Learn the story of #booster2014 via my tweets and others I saw and appreciated.

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My Lightning Talk: The Sound of Just One Voice

I was lucky enough to be in the big room, straight after Gary McGraw’s opening keynote (and coffee), so benefited a little from attendee inertia and “Where are all the other rooms?” plus I’d Purple Cowed the talk a bit by tagging it Chamber Music.

The Booster Organisers have really set up the main room to be kind to speakers. As well as the 2 big screens at the front, there’s a repeater screen half way back. You can’t see any of these screens directly, so you also have a good sized TV on the corner of the stage as a slide monitor. The Lightning Talks were run strictly to time, so there was an additional screen next to the monitor with a countdown timer on. At the end of your ten minutes, a bell rings and That’s. It. My talk obviously has a lot of media in it, not all of which can be particularly cut short. I know I can do it in 10 minutes in private, but the previous outing went on to nearly 15. Here, I was one summary slide away from completion, and I wittered a bit right at the start. So, overall very pleased with my delivery and the comments both in tweets and in person afterward were just about all positive. I await the formal feedback with interest…




Lisa Crispin’s Test Workshop

Session Outputs



This was a great evening session, open to everyone, not just conference attendees. This let the value spread further into the local community.

It’s a boisterous session — not least because it’s straight after the Speaker Dinner, and some strong drink had been partaken — and works as a tag-team: 5 people, 6 chairs. Questions to the panel are put in a fishbowl (on fish shaped cards). Anyone can join the panel at any time, and if that happens, someone already up there has to leave. If you are in the crowd, and are noticed contributing from the floor, you’re dragged up to the platform.

All in all, far better (and for our community, funnier) after dinner improv than you’d get from ‘proper comedians’.


Closing Keynote

Gojko Adzic’s keynote was so strong that it deserves a section to itself.



Summary Thoughts

As a first time attendee and speaker, I’m hugely impressed with Booster. I felt welcomed by the local community and the organisers fell over themselves to be helpful to me even as a lowly lightning talk speaker, to the extent of providing a (musical) keyboard to allow live add-on examples based on a request made very late the previous night. I know that there was so much going on that I couldn’t possibly see, but André Heie Vik was very much front and centre for me.

I like that it is targeted at the entire software team, and selected talks that appealed far beyond the core code/test community (even if some of the speakers did make the “everyone here is a dev” assumption). It had space for behavioural sessions, and for mob hacking sessions. This was really clear in the attendees, having business and management clearly represented.

The conference is very friendly, and even the ‘star’ speakers are fully integrated into the body of conference goers. I had great conversations with a whole range of people, and was super happy to meet (amongst others) Lisa Crispin, Elad Sofer and Gitte Klitgaard in person for the first time after Twitter discussions, and to get to know Liz Keogh and Pawel Brodzinski a lot better.

Three days away from client work is a heavy investment, but definitely worthwhile. It’s already on my list of conferences for next year, and as I don’t expect to be emigrating over the CFP period, I’ll be submitting a full workshop proposal.

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