“We try to give real life stories”: about the Heisenbug 2018 Moscow program

    When you come to the conference as a spectator, it may seem that there are very specific rules behind its program: the organizers once decided which reports were suitable for the conference, and you can disagree with their opinion, but it is always definite and does not change with time.

    And in fact, how many people are in the program committee - so many opinions. Specifically, the formulated format (for example, “about testing not only for testers”) sets the direction, but you can still set priorities in different ways, and there are different points of view, sometimes even mutually exclusive. And as a result, the conference program is born at the junction of different views.

    On the eve of Heisenbug 2018 Moscow(December 6-7) we asked the program committee members about the program, and their answers differed in some ways. Therefore, each individual opinion is only a part of the picture, but together they make it possible to understand a lot about what can be heard from Thursday to Friday at the conference.

    Vsevolod Brekelov , Mikhail Chumakov , Vladimir Sitnikov , Andrey Satarin and Maxim Shulga took part in the conversation . In addition to them, Nikita Makarov , Tatyana Eliseeva , Mikhail Druzhinin and Abner Voronov also enter the PC .

    JUG.ru Group: To begin with, you can simply speak about the Heisenbug program in free form: what is the format of the conference, who should go there, what reports do you think are appropriate?

    Vsevolod Brekelov:I have colleagues who do not go to such conferences, because they think that everything will be about PageObject, test cases and that's it. They think so because they used to go to Heisenbug and hear about PageObject there. And such reports really were. But I would like to argue: this time no such topics are planned.

    Andrei Satarin : About PageObjects I will say this: I was on four Heisenbug, and not one of them got on the report about them. Of course, if you wish, you can find anything, but there was a lot of other. It seems to me that if people went and stumbled upon one such report, this is not yet a reason for a general categorical conclusion about the content of the conference.

    Vsevolod:In general, we generally focus on the audience. She says: “Make reports like this,” and we make them. But the audience wants different things. There are, for example, light reports that are interesting to one group of people, and all the others say that they can understand this anyway if they wish. However, if we make all the reports a hardcore about statistical analysis, the conference will also cease. And if we all make reports about the hellish Spring and how to write tests there, then this will also not please someone, although this is the reality of the enterprise.

    In general, we are not discussing this for the first day. Our conference is very difficult to cover the interests of very different groups of people. And last time at our conference there was a part of the audience, to whom complex reports seemed boring and uninteresting. They wrote to us: “Where are the reports for the handbrake, where are the reports about test cases?”

    But we cannot just make reports about test cases, nor can we make reports about manual testing in the spirit of “How do we press the first button, We press the second button. Therefore, we have the following vision: we can offer manual testers reports on visual testing.

    Andrew:I will try to articulate why people in general need Heisenbug. He tells how to solve technical problems with technical means. At some point I made efforts to find testing conferences that were closer to me, and I didn’t find them: there are no technical topics with so many technical topics. In this regard, we are ahead of the rest.

    Vsevolod: We have reports with examples from life, not generalized. Very often, when submitting an application for a report, people come to us with some common examples, and we try to help people give real life stories.

    Andrew:Perhaps the analogy will not be completely clear, but physicists have the expression “The theory is a theory, but the experiment remains forever”. Technical solutions remain forever, they are usually more straightforward. There is much more argument - it works or not. Once we have made a technical solution, it means that it works. There are some metrics of how it works. With process questions everything is different. It works here, but it will not work there, because the other team, a different context, whatever. In technical it is also there, but much less.

    Mikhail Chumakov:In theory, we have defined a concept, and in all press releases it is said that Heisenbug is “a technical conference about testing for testers, developers, system administrators”. We try to formulate a program and work with speakers in the direction of technical reports. There are people who want to not only hear the theory, but also know how to apply it.

    The difficulty is that people have a rather large variability of experience. There are testers, there are developers, there are testers who are pumped up in development. Therefore, when you make a conference for all of them at once, there are some difficulties in choosing reports.

    Vsevolod:Initially, when I came to the program committee, I had an overwhelming desire to make a technical testing conference. What does “technical conference” mean? This implies that we are concentrating on possibly developer tasks, but which should be solved by quality engineers. But at the same time, we are faced with the problem just mentioned, that we have a rather different audience and quite different reports.

    JUG.ru Group: What can people expect from Heisenbug from the new conference? Are there any differences?

    Andrew:Of course have. It all depends very much on the phase of the moon. Because, for example, in this program we have reports about security. In the last program it was about it, but less. These are some kind of undercurrents that rise to the top and affect the program. We are powerless here in the sense that we cannot choose a popular topic ourselves, but at the same time we can choose the implementation of this topic.

    Michael: And unexpectedly a lot about performance, and about different. Performance tests, mobile applications performance, just a classic performance.

    JUG.ru Group: Already mentioned the question "where are the reports for manual testers", is it possible in more detail?

