I went to the SIGiST conference in London yesterday and, as usual, got a lot from the day. It was nice to meet a fellow STC member but it would have been good to see a higher representation from the Club.
The opening keynote speech by Wayne Mallinson was very thought-provoking focussing on avoiding waste in our development processes. The concepts were originally developed for the manufacturing industry and the main example given was Toyota. Given the difficulties faced by Toyota recently the cartoons published recently were shown at the beginning of the presentation to inject extra humour to the talk.
After the break we had two talks: one from Neil Pandit from Sopra illustrated the use of heat-charts to highlight areas where testing should be focussed and provide information in a way that all audiences can understand - after all nobody has especial difficulty with a temperature chart on the weather forecast.
We also had a talk from Mo Shannon and Lucy Heenan from BT about Customer Experience Testing. I found this really interesting especially as it is something that I am trying to get into at work at the moment. The main emphasis was on building customer experience into the requirements for the product - for example how is the customer going to use the product? Will the customer feel they have got what they want when they receive the product after reading an advert?
Lunch was, as usual, excellent and afterwards we had a short review of "Managing the Test People" from Tonnvane Wiswell from The Post Office. It sounds like a very interesting book and I will probably try to get a copy.
Following this I went to a workshop - somewhat amusingly in the "Surgical Skills Suite" - entitled "Don't Shoot the Messenger" where we focussed on how we can improve the way we communicate and understanding the way other people's minds are likely to work when they get a missive from us. Again I found this very worthwhile.
The final keynote speech was given by Paul Gerrard on test axioms. His view is that there are key areas in which all testers should agree if context is taken out of the equation. Like the opening keynote this was very thought-provoking though I am still pondering the conclusions reached. Paul bought supplies of book he has written "The Tester's Pocketbook" and I intend to spend some time reading that and pondering his views.
The event concluded, as usual at The Volunteer, and it was nice to continue chatting with other delegates and speakers.
The June conference will mark SIGiST's 21st birthday and should be really good. Unfortunately I am on holiday on the day so will not be able to make it :-(
I highly recommend that anyone that can attend, goes to the conference.