Oct 16, 2008

FROSST 1: What I liked best

At the end of FROSST 1, we asked participants to give us some feedback. Well... actually, we bribed them with a chance to win a Wii. As the content of the feedback had no bearing on one's chance at getting the Wii, I suspect most of the feedback is honest.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. You, the participants are the reason why it was a great conference. As I said Saturday evening, I am impressed with the testing community in Colorado. Instead of me telling you all about what I think was great about FROSST 1, here's what some of the participants had to say:

What did you like best about this conference?

  • I feel much better about myself & career.
  • The Goodie Bag was amazing.
  • Relevant subjects.
  • The diversity of people.
  • The variety of ideas.
  • The open space topic concept where we determined what the conference was about.
  • The discussions in the groups flowed really well.
  • Lots of interaction between participants.
  • The format which allowed us to talk about what interested us the most.
  • The level of knowledge.
  • Talking to people that understood my language.
  • Collaboration.
  • Meeting lots of people that are professional testers.
  • The price is right.
  • Open space format
  • We chose our topics.
  • Having a chance to talk during sessions.
  • Open forum.
  • It was quite eye opening to see that other testers encounter the same issues with their companies and with different tools.
  • Many different subjects to chose from.
  • Topics discussed were those I wanted to discuss.
  • Learning from experts on a subject I'm relatively clueless on.
  • Small enough to get to know people easily.
  • The ability to pick and choose the topics of interest.
  • The best thing about this conference was the ability to speak freely and share ideas!
  • Determining the topics ourselves.
  • The ability to contribute & discuss. It felt like our conference -- very empowering!
  • Lack of sales pitches.
  • The discussions were all informative and helpful. Participation was easy and comfortable.
  • Wonderful concept.
  • The non-structured conversations allowed the topics to move in directions that were most beneficial to everyone in attendance.
  • So many options.
  • I liked how the conference allowed everyone to tap into the well of common knowledge.
  • It's free!
  • I enjoyed the open format where many perspectives were shared.
  • Agile discussion.
  • Lots of new ideas.
  • Broad topics and narrow topics allowed for sweeping overviews as well as peeks into particular shop problems / current concerns.
  • No long presentations.
  • I had a great time meeting people and discussing software testing.
  • The open space concept!
  • The chance to interact.
  • Being able to call a session I know nothing about.
Thank you to all who participated. We're definitely going to do this again.

While most of the things participants had to say was very positive, there was some negative feedback; and I've got to say that I agree with nearly all of it. This was our first time out and I believe we can fix the few problems next time.

We're working on plans for workshops, each focused on a single topic, to allow for in-depth discussion and problem solving that doesn't fit into an hour. Stay tuned for more information.

Until then, please share your notes and ideas on the FROSST Wiki and your blogs.

Here's what a few participants are saying:

Ben Simo

Oct 12, 2008

FROSST1 is over...IT WAS GREAT!!!

Your first FROSST conference was a HUGE success!! Thank you to all of our sponsors, specifically our champion sponsors - ProtoTest (http://www.prototest.com/) and Current Consulting (http://www.current-consulting.com/). Please remember them when you have testing, staffing or recruiting needs and tell them FROSST sent you.

Participants made new connections, discussed topics that they were very passionate about like "Certifications? Good/Bad?" - we got to see other's points of view and still came out of the discussion friends. We learned new things about Watir, Ruby and FitNesse, automation and performance testing, how to gather metrics that matter, open source tools, database testing, and agile in qa.

We must give special thanks to a few instrumental people:

  • Special thanks to Leslie Dunn for being our "schlepper" and doing whatever we needed her to do - including stuffing bags and hauling stuff
  • Patti Miller of Test Common (http://www.testcommon.com/) for helping sign everyone in and - stuffing bags
  • Melissa Tondi (http://www.tundraservicesinc.com/) for helping stuff bags and being the representative for two different sponsors and providing the Wii. Ladies and Gentlemen... Melissa Tondi!!
  • Michelle Rocke of Current Consulting (http://www.current-consulting.com/) for delivering all of the extra food we had to the Denver Rescue Mission.
  • Si (Ben's Dad) for hooking up our WiFi, keeping the rest of us in line and of course - stuffing bags
  • Jessica and Andrew Simo (Ben's kids) for setting up the Wii and helping to do whatever we needed them to do
  • JoElyn Ford, James and Debby of CTU for helping with whatever we needed
  • Blythe McFall for washing our fruit

And thank you to all of you for taking your Friday night and Saturday to design and participate in the first open space software testing conference ever. Ben and I had a vision and you all made it happen. Thank you!!!

