Updates & News 01 November 2022

k6 at StarWest and PNSQC 2022

Leandro Melendez

Adventures at StarWest and PNSQC

Hello again!

Here is your amigo Leandro with some more reporting from the field.

This time I bring you a double combo as we recently visited not one but two conferences! StarWest from TechWell in Anaheim, California, and PNSQC in Portland, Oregon.



Everything started arriving at the LAX airport. Heading to the conference's location, we arrived at the one and only Disneyland hotel at the very doors of the amusement park in Anaheim.

The conference ran from the 3rd to the 7th of October. But the first two days are dedicated to lots of workshops and tutorials. Because of that, there wasn't much movement with presentations or people walking around, so we settled our interview corner and intercepted friends to come by and share their wisdom and experience for a few minutes.

Vince Huang


We started warming up engines by talking to Vince Huang, master of chaos. We described together what was coming over the following days. Then Vince shared many insights on the deal with Chaos-engineering, such as error budgets, service level agreements, tools for chaos, and much more!

Pre stream


Then, we streamed the first walkthrough over the area to take advantage of our streaming gear. We showed how the place looks at the early stages of the conference to give the audience a feel of the hotel area. It was very Disney ey with classic songs constantly playing all over the place!

Andrew Knight (muted)


Then we captured our amigo Andrew Knight from Applitools, better known as the automation panda, who had just finished giving a full-day workshop about BDD. We discussed the differences between BDD and TDD, services and microservices, and much more! Although, well, we had a hiccup and forgot to unmute the stream. During the whole thing! I promise I will catch him (pokemon pun intended) in a future event and try an unmuted rebroadcast of that interview.

Jonathon Wright


And speaking of being muted, in the same way, we started our following interview with the amigo Jonathon Wright from Eggplant / KeySight, who looked like he just came from the future. Fortunately, we got messages right away and managed to unmute. Thanks to that, we learned so much about the metaverse, augmented reality, AI, virtual personas, and a bunch of futuristic ideas that blew our minds.

Noel Wurst


This tale moves on with a storyteller on the interview seat. Our amigo Noel Wurst from SmartBear, the chief storyteller there, shared some insights about storytelling with us. A key element for DevRels, presenters, QA, and pretty much everyone as stories are the best way to transmit knowledge. Having the right story told by the right person is way better than when sales try to push information over an audience.

Vikas Mital


Closing the workshop days, we got to talk to Vikas Mittal from Xebia, who shared insights about Xebia and brought a mindblowing perspective that I had not pondered before. He showed us why easy and codeless automation testing solutions are essential for organizations whose goals are not to become technical masters and who only need to ensure the technology they use has quality.

Booting StarWest


A crazy way to close the "quiet" time, as the following morning, the conference days full of talks, sponsor booths, panels, and much more fun started. We launched the conference-days stream by walking through the registration area, the breakfast zone, the Genius testing bar for 1:1s, the test lab, a listing of the talks, and a walkthrough over the main ballroom, which was ready for the keynotes.

Joe Colantonio


After that inaugural stream, we returned to the interviewing corner with the one and only Joe Colantonio, founder of the Test Guild community. He shared details on how he started his community, how he started the Guild Conferences online only before everyone else had to do it, the most significant trends in testing, and some of his biggest struggles as head of the Guild. By the way, the automation guild conference 2023 is starting soon and is online only. Do not miss the early bird prices!

Conference Talk: Quest of the Perf Eng

10PerfTalk After Joe left, it was time to leave the interview spot for a bit, as it was time for me to talk! Following the motto of the magical land we were at, I presented "The Quest of a Performance Engineer. A Tale of the Adventures of This Mythical Creature." In it, I talked about the skills of this magical creature, the feats of the performance heroes from the past, and closed with the tasks that modern perf heroes should be doing.

Andreas Grabner


Once my talk was over, we returned to the interview corner and found the amigo Andreas Andy Grabner from Dynatrace. He is heading the Keptn project to bring observability to all those pesky Kubernetes platforms. We discussed the topic of observability. Software being observable by default and having observability standards everywhere is highly important, something he is constantly working to achieve.

Eddie Urenda


Next in line was Eddie Urenda from Hexaware. Long ago, he was my performance godfather as he was the first manager that brought me in to start my journey in performance testing—being the Americas division lead, with an excellent overview of how business is evolving around QA in these modern times. We discussed the latest trends, needs, and activities that organizations request. He emphasized on the migration to the cloud. As he mentioned, it is an organization's most significant headache in assuring quality.

First Expo Walkthrough


After interviewing Eddie, we took a stroll with the camera streaming action from the exposition area. That started the first piece of the tour through the sponsors' booths. But there were so many that we had to cut the tour halfway.

Mustafa Peshwarwala


The last interview stop for the day was with Mustafa Peshwarwala, from Royal Cyber. He shared the recommended best QA practices, the differences in testing microservices, how they differ from regular services, about his talk, and the skills needed in these modern times. 

Will you marry me?


After that, the closing keynotes had even an extraordinary situation, a first-time-ever for me in a conference. Chris Loder from Upland software did his keynote proposing to his girlfriend! The only time that I have seen that a keynote presentation makes people cry. Tears of joy, of course, as she said 'yes'!

End of day 1


We closed the day with another walking tour with a little bit of wine, showing the fun that everyone was having at the closing event. There were gifts from the sponsors, dinner, and lots of fun wrapping down the day.

