2018 was a fantastic and incredibly busy year for the Ministry of Testing Cambridge group. We saw a total of 25 Meetups organised via three types of events: the traditional morning Lean Coffee gatherings, the evening Meetups with speakers, workshops or the occasional chat down the pub, and the monthly Software Testing Clinic session which started its first season in Cambridge in 2018!
I know it’s February already, but I think it’s never too late to say thanks to all who made this possible and to have a look back at what happened last year:
I’ve been organising the evening Meetups in Cambridge for the last three and a half years (recaps for 2015, 2016 and 2017) and am really happy with what they’ve grown into over the years – many thanks to all attending and engaging in the events, to the companies hosting the Meetups and especially to the amazing speakers who are willing to share their thoughts and experience!
In the evening Meetups we are flexible with the format – you can find yourself be engaged at informal gatherings were we tryout VR, play testing games down the Pub or explore a topic together or be inspired by a handful of lightning talks on different aspects of testing or by conference-length talks that dive deeper into topics like mental health, support calls or mobile performance. Or you’ll find yourself getting very much hands-on in a workshop – exploring team collaboration with formats like ScoDA or RiskStorming.
I love that we can welcome established speakers to Cambridge from other parts of the country (or the world), like Beren van Daele, Gem Hill and Doug Sillars, who all gave fantastic talks and workshops in Cambridge this year. And I’m always doubly thrilled to get speakers from our local community – be it that they are delivering a speech for the first time, presenting a preview or rerun of their conference talks or are just keen on sharing and discussing their thoughts amongst the friendly Cambridge crowd, it’s a lovely sight to behold. Jessica Bane, Sneha Bhat, Andrew Fraser, Chris Kelly, Samuel Lewis and James Thomas enlightened our minds this year with their talks and workshops. Many thanks also to all who helped host and organise events: Neil Younger, Nick Pass and Dave Kim at Display Link, Sam Lock at Citrix and my own company, Linguamatics.
Find details for all talks, workshops, speakers and activities in the Meetup events:
- Feb: Lightning Talks (Sneha Bhat, Andrew Fraser, Samuel Lewis, James Thomas)
- Mar: RiskStorming – Mapping Risks with TestSphere
- April: Questions For Testers (Games)
- May: [talk] Chris Kelly: Anxious Tester / Claire Reckless: Impostor Syndrom
- June: Gem Hill: Mental Health (talk & workshop)
- July: Jessica Bane: Scope Discovery and Alignment (talk & workshop)
- Oct: Talks: Doug Sillars: Mobile Performance / James Thomas: When Support Calls
- Dec: [Christmas] Games & VR
Software Testing Clinic Cambridge
In the last year the Software Testing Clinic has spread out from its original location in London to several more places in the UK, including Cambridge. The Clinic offers twelve monthly evening sessions for anybody interested in the testing craft; they are run in an interactive way using whiteboard sessions, hands-on exercises and discussions with the whole group as well as in sub teams to deepen our understanding of Testing.
The local Software Testing Clinics are headed by a couple of hosts – for Cambridge, the Clinic is run by Mark Bunce and me, with much appreciated support from Dan Ashby and the Clinic and Ministry of Testing family in general. On the evening, we’ve been supported by the amazing Nick Pass, who’s helped us to stay on track in the sessions and stepped in wherever help was needed, including filling in as a co-host. We also have a handful of incredibly brilliant mentors, who are supporting the attendees in smaller groups through the exercises and discussions and without whom the evenings couldn’t run as smoothly as they do. This whole season for the Clinic has been sponsored by DisplayLink – a big thank you to Neil Younger for offering this support. It’s exciting to see the community come together to make this all possible and the best feeling for us as hosts to see the attendees diving enthusiastically into our testing related topics evening after evening! Thank you all for making the Clinic in Cambridge a real success!
In 2018 we went into our first season of the Clinic starting with a training for mentors, and then covered topics like Exploratory Testing, Automation and Test Design. We have three more sessions coming up in 2019, before we start a re-run of the curriculum a.k.a. a second season. Checkout this overview of the first season and the follow-ups to the sessions on the Ministry of Testing Club:
- Jan: Become a Mentor – Follow-up
- Feb: What is Testing? – Follow-up
- Mar: Identifying Risks – Follow-up
- Apr: Exploratory Testing and Chartering – Follow-up
- May: Designing Tests – Follow-up
- June: Note Taking – Follow-up
- July: Testing Requirements – Follow-up
- Sept: Talking about Testing – Follow-up
- Oct: Technical Testing – Follow-up
- Nov: Automation – Follow-up
- Jan: Testing in Agile – Follow-up
- Feb: Interviewing Testers- Follow-up
- Mar: Ask Me Anything – Follow-up
Lean Coffee mornings
The Lean Coffee mornings have a long tradition in Cambridge – they’ve started years before I even lived in Cambridge! Chris George brought the inspiration back from the Agile Testing Days conference and made it an institution here in Cambridge, running the Lean Coffee mornings continuously for years. There were monthly Lean Coffee gatherings up into July of this year, but the attendee numbers had started to dwindle by then, so Chris has decided to take a break from organising. A massive thanks to Chris for all of his efforts and commitment over the years – the testing community (and its people in it, and me) would not have been or grown the way it has without him.
Neil Younger (@norry_twitting) September 24, 2018
2018 was a busy year, with fantastic events taking place and some changes in the Meetup group – with new things like the Software Testing Clinic starting, and established formats like the Lean Coffee mornings taking a break.
Thanks to everybody for taking part – be it as speaker, organiser, host, sponsor, mentor or attendee! And a massive thank you to Ministry of Testing for their continuous support – it’s amazing to be a part of this!