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2021 Conference Takeaways

Moss Drake

This year’s conference covered so much: From common testing challenges to how to implement lasting change within your team. 

With more than 50 talks, panels, and discussions packed into two days, there’s so much you may have missed or want to revisit. This marked the second year of a fully-digital conference, and going digital means we recorded every talk.


You may want to check out PNSQC’s YouTube channel to watch all the Keynote presentations:

Bug IconWe’ve now had a few weeks post-conference to reflect on and now even implement some of what we learned at PNSQC. We asked attendees to anonymously share some of their favorite 2021 takeaways:

  • “The Thinking and Planning Release with Business Value workshop with Derk-Jan de Grood showed how to use User Journey Maps to integrate the value proposition, testing and technical debt into the project. It was something that I had used in the past, but Derk was much more complete about it and it came to some surprising (and valuable) results.” 
  • Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Joseph Yoder‘s tutorial on Agile Patterns (‘QA2AQ’) was a journey into the ‘meta’ that helped to put principles to agile activities. They describe it as ‘patterns (to) establish overarching goals for embedding quality-related activities and instilling a quality focus into Agile teams.’ By recognizing patterns of activities you can identify similar practices that might be more useful, or practices that might be missing from your environment.”
  • “I really enjoyed  being amongst ‘my kind of people.’ I honestly forgot how it is to talk to people who know your struggles, who understand your problems and share your pain. Most of [my day is] spent with developers, management, customer service teams, devops, and dbas, and, although we have similar goals to make our customers happy, each of these groups have different ways to achieve that. So, I simply was happy with this once-in-a-lifetime chance to relax and stop convincing everyone to take care about quality.”  
  • Julie Wong’s closing Keynote Mental Fitness is the X-Factor: How to Grow the 3 Core Muscles to Thrive in Challenging Times, which talked about how to achieve ‘lasting, positive change’ really spoke to me. The parts that stood out: Looking at the positive parts of situations and not getting bogged down in the negative, refocusing to find the purpose in the work, and taking breaks to check in with myself to be sure I’m not drifting into a ‘saboteur’ mindset.” 
  • Jenny Bramble’s workshop on Mind Maps opened my eyes to all the ways I could be utilizing them in my brainstorms for projects. She had us split off and work in small groups to show how easy it is to collaborate on mind maps, too. Since the workshop, I’ve done two digitally for work, and one on paper for a personal project.”

ChecklistIf you’d like to share your favorite talk or tell others about something you learned, please contact us and we’ll add it to a future newsletter or blog post.