Conferences for professionals in the information technology industry

SQA Days in Riga. The Official Report

SQA European Days, the first European conference from the SQA Days series,  took place on March 22-23 in Riga. It gathered guests and speakers from around fifty countries, from Finland to the South African Republic. Some guests came from the locations previously not represented at SQA Days, such as Romania and Greece. As a result, the conference not just reached international level - it embraced all Europe and even more.

Compared to previous conferences for testers, a new popular topic at the conference was ethics in testing and QA, owing it to Maik Nogens and his dedicated workshop. Anyway, testing ethics were also featured in Baris Sarialioglu’s talk on UX (https://sqadays.eu/en/talk/68077), and especially in “Testing for Bias”, delivered by Adam Smith https://sqadays.eu/en/talk/61874. Another common thread happened to be AI and its threat to testers’ jobs: Jeremias Rößler’s talk on AI (https://sqadays.eu/en/talk/67627) and a presentation by Joel Oliveira (https://sqadays.eu/en/talk/68093) ignited a lively discussion of this subject. Other topics were more common for the usual agenda of SQA Days, but no less important and often thought-provoking: new Selenium “killers”, manual and automated testing, bug hunting and regression testing, and more.

Following the tradition, listeners rated speakers by sticking ‘smileys’ on voting charts. The third place was given to Gjore Zaharchev from Seavus, the new face at SQA Days, - he presented at the first day, and the audience practically filled the hall at his talk "Reinvented Regression Testing" (https://sqadays.eu/en/talk/68326). The second place went to Szilárd Széll, an Agile Test Coach at Nokia, with the talk "Exploratory Testing and BugHunting: how does it fit DevOps?". He received a gaming console as an award and later told that he was actually a gamer.

The winner was Niels Malotaux, an independent consultant and a frequent guest of QA conferences. His witty talk “Help! We Have a QA Problem! (https://sqadays.eu/en/talk/67240) was dedicated to a seemingly unmanageable real-life situation when two testers faced the six-month-long backlog. Besides, Niels spent most of his free time in the BarCamp zone, where he was gladly welcoming more and more new listeners. By the way, BarCamp was staying alive for the two days of the conference - and there also was a new addition, so-called blitz talks when speakers had only 300 seconds to invest their listeners into their topics.

Another surprise was ‘testing emergency’ in white coats who answered all questions near a dedicated flipchart. And finally, entertainment and games - a quiz on the first day, a quest on the second day, and always festive Riga at any time. Photo galleries from SQA European Days are already available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pg/sqadaysEU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=571962003317727) and VK (https://vk.com/album-27699095_261623590), and slideshows from the speakers can already be found on the conference website.

The next SQA Days-25 will take place on May 31 - June 1, 2019, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. We are expecting you there - there will be even more fun!