Last Thursday I attended 'NoorderTest'. This conference was held in the CJIB building in Leeuwarden and there were 160 participants. NoorderTest is a community of testers in the Nordic Region of the Netherlands consisting of testers working at (semi)governmental companies. Once every year they organize a larger conference so they can benefit from knowledge sharing.
This year my 'Ethics Debate' was selected on the program so I had the oppurtunity as non-Nordic-tester to attend!
The reception at the venue was very nice. Every speaker was guided through the building and their rooms were their track was given was inspected so it was made sure that everything was in order. There was coffee/tea and a piece of cake at the main hall were all attendees gathered till the kick-off was done. People were already in a conversational mood, because some effort had to be made to get everybody quiet for the opening speech :-)
The main thing that occurred to me that is was such a pleasant environment and mood.
The first track I attended was that of Rik Marselis. He had an interactive session about Chaintesting according to TMap. Different people participated in the different discussions which made it nice session to have visited. Although I have to make a remark that people who were not familiar with TMap or with the book about ChainTesting according to TMap had some difficulties with some material in the track and not all information came across to each participant.
Each track was seperated by a break in which people had plenty of oppurtunity to reflect on the track they attended. Some people found these breaks a bit too long, other people really liked the longer time in between. I was of the latter group; I liked the oppurtunity to reflect a bit longer on the track I just attended; it just seemed to make it more interactive as a whole.
The second track was my own :-) Together with Budimir Hrnjak, a colleague of mine I hosted the Ethics Debate, which was fully booked! (every track had to be booked beforehand). My Mystery Guest this time was Gerard Numan of Polteq; he had a great piece about the theory of Ethics and the relation to testers and the debates held just prior to his plea.
In the break after my track several groups were still debating the stuff from the session I heard in passing by the tables, so I found this very cool. Feedback was also very good; especially to the MysteryGuest :-) Maybe I'll have to hire him to do more Mystery/Ethics stuff in the future.
The last track I missed; alas. I was still so busy with all kinds of conversations that the next tracks already started and I didn't have the heart to interrupt any speaker. So I used the time to fill out the puzzle that was in the program booklet.
At the draw it seemed that I had not wasted my time: I won the romantic night for two that was the prize to be won with the puzzle :-)
After the last speech, people had the oppurtunity to have dinner (buffet). It was a ham-mellon cocktail for starters, than Macaroni/cheese or Ham/Potatoes or Rice/Goulash and a desert. I missed the desert and the drinks afterwards because I had another appointment nearby. But I can imagine it was still a good gathering then.
The farewell gift was a black chalkboardlike mug with a crayon (so you could write on the mug) and a small box of mints.
I had a good experience at this conference. Alas it's only for members of NoorderTest, for which you have to work at one of these Nordic Companies. But if you are in the oppurtunity to attend, I would certainly recommend this meeting!