calitate si lista poate continua.
  • O parte din membrii comunitatii ne-au readus aminte ce le place la Tabara de testare si de ce continua sa vina. Un mic exemplu:“ Eu vad in Tabara de Testare Bucuresti un grup de oameni prietenosi si pasionati de testare, care sunt dispusi sa te asculte si sa te ajute. Inca de la prima intalnire lunara la care am participat am fost incurajata sa ma implic in discutii si datorita lor am gasit raspunsul la unele intrebari ce ma rodeau de mult. ”

Multumim R/GA pentru sponsorizare si pentru toate bunatatile pe care le-am avut la aceasta intalnire.

2 anisori goodies cuttingthecake tdt grouptort

Dar surprizele nu s-au terminat aici, marele “cadou” de 2 anisori venind la urmatorul meetup din decembrie. Am avut placerea de a il avea ca invitat special pe Michael Boltonnu canteretul si nu actorul din “Office Space”, ci faimosul tester.

Cum ne asteptam la o participare foarte mare, intalnirea a avut loc la Tech Hub unde au fost aproximativ 100 de persoane(cea mai mare intalnire de pana acum referitor la numarul de participanti).

Michael ne-a delectat cu o prezentare despre “Masuratori si metrici” in care ne-a adus aminte ca totul incepe de la design si de faptul ca software development nu e o munca de fabrica. Michael a pus accentul si pe faptul ca oamenii au tendinta sa devina fixati pe numere si ca un numar de test case-uri rulate e un numar pe care se pot baza.

Ne-a fost aratat cum testerii ar putea folosi o poveste(descriere) in 3 parti care ar fi mult mai relevanta decat folosirea metricilor si a masuratorilor:

  • o poveste despre statusul produsului – ce face, ce probleme are si cum ar putea sa aiba probleme.
  • o poveste despre cum ai testat – cum ai recunoscut problemele,ce ai testat si nu ai testat, ce nu o sa testezi deloc
  • o poveste despre cat de buna a fost testarea – riscurile si costurile testarii sau de a nu testa, ce a facut testarea sa mearga mai repede sau mai incet, de ce ai nevoie si ce recomanzi.

Michael a continuat cu raspunsul la intrebarea: “De ce masuram”, cu modurile in care masuram precum si cu diferenta intre masuratori si metrici.
Un alt aspect important despre care a vorbit este numararea bug-urilor. Michael a vorbit despre timpul pe care il pierdem pentru a numara bugurile, pe cand am putea sa vedem din ce cauza s-a produs acel bug sau am putea ridica probleme care impiedica testarea.
Dupa cum va puteti da seama, numarul de subiecte atinse a fost mult mai mare decat relatarea mea asa ca va las cu prezentarea care poate fi gasita aici:
Measurements and Metrics .

De mentionat ca intalnirea a durat aproximativ 4 ore si am vrea sa multumim Optaros si TechHub pentru sponsorizare si gazduire.
Michael ne-a promis ca o sa mai vina ca invitat la intalnire noastre si nu putem spune ca de abia il asteptam din nou pe “scena” Tabara de Testare.

testing is the room photo strange ideas michael on stage the room michael 2

Am vrea sa ii multumim si lui Gabi Dobritescu pentru implicarea in Tabara de Testare in ultimii doi ani. Ne va fi dor de tine si ne vedem la Tabara de Testare Londra!!!

Asa ca de sfarsit de an nu pot decat sa va urez un an nou fericit si la cat mai multe impliniri.Ne vedem la anul cu forte proaspete si la cat mai multe intalniri Tabara de Testare Bucuresti.

Andrei Pirvulescu

P.S Prezentarea lui Michael Bolton a fost inregistrata si vom pune linkul in acest blog post.

TdT Timisoara – Editie Aniversara de 3 ani – Why CI?

Multumim tuturor celor care s-au inscris la “TdT Timisoara – Editie Aniversara de 3 ani – Why CI?”

Ne vedem azi, joi 27 noiembrie, la 18:45 la sediul 3Pillar Global (City Business Center, Coriolan Brediceanu No.10 Building B, 1st floor, Timisoara ).


  • 18:45 – 19:00 Registration
  • 19:00 – 19:20 CI for Desktop Applications
  • 19:40 – 20:00 CI for Mobile Web
  • 20:20 – 20:40 CI for Web
  • 20:40 – … Surprize aniversare!


1. Ciprian Spirea – “CI for Desktop Applications”
2. Calin Balajiu – “CI for Desktop Applications”
3. Radu Lupascu – “CI for Mobile Applications”
4. Loredana Burcas – “CI for Web Applications”

5. Alina Ionescu – Facilitator
6. Adrian Mirea
7. Ramona Baleti
8. Carmen Bonto
9. Sandu Adrian
10. Georgiana Oana
11. Radu Ticiu
12. Bogdan Orasan
13. Cristian Boldisteanu
14. Roxana Trandafir +1
16. Livia Dronca
17. Amalia Pirvanescu
18. Alex Lazarciuc
19. Ionela Peica
20. Ale Nadasan
21. Guran Alin Petre
22. Croitoru Andreea
23. Teodora Alexandra
24. Roxana Faur
25. Ioana Borhidan
26. Miriam Hirschl
27. Adela
28. Silvia Ioana
29. Schiopu Nicoleta
30. Daniel Jurescu
31. Lavinia Spirea
32. Dusita Damian
33. Oana P
34. Vasilica Dumbrava
35. Diana Ilie
36. Ktod Cristi
37. Tiu Bianca
38. Andrei Avram
39. Andra Gherman
40. Zaharie Dragos
41. Mircea Balica
42. Cristina Nedin +1
44. Mihai Balica +1
46. Maria Dobrotchi
47. Cosmin Durac
48. Lavinia Muntean +1
50. Marcu Daniel
51. Giurgiu Horea-Vlad
52. Bianca Ujupan +1
53. Ramona Ianas
54. Lazar Miutescu
56. Larisa Bulugean +1
58. Claudiu Sola
59. Roxana Rosca
60. Octavian
61. Claudia Alexuc
62. Andrita Vlad

Pentru mai multe detalii:

TdT editie aniversara de 3 ani – Why CI?

Thursday, Nov 27, 2014, 6:45 PM

3Pillar Global

60 Testers Attending

Va asteptam cu drag la Editia Aniversara de 3 ani de Tabara de Testare :)De aceasta data, gazda noastra este 3Pillar Global:”Vom prezenta cum facem Continuous Integration la 3PillarGlobal, pe 3 tipuri diferite de proiecte: web, desktop, mobile web. Vom trece prin intregul proces automat: instalarea aplicatiei in mediul de testare, rularea testelo…

Check out this Meetup →