QA Camp

This past December QA Camp was held at Centare in Brookfield, WI. QA Camp is labeled as a half day conference where you can collaborate and engage with other Quality Engineers, Software Testers, QA Managers and others that share the passion of providing quality software.

Why QA Camp

QA Camp provides an additional resource on top of Meet-ups for the QA community to come together and talk about the topics that every company is facing with providing quality software. When you think about it there isn’t much available to the QA community in the Milwaukee area or Wisconsin in general. Software Test Professionals, Quest and STAR Testing Conferences rarely come to the area and to send employees to any of these conferences it could cost thousands of dollars.

As an example:

  • 2 Day Conference cost: ~$1000
  • Plane + Rental Car: ~$500
  • Hotel: ~$600
  • Food + Misc: ~$150
  • Loss of work time: ~$500

As you can see the cost adds up quickly. By providing a conference in Wisconsin this keeps costs down for people in the area as well as building a local network of peers.

What is it?

QA Camp is a half day, low-cost conference. It brings together topics that are most relevant to the industry. The last QA Camp encompassed 3 speakers, with topics and sessions that included:

Michael Koepke — Software Quality in an Agile World

Leon Schmidt — Starting up Test Automation

Tyler Evert & Steve Hicks — Tight Feedback Loops with TDD and DevOps

The half-day also included breakout sessions. This was a chance to vote on topics that were most important to the attendee. The top three sessions were picked and everyone split up into different rooms, where the topics were then discussed among peers. This gave everyone a chance to hear about other attendees challenges and share their own experiences.

QA Camp also provides networking opportunities throughout, with a chance to mingle with peers before with breakfast, during sessions and after the event with lunch.

Next QA Camp

Another QA Camp has been scheduled for March 30th in the Madison area. The format will be the same as the last but with new topics and speakers. These will include:

Steve Amstadt — Leveraging Cloud Services to Test at Scale

We’ve all been asked the question… how many simultaneous users/client can your app/site handle? For Microsoft Pulse, a real-time sentiment collection platform, that number was >300,000. Using a home-grown, cloud-based test harness, Phantom JS headless browsers (affectionately known as the “Zombie Horde”) were able to simulate actual anticipated traffic on demand, at a fraction of the cost of a third party testing service. Learn how we built this test system, and the how and what around testing at scale in a cloud environment.

Erin Koth — Testers Are People Too

As many teams struggle integrating QA within their team, how does a QA person move from being "Just a Tester" to becoming an integrated member of a development team?

By discussing three common dysfunctions which QA's find themselves immersed in on scrum teams, I hope to walk you through how to attack these dysfunctions and give you the tools to fix them. Fixing them will help to improve team dynamics, shorten feedback loops as well as improve the work-life of every QA person.

There will also be a session for breakouts and lots of opportunities for networking. You can find out more details at https://qacampcentare.eventbrite.com

In Summary

QA Camp is an event that allows team members such as Quality Engineers, Testers and QA Managers to come together and talk about topics in the QA software industry. These are collaborative sessions to allow for everyone’s questions and to get to know your peers and their current struggles. All of this is provided in a half day format to optimize time and affordability.

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