Tag Archives: barcamp

Barcamp experience – Sessions and outlook for 2018

After my blog post from the perspective of an organizer, here is my barcamp experience report as an attendee.

Barcamp experience, the introduction

Around 40 people gathered on this Saturday and the barcamp started.  Stephan Roth did a great job to introduce the Open Space format and soon after we started writing and presenting our session ideas.

The board filled up nicely and we started the sessions soon after. The room layout of the oose campus was good, they were easy to find and enough to host several sessions in parallel.

There were even some overlapping sessions, but we shuffled them around in the time table and it worked out.

Some sessions

I also put two session topics up, the Testsphere game and one about external effect and Community of testers.

Testsphere game

Testsphere is a physical card game, designed and developed by Beren Van Daele (@EnquireTST) and MoT.

I met Beren on the Rumanian Testing Conference (RTC) 2017 and he was so kind to give me one set; which saved me the pickup, after ordering it here.

As an after-lunch activity it was great to avoid lunch stupor and also to connect people and get them talking.

Barcamp experience: Testsphere game session
Testsphere game session as after lunch activity

Christian Kram also used it in an Agile Games context, you can read more on his blog.


Außenwirkung und Gemeinschaft von Testern

In the morning I wanted to talk about what other testers do and use to increase the appearance and reputation of Testing / QA . There are still misconceptions and bad feelings and understandings what non-testers think about us.

I was curious if there are other types of activities I have missed so far, which could help to show a better image of us testers.

It is not enough to “just” do good work, but we also should show case this outside of our teams or departments.


That is one of the reasons I invented the Software Testing World Cup (STWC); to show to some greater audience how testing can be fun, can be learning and doing quality work at the same time.

I often initiate such events with my clients as well, be it internal test competitions or a 20daysoftesting  (here is a nice overview from a XING QA colleague).

Interestingly my intended session was going in a different direction and outcome, so I leaned back and let the energy of the people take it over. It was a good discussion and one takeaway was the German “Tue Gutes und Sprich darüber” (~do good and talk about it).


Sources of information for testers

Since my passion is learning and supporting others I am always up to share and interact, so this session was very much to my liking. I joined late (Law of two feet), but Christian Kram did a very good job in mind mapping and facilitating this session from the results, which were already on the flipchart then.

Since it was a common request, he also put up a blog post, where people get some starting points where to find reading material around testing, you can find it on his blog.


Barcamp 2018

The final session I attended that day was a gathering to think about what we attendees thought about the barcamp and if we should repeat it.

In less than 30 minutes, the QS -Barcamp 2018 was drafted and decided.

It will be the first full weekend in September, it will be in the same frame as this one (oose campus, open space, less than a handful sponsors, maximum 80 attendees).

One addition we want to more actively communicate, is the openness for sessions in English, I think we excluded involuntarily our English-speaking colleagues.

I think, this energy and resolution speaks for it self.


That concludes my barcamp experience report, I am very much looking forward to next year.

Thanks for letting me being part of it.

Barcamp – The first for testers and how we created it

A Barcamp only for quality interested people? On a Saturday? With an entrance fee? Crazy!

Could that work? Was there enough passion and interest in the community? It turns it, it overwhelmingly was.

The starting point

End of April 2017 there was a blog post in the Hamburg Software Test User Group (STUGHH) from Georg Haupt, who was asking, if there would be interest to make a Barcamp for testers.

So far there was not such a thing in Germany or even Europe (as far a we could find out).

A Barcamp is basically an Open Space format, where the participants define the agenda in the morning; so the outcome depends heavily on the topics the attendees bring to the table.

The organization period

After a few posts it was clear, there were interest and some people were willing to organise it. (Ursula BeiersdorfJörg Sievers, Christian Kram, Georg Haupt and Maik Nogens).

I setup a slack team, to be able to discuss more in real time and be able to create topic specific talk channels, this gave us more freedom than the group structure on the XING platform.

Over a period of just a few weeks we come up with the format of the event.

  • It should be a full day event, so we decided to have it on the weekend.
  • There should be a pre-event just for networking and getting to know each other.
  • We did not want too many sponsors, just enough to come out break-even.
  • Georg offered to host the event in the facilities of the oose Campus.
  • We could also use their infrastructure to handle registrations, invoicing, etc. with the help of Georg’s colleagues (special thanks to Stephan Roth, Nicola Bosse and Songül Bulut-Efeoglu).

At the end of this period, we had a website with registration facility online, filled the website with information of the Barcamp format and started to do the foot work.


Marketing and sponsoring period

The event was in Hamburg and we decided to set the date on the first September weekend.

We were using our networks to spread the word about the QA Barcamp. From twitter over XING to our internal company and client channels we reached out to all testers, QA and other quality interested people.

Looking for sponsoring was also started. Surprisingly (for me), we easily found a handful of companies willing to support the event (thanks to ASQF, iSQI, MACH AG and especially to appQS).

Now the waiting started. In the summer vacation there were not many registrations.

With less than four weeks before the events, we were getting nervous and excited… would there be a “good enough” turnout?

While dreaming big with more than 100 registrations, from my personal experience as event organizer I was realistically thinking about a dozen attendees.

Others were also more cautious in their expectations.

Turns out, we were wrong.


BBQ and networking – Event time, Part I

The time had come. Friday after work I went to the networking pre-event.

We had a DJ with nice background music, there was a BBQ station on the terrace and a great buffet with a variety of food and drinks (meat, veggie, salad, beer, soft drinks, coffee, tea, …).

While we did not cater to every dietary nuance (e.g. we had no vegan), I think we did good to consider other things than “pizza and beer” and strike a balance here.

Best of all.. there were easily 20 people over the whole night. Just having discussions, get to know each other and (of course) talking shop in between.

We had also a great keynote  with Oliver Monneke and Michael Kutz from REWE Digital, titled “Schnelles Wachstum von 0 auf 35 Scrum-Teams – Ein Erfahrungsbericht aus QA Sicht?”


Nourished physically and mentally I went home before midnight to get some rest for the big day.


Barcamp – Event time, Part II

The second blog post will be focused on my experience as an attendee of the event we created, you can find it here.