Last month I had the privilege to share my ideas at the QAI QUEST conference. It is something that you all know I enjoy doing and even had the opportunity to fill in for another presenter, who unfortunately fell ill and was not able to present.

I love attending conferences it is a great situation to not only meet others within your own community, it is also where everybody has the ability to take ideas and lessons learned by others into their organizations. The networking that goes on is unbelievable and understanding how others see and approach QA.  Every year I have been at QUEST I catch up with people that remember something I spoke about years ago and mention that some of my ideas have been introduced in their teams successfully. Now I did have some not so successful stories come in, and it was great to discuss it and see what could have been done differently.

Not all ideas will work for all organizations and that is one of the key things that anyone that goes to them should understand. When attending courses, workshops or track sessions it must be viewed with an open mind while keeping in mind how their own organizations work. There are limitations that could stop anything from happening and having the right way to frame ideas to work is key. To go in there to take someone’s idea and directly try to apply it right away will have a high probability of failure.

In my talk at QUEST 2017 about Root Cause Analysis; one of the things I brought up was that when initially trying what I was discussing was going to be hard at first and that people would need to be persistent in getting the right information. I didn’t want to sugar coat it or give anyone false hope that what I was presenting was going to be the silver bullet that everyone wants. In the end it was a well received discussion where people came up to me afterwards to discuss what they were going through and asked for ideas on how to implement points to help them out.

I also had the opportunity to have one of the senior development leaders from my place of employment come with me. It was a good learning experience for him to see the different aspects of QA and how what I am doing with the organization’s QA team fits into what the discipline is doing. It provided a better appreciation for what is done and how closely Development and QA are tied and how close the two are tied to efficiency in development of a product.

I think this is something that should be done with different discipline’s conferences. The opportunity to see how the “other side” works would be such a great benefit It is a great opportunity for leaders in QA Development, BA and Project Managers to fully step into the others shoes for few days and gain heightened awareness of impacts they have with each other. It will also provide opportunities to find areas of improvement and effectively work together.

I look forward to future conferences, as a speaker or attendant, because each time the amount of knowledge sharing is at a different level because instead of just reading about something I will have the opportunity to foster discussion.

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