Something way cool happened at Eurostar this year. A group of like-minded people got together after the conference to do a mini-CONFERence in a more intimate setting. They called themselves the Danish Alliance (or Oprørsalliancen, when they felt like badly pronouncing Danish words). The concept was based on the Rebel Alliance, started by Matt Heusser at StarEast last year. I had been thinking about a localized version of the Alliance before, but it was the ever energetic Shmuel Gershon who put his efforts into organizing the first Alliance on European soil. Of course, this little guerilla conference couldn’t have happened without the generous help of the Eurostar folks, who set us up with a superb meeting room. Need I say that they ROCK?
The ingredients were simple:
- A handful of passionate testers
- A safe setting
- Chocolates & cookies
Throw all these together and stir gently. Observe.
Whatever happens, happens. There was no agenda, really. In this case we mingled first, talked and drank a bit until pizzas arrived. Major epiphany: Denmark has pizzas that come in the size of a small wallaby. After that, there were some lighting talks, timed by quality
gatetimekeeper Michael Bolton (who definitely should get into the timekeeping business whenever he gets out of the QA business). You can see (transcripted!) videos of the talks in Shmuel’s write-up of the event.
‘Talks’ don’t have to be ‘talks’, per se. James Lyndsay did a call to action to test one of his new black box testing machines. Andy Glover (the Cartoon Tester) got us drawing abstract concepts. Dorothy Graham even gave us a Sound of Music flashback by singing about her favorite techniques. Anything goes.
Discussions continued until the wee hours. I thought it was wonderful. This is the kind of stuff that doesn’t regularly happen during the day at conferences. Sure, the Eurostar programme was great, again (and I’ll be writing more about that later), but the real conferring often happens outside the track sessions and tutorials. It feels great to connect with other people that are all driven by the same thing: a passion for their craft.
So thank you Shmuel Gershon, Jesper L Ottosen, Joris Meerts, Dorothy Graham, James Lyndsay, Bart Knaack, Martin Jansson, Henrik Andersson, Michael Bolton, Andy Glover, John Stevenson, Rob Lambert, Carsten Feilberg, Ajay Balamurugadas, Markus Gaertner, Henrik Emilsson, Julian Harty, Rob Sabourin, Rikard Edgren, Lynn McKee and Rob Lugton. The force will be with you, always.