    Andrei: We have a lot of “visual” this time. About UX will be a report by Antonina Hisametdinova and keynoutVitaly Friedman on mobile interfaces. Robots to full testing UX is still far away, so it's all just in the direction of manual. Two more reports about layout testing. Well, the opening keynout of Baruch Sadogursky should be useful, including “handymen”.

    Maxim Shulga: Another thing about UI testing is the “Thousand and one UI-bug, or How to teach the developer to avoid typical errors in UI” report . Also, manual testers will be interested to hear about exploratory testing .

    JUG.ru Group: The lovers of Devops are well aware of the mentioned Baruch Sadogursky, and can you prepare testers morally? What do they expect from keynout?

    Vsevolod:It will burn! Baruch will set fire and make people think that they are doing wrong in this life.

    The reports of Baruch present an entertaining zest, but in addition to entertainment, there is a context that is useful in an applied sense. And there is some fan, of course. Baruch is one of those speakers who know how to make people listen, while conveying thoughts is very simple.

    JUG.ru Group: When you prepare dozens of reports in parallel, it is highly likely that one or two will be canceled at the last moment for various reasons. How do you work with this?

    Maksim:There are reports that, in our opinion, slightly lost to others, but at the same time they seem interesting to us. Then we do not include them in the program, but we agree with the speakers that they will be at the conference as spare ones and in case they can tell.

    JUG.ru Group: There are reports of the category "exotic", when the experience is non-standard and you can hardly apply it in your work, but it is very interesting to learn about it. What's wrong with this Heisenbug?

    Vladimir Sitnikov: For example, the report of Lydia Abdulina "Kotlin Tooling QA" . This is a unique experience - people need to be tested in order for everyone to be comfortable, to make their own programming language, and things related to it.

    Vsevolod: We have an infrastructure reportfrom ebay. It is not so exotic, but it seems to me that in a small company it will be quite difficult to immediately apply the same thing that they did there. Because it requires a lot of effort from everyone at the same time, not only from testers and developers. It is necessary to change the fundamental approach to development, so that it can be applied.

    The report is not about “testing culture”, it is purely technical, but, unfortunately or fortunately, it does not happen that some technology can solve all the problems with the help of QA. The quality of the product is not equal to the sum of “separate testers” and “separate programmers”, these are interconnected pieces with the processes and culture of the company.

    And this report may be interesting not with practical applicability "here and now", but with the opportunity to find out how things are in a big company. You can also ask the speaker.

    Maxim: Yes, we often call speakers from other companies not only because they have a mega-technical breaking report, but to enable our listeners to talk face to face with people working in well-known companies.

    JUG.ru Group: The conference is not just reports, what else will happen this time?

    Vsevolod: There will be two BOF-sessions - discussions on a given topic with the speakers. We had a set of topics, we put them to a vote and by the voices of the audience identified topics for discussion .

    And this time at our party will be the entertainment of the Ignite Karaoke Battle: an impromptu performance under the slides of others. This is a novelty that we have adopted from other conferences of the JUG.ru Group. I think it will be very cool.

    Vladimir: Is it possible to have another discussion with Baruch like the one that was on Joker between him and Egor Bugaenko? It went well there.

    Vsevolod: That's good, but for this you need to find a suitable opponent.

    JUG.ru Group: you can read about the BoF sessions on the site - is there anything at the conference that the site doesn’t write about, but what is worth knowing?

    Vsevolod: Well, we will be there as a program committee, we can communicate with us. Do you know how Vladimir Sitnikov goes to other conferences and selects reports there?

    Vladimir: We must approach the PC and ask whether the report is normal or not!

    Andrei: I approached Volodya so much, and now I have ten videos on YouTube on the Watch Watch list!

    Vsevolod: In general, you can catch the PC, ask why such reports in the program, and ask how to solve some problems and what report to go for it.

    Andrei: Or if there are ideas for future reports and there are doubts whether it is interesting or not, this can also be discussed with us.

    JUG.ru Group: Finally, can you share something “behind the scenes” from the preparations for the conference that viewers who attended it might not notice?

    Andrew:This time we had especially a lot of controversy about the content, according to why and for whom the conference, who to invite to it, and so on.

    Vsevolod: And Artyom Eroshenko , who constantly speaks at Heisenbug, this time will not talk about the Allure Framework. We still could!

    Michael: This is also the first Heisenbug, where there is a lady in the PC. And among the speakers, women also became more. I here listened to YouTube this dispute between Baruch and Egor, where Baruch clearly ruled everything about diversity, now I am ready to defend these ideals.

    Vsevolod: And there is also such a topic - the scale of complexity of the name of Maxim Shulgi.

    Maksim:Yes, we already have a conference, analyzing the results of assessments of listeners, we understand that our linear scale of designations of complexity from “smoothie” to “hardcore” - it is in fact not linear. Perhaps it needs to be changed. A certain Shulga was mentioned here, he has an idea to make it a 2x2 matrix with “understandability” and “applicability” sides. Maybe the audience will have more ideas on how to help them choose the report?

    Vsevolod: Write your opinion in the comments!

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