Recently, I was invited to talk in some great conferences around Europe :
It was not only a great trip, it was the occasion to talk about Integration Testing, how it’s different from Unit Testing, its pros and cons, ways to overcome the cons, how to Fake infrastructure dependencies and how to test in-container with Spring, Spring MVC and Java EE - well, a 45minutes/one-hour summary of my Integration Testing from the Trenches book. You can see the slides, no videos have been released yet.
Though JavaDay Kyiv and Joker’s sessions were mainly in Russian, the few English ones there convinced me the three conferences were focused on very different subjects. As its name implies, JavaDay was mainly about Java (though there has been some Groovy involved somewhere). I attended a talk entirely dedicated to Integration Testing with the Spring MVC framework. As for my talk, it took place in a quite big room and the room was packed full. People seemed interested and there were many relevant questions, even some comments based on experience.
Joker conference advertises itself as a conference for experts. After attending, I understand that expert means low-level: there were many talks about bytecode, optimization of software regarding hardware architecture, JVM internals and such. To be honest, most of the stuff, I barely understood, but at least I learned that SAP provides its own JVM thanks to a talk by Volker Simonis. Oh yeah, and since it was my first visit in St Petersburg, I also learned that October there is freaking cold! I ran my talk in a small room, and the audience didn’t give much feedback - too bad.
I concluded my tour with Agile Tour London. The first (and most interesting IMHO) session was a workshop on how to build a city with Legos. The work was divided into teams, one for each part - house, water pump, power plant and road. This highlighted many reasons why Software development projects regularly fail: siloed teams, each focused on his own part of work, no interfaces up-front, etc. As for my own talk, to be honest, though I was invited, I didn’t think it would be a good fit: I never pictured myself as a methodologist, and though my experience has taught me that waterfall projects do not deliver, I’m not really sure Agile fares better. Besides, Integration Testing has less to do with Agile than software quality than methodology. However, the room was quite full and it seemed that despite my warnings about "bits of code being part of the session", only one person left in the end. I even exchanged ideas with an attendee during the closing party.
Going to conferences is always refreshing: learning about new ideas, trying new stuff and meeting new people - not mentioning old friends. I’ll be going next week at Devoxx and have a talk about Mutation Testing. Meet you there!