George Mackintosh, on TestPlant’s presence at Europe’s largest software testing conference and exhibition. This year the event was held in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Gothenburg is home to Volvo Cars and SKF ball bearings. And there’s a link between these two giants: SKF managers founded Volvo! Anyway, this fine city of half a million soles was host to the 2013 EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference and some 800 delegates and exhibitors converged in the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in early November.
This year’s Program Chair was the internationally renowned tester and commentator Michael Bolton. The test community holds him and his blogs, books and commentary in high esteem. And throughout the conference he captivated his audience and provided them ample opportunity to question and debate topics and to experiment with tools. Several distinguished speakers helped support the mounting significance of testing in the ever increasingly agile and mobile world. That challenge often made more difficult by economic pressures and the sometimes outrageously exaggerated claims of test services and tool vendors.
But harmony did break out in the break-out sessions in which both proprietary and open source solutions were subject to careful but critical review. “Talk to vendors” implored one speaker as he voiced his solution to helping tool producers make better tools.
And talk they did – well at least to TestPlant! We fielded our Northern European trump card: Irina Berdisa speaks Polish, Russian, German and English. George, Max and Laura got by with English. Unlike several other exhibitors, we did have live demonstrations of the complete eggPlant range available. In fact Max was in huge demand, talking himself hoarse by the end of his three days on the exhibition booth.
I have two main observations of this popular and successful event. First, the test community knows well the legacy test solutions from IBM and HP and also the common open source tools such as Selenium. However to a large extent eggPlant is a new tool to many and TestPlant a new vendor name. Now with a strong desktop and mobile ability and with a tool set extending from design to production, eggPlant caught the attention of dozens of the delegators who are actively looking for easy-to-use solutions which match agile methodologies and that can properly help test mobile apps.
Secondly I was delighted to observe many delegates and speakers gracefully sharing their experiences of broken vendor promises and out-dated frameworks which no longer are fit for purpose. We managed to assure them that TestPlant had not made silly boasts with dubious ROI claims. Michael Bolton himself had a long chat with me and we understood each other… respected each other. And that’s quite something when one guy’s wearing a Panama hat and the other a Savile Row suit!
Finally, Michael hands over the baton to Brit Paul Gerrard and we all head for the Emerald Isle in 2014: Dublin!
Great show – thank you everyone. We made new friends.