The next day, I noticed that up to that moment, everyone in the interview corner was male, only hombres! So I decided to fix it and make it a women-who-test interview day as much as possible.

Cheryl Raya


The first brave lady on the spot was Cheryl Raya from NIPR, who also had given a talk earlier. Her talk focused on the metamorphosis of manual testers into automators. She also shared her path as a woman developer getting to QA and teaching herself to care about quality. Not to mention a few thousand automated tests she helps to manage and multiple recommendations for everyone to follow their passion!

Noa Segol


Next, we had Noa Segol, VP of marketing at Practitest. She shared several excellent perspectives and statistics for women interested in getting into tech from other areas. She also shared her perspective as a psychologist on being more inclusive and aware of those differences and mental barriers to break. I can tell she broke many I had and that I wasn't even aware.

Second Expo Walkthrough


Taking a break, we resumed our walkthrough of the exposition center. We went over the remaining booths and learned a lot about the remaining sponsors.

Sarah Watkins


Returning to the interviewing corner, we talked to Sarah Watkins from Q2. That was her second conference, and the second time she has presented, given a talk, held panels, and even workshops. She is just starting but rocking it! She shared that journey with us, the challenges and successes she has been having. I foresee a great future with her!

Performance Panel


Again we had to leave the interview corner since it was time for a performance testing panel! There we got extraordinary performers to share different perspectives on diverse performance topics.

Melissa Benua


But the day was not over yet, and we got one last wonderful woman-in-testing at the interview corner—our amiga veteran at conferences, Melissa Benua from mParticle. She had been super busy helping with the test lab, so she described all the fun activities they were doing there. Then we discussed her journey, the challenges, and recommendations as a woman in IT and QA. She even mentioned that Star Trek was in part responsible for her journey. Live long and prosper!

Ameet Deshpande


Sadly we ran out of women-who-test and still had a small slot. So we got Ameet Deshpande from Qyrus sharing details about his talk using their tool to improve performance and how to manage the multiple moving parts in a performance test.

Closing StarWest 2022 w/ Alison Wade


An overload of wisdom and information, but all things have to end. So we booted the closing stream for the conference. We were super tired after all the fun, but we closed up gloriously with some giveaways, a tour through the empty hallways after the fun, and a few closing words from Alison Wade, who brought up the event together. A great way to close and say goodbye to Anaheim and LA. See you soon, TechWell amigos and amigas.

Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference


But the journey was not over since we went from there straight into Portland, Oregon, for PNSQC, the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference in their 40th edition!

Vernon Richards and Michael Larsen


We opened the adventures there, jumping right into a fantastic conversation between two titans of QA. On the one hand, Vernon Richards from Ada Health, who presented an incredible opening keynote for the conference about career choices in QA, a majestic presentation. And Michael “Kelly” Larsen from Excelon and Learning techs, another titan in the QA world. We talked about QA, education, becoming a tester, careers, and crazy random points around QA.

Juan de Dios Delgado


Then we talked to a compatriot from Mexico who I knew from long ago, Juan de Dios Delgado from Mobica. He is an awesome tester who shared details about his talk about testing voice recognition at the conference. We also discussed fun stories on how to transcend and cross borders by emigrating to foreign countries.

Performance keynote by SrPerf


And that was it for interviews that day, as I had to leave and prepare for the closing keynote. That was because I was the one giving the keynote! I ended the day by giving a keynote about performance, you know, modern performance, with my typical examples with tacos, chihuahua dogs, guacamole, and even Aztec sacrifices.

Julia Pottinger


We started the next day by interviewing Julia Pottinger from Quality Works, who opened the day with an incredible keynote about learning in QA. In our interview, she discussed the challenges and opportunities enabling people to learn and grow their skills in this competitive world. She also shared her challenges as a woman in IT and gave motivating learnings from her journey to get to where she is today.

Jason Arbon


Then we got Jason Arbon from Test.ai. Yeah, that Jason Arbon, author of the book How Google tests software! He shared his crazy journey through the largest IT companies out there, the reasons for writing the mentioned book, the latest trends in QA, such as AI, his incursion into it, modern-borderline futuristic technologies, and even digital clones! It was crazy stuff!

Tariq King


And speaking of the crazy stuff. Next, we got Tariq King from EPAM and VP of the PNSQC board! He shared several details about his journey into AI, learning the trade from free sources such as YouTube! He added several AI breakthroughs and explained technical terms like tensors, the leverage of traces in AI and performance, and where the industry is moving.

Péter Földházi


Almost getting to an end, we interviewed an amigo who followed us from StarWest, Péter Földházi from EPAM. He shared details about his full-of-beer lightning keynote at StarWest, his contributions to projects he drives, QA knowledge, lessons in understanding clients, and adding value while providing QA services.

Chris Navrides


We closed the journey with Chris Navrides, CEO of DevTools and another heavyweight in the world of AI. He talked about his journey into AI, how his previous endeavor helped to let AI recognize web forms, more breakthroughs in solving problems with AI, and we even talked about automatically generating video content! An AI overload to close my streaming spree.

Modern Performance Workshop


And ramping down, even as that was the last interview, that was not all the action. We closed this journey the next day with an intense 4-hour workshop showing how to integrate k6, Prometheus, Grafana, GitHub, Jenkins, and much more into an entire continuous performance platform.

To be continued

Those two weeks were a giant journey full of knowledge, interactions, and incredible people. I look forward to the next opportunity to have this blast again. But until then, that's it from me for now.

Gracias, for reaching the end of this report.

Leandro out!

-Besos <3


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