— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the tech-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals and hobbyists of all skill levels.
TestBashNY is Nov. 5-6
There’s no shortage of great tech conferences around the world, but for software testers, finding interesting, fun conferences and events focused on the industry we love can be a bit of a challenge.
The TestBash conferences have been going strong in the UK since 2012, but a lot of U.S.-based testers have been missing out on one of the best experiences on the tech conference circuit for years.
But that doesn’t have to be the case this year.
“We’re not just trying to replicate what we have in the UK,” Rosie said. “We want New York to have a great, unique experience.”
Rosie, who is also founder of testing resource center Ministry of Testing, is planning to deliver that experience with a list of great speakers, interesting topics and, of course, afterparties.
The first day of the conference will consist of workshops led by some of the top testing professionals in the industry.
The second day of TestBashNY will have more of a “traditional conference” feel with a series of presentations and discussions.
— Em EmClass Keaveny (@EmJayKay80) March 28, 2015
Coming Across the Pond
As anyone would imagine, organizing a conference in New York from the UK is a challenge, but Rosie’s relationship with one of the leaders in the New York testing community has made the task much more manageable.
Anna Royzman is a veteran testing consultant and co-founder of NYC Testers, the largest and most active testing-focused meetup group in the city. Rosie said she’s been instrumental in bringing TestBash to NYC.
With Anna giving on-site support from New York and imparting her knowledge of the local scene, Rosie and Anna have organized the event and are already hoping to make TestBashNY a yearly addition to American testers’ calendar.
“Anna’s already put in the work to build the testing community,” Rosie said. “She knows the testing landscape in New York, and she’s a great partner.”
— Ryan Rapaport (@ry_rap) March 26, 2015
The Audience-first Mentality
It’s easy to get lost in the crowd at a lot of bigger tech conferences, and it’s also common to be accosted by unsolicited sales pitches everywhere you turn.
TestBash’s mission is to put the audience and the speakers first, and Anna said that’s a palpable feeling that resonates with attendees. She also pointed out that even people who haven’t been to a TestBash event in the UK can tell it’s a community-driven exercise.
“There’s a lot of excitement when I talk about TestBashNY with the community at NYC Testers, even the people who will be coming for the first time” Anna said. “And people who have been to TestBash always want to come back.”
Rosie said focusing on the community was one of the main reasons she started the events in the first place, but the audience and the speakers don’t need to be told they’re appreciated — they can see it through Rosie’s actions.
TestBashNY ticket prices are much lower than many conferences that draw experts of similar stature, and Rosie sticks to the unique policy of paying all travel expenses for all speakers, no matter where they come from.
“We respect the fact that people want to come speak,” Rosie said. “We want to open the door for them to share what they know.”
Everybody seemed happy at TestBash 2015 (UK)
Diversity and Inclusion
TestBashNY also promises to be one of the more diverse and inclusive conferences of the year, as it hosts around a 50-50 split of male and female speakers.
But Rosie and Anna said that wasn’t by design.
“It’s not about just scheduling women speakers because they’re women,” Rosie said. “Our process was created to pick all speakers wholly on merit, independent of any demographic, and it just worked out to be a split.”
Rosie described the feelings around previous TestBash events as “friendly and open-minded,” which she said is one of the biggest starting points for a conference to foster a diverse audience and an inclusive atmosphere.
While TestBashNY is obviously a great learning opportunity for anyone in the testing community, Anna also looks at it as a chance for her and Rosie to lead the younger generation of women in tech.
“My career advice to young women is to never compromise their excellence,” Anna said. “TestBash is an example of that principle, and the best way to change the industry is through leading by example.”
You can register for TestBashNY workshops and the full conference day HERE, and if your employer is paying the bill, registration is simplified with the option of receiving an invoice directly from TestBash when checking out.