• Marie Drake

The Rise of Online Meetups and Conferences



As we see global conferences and face-to-face meetups being cancelled due to COVID-19, event organisers are switching to hosting online events instead. The good thing about this is that events that you could not attend before, somehow it's now possible by just a click of a button. Just last month, I presented on multiple meetups which would not have been possible before. I have also attended various meetups and testing conferences, all while being at home (mostly while wearing pajamas still 😅). With all the available digital tools that we have nowadays, this is the perfect opportunity to continue learning new things and build connections.


Last month was definitely the month where I have attended more meetups than I usually would have if it was face-to-face. It's not because I am shy to meet new people, but because I have a toddler, most days the meetup times are not suitable for me.


From learning more about accessibility testing to learning about how high morale leads to high quality of your product, here are some of my highlights.


TestBash Home - 24 hours Testing Conference

One of the events that I attended last week was TestBash Home which was hosted by Ministry of Testing. This was my first time attending a TestBash event and I was originally going to attend TestBash Brighton but due to the current circumstances, it was cancelled. TestBash Home exceeded my expectations! Starting from the amazing hosts, great lineup of speakers, live bug hunt, exploratory testing games, excellent testing community and even their own TestBash game! It was just very different. They have definitely set the bar as to how a conference should be done remotely.



Networking was replaced with virtual chats in Crowdcast, Slack messages and Twitter posts. Seeing other people's sketch notes were also very good (I'm a bit envious as I am not very good in sketch notes - will need to practice this!). All the talks that I've managed to attend were all very good and insightful. To name a few, Maryam Umar's (@maryamumar) talk about Inspiration and Burnout was very powerful as she shared with us her personal story. Jenny Bramble (@jennydoesthings) shared how a team's morale is the only good quality metric you should focus on. Also, Joao Proenca's (@jrosaproenca) shared his insights that it's ok to delete automated tests if they are not giving that much value anymore.


Big kudos to Ministry of Testing, the amazing hosts and speakers for making this happen. Looking forward to the next one!


Also, to anyone who loves stickers, Ministry of Testing just released TestBash Home stickers!


Ng-conf's Comparing Testing Tools: Cypress vs. Selenium

I was fortunate enough to speak at ng-conf with my fellow Cypress Ambassador Giri (@vgrk2017). This was my time speaking on a remote meetup where around 250 people attended! We talked about what Cypress and Selenium are, showed attendees how to write tests using the two tools and did a thorough comparison of what these tools can offer. There were so many questions from the attendees and Gleb Bahmutov (@bahmutov), who is the VP of Engineering at Cypress also joined us as a panelist to help us answer some of the more difficult Cypress questions.


Angie Jones' Automation Cookbook

If you have seen some of Angie's videos, you would know by now that she is an excellent and funny speaker! She also does live coding which I always admire. Every week she shows how to automate challenging scenarios and then show everyone what the recipe is for solving it. You can find more information about it here.


What I like about these live stream sessions is you can see how she thinks and how she structures her code and she also googles stuff if she is stuck with something! The coding is done with Java so attending these live sessions refreshes my Java understanding.



Quality Advocates, TAQFull, QA in London, Cypress.io UK Community meetups

There are so many meetup groups at the moment giving back to the tech community and I am so glad that I've participated in some of them as it allowed me to build professional connections.


I have been doing regular lunch and learn sessions with TAQFull to share my knowledge with using Cypress. It's always nice to see interest from other attendees and it also improves my presentation skills as I try to overcome one of my weaknesses. So far, I have covered how you can use Cypress to test your front end applications, how to test your APIs and also how to do visual testing together with Applitools. Quality Advocates, on the other hand, are rolling new meetups almost every single day! I really enjoy the variety of the talks so far. From learning more about contract testing to learning some tips on becoming a modern test leader, the organisers have done a really great job in bringing the community closer. I also gave a talk at QA in London meetup group to do an introductory session on how to use Cypress and the response was well received. Their upcoming talks are also interesting with one about TestProject happening later in the day.


Finally, myself and Giri launched the official Cypress.io UK meetup group!



Our goal is to bring developers and testers closer to share their personal experiences of how Cypress has helped them with their work projects. Our first event will be happening this 20th May where my colleague Xin Wang will share her experience on how we migrated our existing tests to Cypress.


If you are interested in joining these meetups in the future, you can sign up below.


https://www.meetup.com/Cypress-io-UK-Community/

https://www.meetup.com/Quality-Advocates/

https://www.meetup.com/QA-in-London/

https://www.meetup.com/TAQfull/

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©2019 by Marie Drake.