Bananas and time turners: preparing for RTC

So you’re going to RTC…

We are getting closer and closer to Romanian Testing Conference (May 9-11), and I for one am excited. I’m in an odd position as Program Chair, because I should have been there last year to give a workshop and a keynote – but I dislocated my shoulder two days beforehand (bad plan, don’t do that…). This blog is to help you prepare for the conference…but I’ve never been! I have been on the conference circuit for a while now though, and I’ve been working closely with the organisers, so I feel confident in giving you a few pointers to make the most of your conference.

Make a plan. And don’t stick to it

You’re probably looking at the schedule, like I am, wondering how you’re going to clone yourself. Don’t worry – that’s just a sign of a good conference program. It’s definitely worth making a plan in advance of what you want to go to, but be agile! If you realise when you’re there that you want to change the plan, then do.

Know yourself

Conferences are one of my favourite activities. The talks, the learning opportunities, the huge amount of input, the people, the late nights discussing the world of testing and development…. If it sounds exhausting to you, then that’s because it is! That’s fine for me, because I am an extrovert. I live off that kind of energy. If you’re not, or if you realise you need some quiet time or down time – then allow yourself to have it! You will gain more from the whole event if you listen to your body and your mind. As someone who needs to sleep for a weekend after a conference (but never does), trust me!

Eat and hydrate

In terms of looking after yourself, (and I’m aware I’m being a mother duck now), don’t forget to eat and drink water. It can be so easy to get caught in conversations and forget to feed your brain. It’ll only make you grouchy – again, trust me. (As a small tip, if I’m looking grouchy at any time, feed me a banana…).

Talk. To. People

Romanian Testing Conference has some of the finest minds in testing presenting and attending. Don’t be afraid of approaching them and talking to them. Even if they seem like rockstars to you, I promise that they want to meet you and listen to your questions. The same goes for people not presenting – don’t be afraid to start a conversation. And if you find yourself too nervous to introduce yourself, just come and ask me to do the introducing. It’s one of my talents 😊

Attend talks. Or don’t.

We spent a lot of time creating this awesome program, so make sure you attend every single talk. Actually, get a time turner like in Harry Potter and go back in time to attend multiple talks… Obviously, I’m kidding. Sometimes, the best experience or thing you learn at a conference happens when you decide to miss a talk for the sake of a deeper conversation with someone you met. It’s fine. Let yourself be surprised by what the conference brings you – having a good network of people and learning from them or teaching them is just as valuable as listening to a talk.

Give me feedback

Romanian Testing Conference 2018 feels a little bit like my baby. I’m proud of what it looks like this year – and the organisers do a phenomenal job. That doesn’t mean that we see no room for improvement though. It also doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in hearing your positive feedback too. So come and find us and let us know what you think!

That’s it from me for now – I can’t wait to see you in May!



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