A week ago, the fifth edition of our Dutch Exploratory Workshop in Testing (DEWT) peer conference took place. DEWT5.
The elevator speech: DEWT is a weekend full of experience reports and facilitated discussions with a pleiad of (inter)national testers. And fun, of course: games, beer, walks in the woods! And let’s not forget that good old friend Laphroaig. The theme this year was “Test Strategy”, hand-picked by this year’s content owner Ruud Cox. The diversity in the reports was striking, as was the diversity of ways in which people interpret the notion of a test strategy. Yes, let’s assume it was long elevator trip.
I set out to take notes of all the talks, and I learned a valuable lesson in the process. It is very hard for me to combine focused note-taking (sketchnote-style) while critically thinking about the matter at hand. Then again, I have always known that multitasking is really a my… oooh shiny scans:
Peter Schrijvers & Massimo D’Antonio:
Ilari Henrik Aegerter:
The busy month of May offered me another opportunity to practice sketchnoting: the wonderful Let’s Test conference in Runö – Stockholm. The conference was, as always, fantastic. A good number of the sessions were experiential workshops that invite participation rather than sketchnoting (although I might make summary notes on them later on), but there was still enough goodness to get drawing.
I am growing fond of the live noting of conference talks – with the unspoken rule of posting it on twitter before the last attendee leaves the room. I very much like the live time-pressure aspect of it since it doesn’t allow my evil perfectionist side to take over. My DEWT-friend and colleague Ruud Cox has gently tried to nudge me into two-stage sketchnoting or even non-live sketchnoting (books, recorded talks). As my conference calendar is fairly empty for the rest of the year, maybe I’ll have a go at that.
One of my personal goals for this year is to become better at sketchnoting. And becoming better – for me – means: working at expanding my visual library and – more importantly – practice, practice, practice!
Last week I attended StarEast in Orlando, and testing conferences happen to provide a wonderful opportunity to get some of that much needed practice in.
Armed with a Confidant notebook (a new brand of notebooks by Baron Fig) and a set of sharpie pens, I went to work. Apart from the Selenium and Webdriver tutorial by Alan Richardson (hands-on coding does not match well with equally hands-on drawing), my keynote and the one preceding it (duh!) and a presentation about game testing of which I missed the first ten minutes, I took notes for every single talk I attended.
I like taking notes this way – the timed challenge provides me with much needed focus (no zoning out here), and the notes seem to stick way longer. As a bonus: even if the content does not particularly appeal to me, the added note taking practice still makes it worthwile.
So, without further ado, here goes: