St. Patrick's Day in Zurich with the Masters of All Testing

    This is a life-affirming post that I want to say: do not give up if you really want something. Go to the goal, work in the right direction, show the world that it is important to you, and it will respond.

    I am writing this post aboard the Moscow-Zurich plane at 16:40, March 16, 2010. I am flying towards an event that was supposed to happen more than 4 months ago.

    A day later, on March 17, I happened to attend the Swiss Testing Day conference , where I ended up as a guest at the request of James Wittaker, a well-known specialist in the testing environment who now works in Seattle's Google as Test Director.

    In the evening of the same day, which is also St. Patrick's Day, this photo will be taken, which shows that testers are people too, also like beer and also appreciate pagan holidays =) On it from left to right: Bij Rollison (Microsoft), I, Timur Khairullin (Yandex) and James Wittaker (Google) I will write a report on the conference itself as soon as it ends, and now, while I'm flying, I want to talk about how it all happened. Such a self, a simple tester tale =)

    It all started in August 2009. When Timson told me about the GTAC conference and gave me a link to James Wittaker's speech at GTAC 09, then he also worked at Microsoft. I have a special relationship with conferences: starting in 2008, I attended 9 conferences in the field of software testing and development, spoke at 7, visited the organizing committee twice, and for the third time I entered the program committee. I really appreciate the fact that at conferences you can chat with people who do something that interests me. They do it well, and they are ready to tell how they do it. And here - Google, Wittaker, Zurich, AAAAAAAAAA .......

    According to GTAC 09 rules, registration took place during August, applications were accepted until August 28, then the organizing committee considered them for several days and, starting from September 3, approved invitations and refusals were sent.
    I was just sure that I would receive confirmation, because when I applied, I painted my activity in the Russian-speaking community of testers in the column “Why do you think you should get the GTAC conference”.
    And so, on September 4, I receive a letter with the text " Thank you very much for applying to attend GTAC 2009. Unfortunately due to an overwhelming response we do not have a place for you this year ." This, however, was very unexpected. It's good that I have a large monitor that hid my emotions from my colleagues.

    Having calmed down, I began to think, why the refusal came to me. Ali I'm not good =) Maybe the organizers did not read my comments? Or I wrote a little about them. And I began to write an appeal.

    The letter turned out, in my opinion, quite emotional and at the same time contained enough facts.
    To quote some points from it:

    Let me explain why I'm striving to get GTAC ..................................................

    The main purpose of GTAC is to give people an opportunity to share their experience and knowledge on testing field. You really do a great job. Thanks for this.
    I do the same for Russian-speaking testers. I often speak at different conferences and seminars because I do see a lack of lore in testing community. I am sure that we should communicate more with each other, speak about our problems and ideas and get common solutions …………………

    My contribution in it is organizing a conference for Russian-speaking testers. I am a member of the Organizing Committee of 'Software Quality Assurance Days' conference that is the biggest event for QA and QC engineers all over ex-USSR area ………………….

    We give a chance to our testers to find people who are also hands-on with testing and to swap their knowledge …………………………………………………….

    So we are working in the same field with you. I do believe that there are a lot of things I can learn from you. Also I'm sure that you are happy with such events and communities existing. We work hard to let people work easier ………………………………………………………

    So I'd like to ask you to review my request for getting GTAC one more time. I hope that you let me participate it because grain of knowledge I'll get there will be planted into fertile ground. I promise. ”

    However, after 2 days I get a negative, but, it should be noted, quite humane response from the organizers:

    "Julia - thank you for your enthusiastic plea for re-consideration - unfortunately, we decided on the participants and waiting list, have informed all of them, and will have to see what level of cancellation there will be - so far, very very few have declined the invites. ”

    Nenene, google guys. You probably don’t understand how I want to get to this conference =)

    But I know who can understand.
    James Wittaker Well, of course! Such a cool and cool guy cannot react to my desire. Moreover, by this time he had already become Test Director at Google. Moreover, he will probably be performing there. I get his contact, and my next letter flies to him. Whittaker answered the next day. In a rather friendly tone, he wrote that

    "I am sorry you didn't get accepted to GTAC, but I understand that the number of applicants this year was exceptionally high. As it turns out, I am not going either as I have a product release I have to attend to here in Seattle.
    Thanks for the note. I enjoyed reading is and am glad to see the passion you have for this discipline. I hope we'll meet in person some day. ”

    I reply thank you, congratulate him on Tester’s Day (this is September 9th) and am already folding my arms when I receive a letter from James in which he writes 2 things:

    1 - " The closest I will get is Norway in February where I'll be speaking. As that conference gets closer I will be sure and update you. ”

    2 -"My new book is out now and I'd love to get it translated. (It's about his book Exploratory Software Testing.) Any chance you can make it to Norway in February? I'll forward details of the conference when I get them. I'll also be visiting our Google office in Switzerland on that trip as well. ”

    Here the monitor didn’t save me =) Yes, and why was it to hide my emotions =)

    Looking ahead, I’ll say that nothing happened with the translation of the book, since the copyright holder, with whom James brought me, informed me in a rather dry form that they do not work with translators, but only transfer the rights to publish the book to a local publisher, and they already themselves decide the issue of translation. At my request, I recommend me as a translator to a publisher with whom they will collaborate on the publication of a book in Russia, the manager of the copyright holder advised me to look for suggestions on working as a translator on the websites of Russian publishers =)

    Then Wittaker was powerless. But on the other hand, our communication resulted in a translation of the series of his articles “7 Testing Defects”, which are published on my blog and on By the way, I posted the translation of the first article on the very first day of GTAC 09, as if in retaliation =)

    Sluggishly exchanging letters in the mode of 1 letter per week with the topic “ another article has been translated and laid out” - “Oh, great, thank you ”, I completely calmed down and the final phrase in the last letter from the GTAC organizers warms me: “ we're looking forward to hopefully seeing you in one of the upcoming GTACs in the next years! "

    And so, on November 23, I receive a letter from James:
    “It's looking likely that I will be a keynote at the Swiss Testing Days in Zurich on March 17. I am sure I can pull some strings and get you involved in the Zurich event.

    I will not talk about how I had to carry the plane because I did not have time to deliver my passport with a visa from Kiev to Moscow. I will not say thanks to the people who helped me a lot, I said, and I will tell them personally.
    I will not talk about the difficulties of obtaining a visa to Switzerland at the Ukrainian embassy, ​​I will only say that this is quite possible for myself.

    And it is quite possible to get where you really want to, if you go in this direction. You always need to shout about what you want, because the probability that there is a person in the hearing zone who can help is very high.

    And yet - listen, please, suddenly you can help someone who screams nearby =)

    Thank you,
    and I will continue to admire the clouds =)

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