Open source has revolutionized the way software is developed, tested and used amongst the user base and has built a positively re-assuring community in how we collaborate and deliver. While all of this has been a remote working culture for me, it was very encouraging to have recently been a part of the Selenium Test Automation conference in Bangalore. I have been to several conferences thus far, and while some continue to be very well thought through and professionally run, the Selenium Test Automation conference in itself was a differently welcoming experience for me. The overall proposal submission and selection process was very transparent and collaborative. I was there to speak on a non-technical but important topic for software testers on test prioritization – my recording from the session is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZpE-W6yNK4
The overall environment was informal yet much focused. Attendees were all hands-on Selenium users. Selenium features, upgrades, issues were all being actively discussed and solutions arrived at in small groups level connects. The session prior to mine was supposed to be a one hour slot to encourage lightning talks. Any one from the audience could stand up and share a Selenium experience, best practice, issue they were facing. There was an initial hesitation on who would start, which made me thinking the hour would not be fully utilized and my session would start asap instead. The volunteer did an amazing job here, where he started off the lightning session himself. And the discussions were all so hands-on including people showing their issues on their devices so they could be resolved right there. This kick off by the volunteer encouraged the audience to also come share their experiences and soon this became a bubbling session with a lot of activity. This was just a sample on how the conference was impromptu, yet disciplined, informal yet focused and self-managed. My session was also very well received with over 200 people whereas I wasn’t expecting such a huge crowd as it was a parallel track session that wasn’t necessarily very technical. The audience overall I thought were very representative of the open source culture itself – in all this conference was an exciting one for me to be a part of, reiterating the vibrancy of the Selenium Test Automation community.