Please remember to join the FROSST yahoo group (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/frosstcon/) so that we can keep you updated on FROSST2. Also tell others about FROSST, have them join the yahoo group and don't forget to blog about your conference. Finally, please feel free to fill out some info about you on the wiki (http://wiki.frosstcon.com/wiki/index.php?title=FROSST_1_Registrants).

Ben and I are completely exhausted but look forward to coordinating FROSST2 in Spring 2009.

Oct 3, 2008

Forecasting Future Friday FROSST

The first FROSST (Front Range Open Space Software Testing) Conference begins a week from now - October 10, 2008 - at the Denver North campus of Colorado Technical University (CTU). The check-in desk will open at 5:45pm PM and we will start the evening activities at 6:30pm. Please give yourself time to navigate Friday evening rush hour traffic.

To get to CTU from I-25, take Exit 223 at 120th street and head west for about nine tenths of a mile. Turn right on Pecos St, and then left at 121st street. Follow the FROSST signs as seen at the top right.

The plan for Friday evening is to introduce the concept, get to know one another a little bit, and plan Saturday's activities. FROSST is a participatory conference. We will discuss whatever interests those who attend. So, if there's something you really want to talk about, be sure to come on Friday to propose your topic. You don't have to be an expert on a topic to propose it. You just need to be interested. If you want to present something, you may propose to present it as long as you aren't selling anything. However, we ask that any presentations be kept short so that those interested can discuss the topic.

Following the proposal of topics, we will move Friday night's festivities to the Radisson Hotel known as Graystone Castle. This is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of 120th and I-25. Free appetizers, desserts, beer, and soft drinks will be provided to FROSST participants. Please use this time to get to know others in the software testing business; including our great sponsors.

Speaking of sponsors, FROSST 1 is championed by ProtoTest and Current Consulting. Plus, a number of other sponsors have stepped up to help underwrite the expenses of this FREE conference. Please see the wiki for more information about our sponsors.

Saturday morning, breakfast and check-in starts at 8am. The first session will start at 9am. Be sure to be here in time to review the schedule and find topics that interest you. If you find yourself in a session that doesn't interest you, please apply the law of two feet: get up and find some place you can learn or contribute.

Although it is definitely not required, Feel free to bring a notebook computer to take notes or share something you are doing. (We're unlikely to have places for lots of people to plug in at once, so make sure your battery is charged.) Three of the five breakout session rooms will have projectors should there be a need to share what's on a computer screen. We plan to have WiFi available so that those who desire may update the conference Wiki with their notes in real time.

You are also welcome to bring a camera and take photos of the event. If you do take pictures, please share them via Picasa or Flickr.

At the end of the day Saturday, we'll hold drawing for some great prizes. So be sure to stick around.

Every participant gets their very own page on the FROSST wiki. Please go to the participants page, click your name, and tell us more about yourself. As you do, please keep in mind what I tell my children about information posted on the Internet: it is public and forever.

See the FROSST 1 wiki pages for more details about the conference.

This is your conference. It will be whatever the participants make it. It looks like it is going to be great! We look forward to seeing you on October 10th and 11th!

- Ben (and Heidi too)

PS: You must be pre-registered to attend FROSST 1. If you are registered and will not be able to attend, please let us know via email to register@frosstcon.com. You may also use that email address if you are not registered and want to offer a bribe or otherwise plead your case for being added to rolls. :-)

PPS: How do you like our cool t-shirts? Come to FROSST 1 Friday night to get your own.

Sep 29, 2008

FROSST 1 is full

FROSST 1 is now SOLD OUT. We're just not going to be able to accommodate any more. If you are registered, we look forward to seeing you on October 10th and 11th.

If you missed out on registering for FROSST 1, we'd love to see you at FROSST 2. We hope to host FROSST 2 sometime during the first half of 2009. If you'd like to sponsor and/or donate facilities for FROSST 2, please contact us at sponsor@frosstcon.com.

I'd also like to point out two other upcoming software tester conferences coming to Colorado next year.

If you are registered for FROSST 1, please see the wiki for details.

Other Conferring Opportunities
CAST 2009 Attend CAST Colorado Springs CITCON