QE Camp, Brno 2018

QE Camp is an annual event focussed on Quality Engineering that is conducted by Red Hatters for Red Hatters. It is an internal event where you meet Red Hatters from the QE department as well as other departments across the globe. As of now, it is an internal only event but we may think of opening it to a larger audience sometime in future. It is a great event where you meet all the folks from Quality Engineering including the leadership team and know what’s interesting on everyone’s plate in the testing domain.

This year the event was in TPB-B( Technological Park Building B), Brno that’s one of our new offices in Brno. I was a speaker at one of the first ever QE camps back in 2015 and then I got a chance to attend another one now. It was really great to catch up with everyone after a long time.

Day 1:

The conference started with a welcome speech by Chris Ward, his welcome speeches are always enjoyable. He did mention a few points to consider and not fall sick at the start of the lineup of exciting events. There were 4 tracks for the talks and workshops, in addition to that there was another room for quiet space. In the main track, the first talk of the day was titled ‘Overview of 4 QE panels’ which was mainly an overview on Administrative Operations Pane, Architecture Panel, Customer Scenarios & Solutions Panel and Metrics & Analytics Panel by the respective leaders. Parallel to this track was another one on ‘Robot Framework – Smarter Way to Automate‘. I attended a little of both the talks as both of them were interesting enough. The next one in the room was ‘The Why of Jenkins and Pipelines in RH Mobile‘, interesting talk but all my notes from then read that it was mostly about using Jenkins 2.0 on Openshift and using docker based slaves.

The next one that I attended from the day was ‘Building an Airline using Red Hat Technology‘, this talk was also voted as one of the best talks at the conference. The session was mainly about how easyJet have gradually transitioned to Red Hat, including the highs and lows along the journey. You can find the slides here. The one on ‘Collaboration with CEE for Customer Focus‘ was voted as the second best talk. The talk was focused on the different ways to collaborate with Customer Experience and Engagement(CEE)/Support teams for improving Product Quality and some initiatives like Test Days, CEE/QE Exchange Prog, Involving CEE in Bug Triaging and Data Mining were talked about. ‘A Gentle Introduction to Product Quality Index‘ talk by Og Maciel was  one of the most interesting ones out of all as there was something new in there to learn. Og explained what is PQI and how is it important.

Now, it was time for lunch and there were options with beef and chicken, and for someone who was looking for vegetarian options there was rice and carrot salad. Though the combination looked weird but I really enjoyed the carrot salad 😉 . It was the first slot of the day to say “hi” and meet new people, I was really happy to see a few faces whom I met back in 2015.

Following the lunch, we had the keynote by leaders of the QE department where they talked about FY19 goals. Next, I attended a talk by an intern turned associate that was titled: ‘Metamorphsis of a QE caterpillar’ where she talked about her transition from being an intern to an associate. The last one for the day was ‘Test Cost vs Quality: who wins the battle?’  where he spoke about how to decide what to test and considering customer’s point of view for how is the product usually used/installed/upgraded.

Day 1 at the conference comes to an end and everyone is looking forward to the most exciting part of the conference which is the Social Event at Starobrno Brewery, Brno. Nevertheless, the event was worth it with all the free beer and free food. Since there was no loud music, it was a great opportunity to catch up with so many people and make new friends.  Though no one wanted to leave the party, but still most of the people hopped onto the last tram for the day at 11:00 pm to reach back to their hotels.

Day 2:

It’s always difficult to reach the conference venue on time the morning next to the social event. I did try my best to reach there by 9:15 am at least. The day started with ‘Ask me anything: with CEE leadership’, the questions were already being collected in a Google doc from quite a few days and the leadership team answered all of them well and precise. To this my question was “Does Red Hat plan to do anything revolutionary in the testing industry?” which was answered well with a hidden remark ‘it all starts with an idea and ideas are welcome anytime’. The next one that I attended for the day was on ‘Test Coverage Mapping‘ and that it is important to track how is the test coverage improving. The next talk in the main track was on ‘How to earn the RHCA certificate‘, which did focus on ‘Why RHCA?’ and supporting that was ‘if you know the why, then how and what become easier’ to which I agree as well. The next interesting talk was ‘Automating Performance Testing at Scale‘ which covered performance testing and where do the conventional tools like JMeter would fail and how they were using Ansible and Docker to automate this process(using Ansible to register 50,000 containers to Satellite). The another one with good number of people in the room was ‘Meltdown and Spectre from a QE Perspective‘ which gave many an insight into Meltdown and Spectre, if you are interested to know more about it, refer here.

There were all vegetarian options for lunch today and it was good ;). The next talk post lunch was titled ‘How can QE and the docs team work together‘ which gave a good key point as ‘CCS +  QE = HC’ where CCS is Customer Content Services(Documentation team), QE is Quality Engineering and HC is Happy Customer. There was a workshop going on in parallel on the topic ‘Blogging for fun and profit‘ which was a step-by-step guide for writing a blog post and not a blog, it was more about being able to write a post and not about building a blog.The last talk that I attended for the day was ‘How we evolved in our Selenium testing and why?‘, the main idea behind this was ‘because improving is fun!’ and that was a real takeaway. The speakers included a few things like.. unittests/nosetests are outdated and using pytests now, BDT does not fit, thinking out of the box and refactoring!

The last for the day was ‘Closing + best presenter awards‘ which included some closing words by Chris Ward and giving away awards to the top presenters. As usual, it is sad to see conferences ending but it was great fun and an awesome  opportunity to meet so many people.

Towards the day end, view from the terrace.

Additional info: You can find the schedule and info about the speakers here.

Looking forward to the next QE camp and moving onto writing the next blog on DevConf, Brno 2018! Stay tuned. 🙂

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