The UKSTAR Committee have their say on the 2018 Programme

We asked this year’s programme committee to share their thoughts on the 2018 Programme for UKSTAR.

Hear from them why you should pick UKSTAR as the conference you attend in 2018!


Alan Richardson



Mike Jarred

Mike Jarred

I love the programme for UKSTAR 2018!

When we wrote the call for speakers, we deliberately decided against having a theme. Instead, Nathalie, Alan & I added the following statements in the Call For Speakers, to encourage a diverse range of submissions…

  • We stated that the software testing industry is continually evolving.
  • We observed that Testing is increasingly a distributed activity in modern software development teams, where testing is no longer the exclusive domain of an independent team.
  • We acknowledged the shift towards “everyone working as an engineer and everyone testing” to collectively deliver great working software means our community is growing and we wanted UKSTAR 2018 to welcome everyone who tests!

The last few weeks have been great, reviewing the submissions (there were many; and it was insightful and educational) and agreeing the content. I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to submit their ideas, thoughts and experiences, you certainly met our challenge we outlined in the CFS and in return, you gave us the challenge of curating the programme for UKSTAR 2018 we are now proud to launch.

Working with Alan and Nathalie has been great – we have different backgrounds and “occasionally” we had different opinions on what the conference should include; this however was not divisive. In fact, it had the opposite effect, the conversations we had in choosing the Keynotes, Workshops, Track Talks, Conversation tracks and Storytelling Sessions I believe have ensured we can bring a conference that is truly diverse in content which appeals to those new to testing, as well as experienced practitioners. It reflects where Testing is now as an industry, and provides insights in where it may be heading.

We have chosen keynote speakers that offer unique insights into team building, adapting and influencing cultural change in our companies, the future of technology and what it means for testing, as well as understanding leadership and team behavior styles.

We have SIX workshops that will equip you with tools, techniques and insights to assist you with technical testing, improving communication and collaboration your teams, supporting your personal development and changing your thinking when making toolset selection decisions.

When you add to this the range of topics in the talks which cover Emerging Technology & Innovation, DevOps, Skills Development, Automation, CI & CD, Mind Hacks, Analytics Driven Testing and Test Management, with some really cool personal stories added for good measure, this really makes me excited about being part of UKSTAR in March next year. It will be an amazing learning and networking event!

My favourite topics are the ones that help you understand how to be more effective as a team player through understand personal impact and team dynamics; so for me I’ll be looking forward to the great speakers we have exploring personal development, psychology, management and leadership & team building.

I am really looking forward to Isabel Evans Keynote that opens day 2 of UKSTAR. “Leadership, Fellowship & Followership” will draw parallels with other species in the animal kingdom, and explore what other animals can tell us about how we interact with individuals, teams, and groups, both as leaders and followers. Isabel discusses animal behaviour, predators, animal groups, parasites and epiphytes, and the richness of symbiotic partnership, with the aim of understanding how to make sure we, and our teams can thrive in our companies.

Following on from Isabel, Susie Maguire is running a workshop “Life Testing and Leaps of Faith” which promises to be awesome. Susie will explain the benefits of living with purpose in all we do, and helps us realise it is not always possible. In her own words

Technology changes, society changes, trends change, people change, companies change, jobs change, priorities change. What we love doing, being and having at a particular point in time, is not what we may love a year,5 years or ten years later”.

Keeping our purpose is key to leading happy and fulfilled lives. Susie’s workshop helps us to check in on ourselves to evaluate our purpose and passion, to make sure we are the best we can be.

Isabel Vilacides from CloudBees will share her experience of defining and delivering using a strategy to test microservices at scale, in her talk “Testing in the hundred microservices world: when the pyramid becomes a yo-yo”

And my last pick of the programme is the talk by Joshua Crowther from Capacitas. “Performance Testing in a DevOps World” will give us Ideas and insights on how to enable performance testing in a CI Pipeline, which is currently a hot topic in a number of companies adopting CI and CD

All the talks on the programme look great, these a just a few of my choices that I will attend. With all this testing goodness on offer

I can’t wait for the second edition of UKSTAR – can you?

Nathalie Van Delft

Nathalie Van DelftYou don’t have to visit the UK STAR conference of course, but then you’ll miss out on what I think is one of the more diverse conferences around.

This year we specifically didn’t choose a theme or a specific topic. We hoped to get a broader variety of topics in the submissions and we also didn’t want submissions that had been tailored on a theme at the costs of the content.  We indeed got a broad variety of topics and it was hard to make decisions so that the finalized program reflected that.

With Alan and Mike accompanying me in the program committee it proved to be quite a challenge; since we individually liked specific topics and candidates were advocated passionately before making the final decision.  I think the final result is an amazing balance of keynotes, workshops and tracks with something in it for every tester.  It ranges from soft skills to hardcore technical stuff,  from specialized items to general testing topics and from hands-on testing to management and we also managed to weave in a red thread throughout the program.

So you can choose not to go, but like I said… you would be missing out on some of the best balanced conferences ever!



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