Friday, August 24, 2007


I very much enjoyed the Google Test Automation Conference. The quality of the presentations exceeded my expectations. You can watch them on YouTube. (Also check out the comments on the "Community Thread" on Google's Testing Blog. And there is a GTAC Google Group.)

My favorite presentations were:
There were several presentations on testing web applications, which were very interesting and enlightening but that kind of testing isn't a priority for me at Altera right now.

And as I expected, it was an excellent opportunity for networking and exchanging (and generating new) ideas. I fought my introverted tendencies and made an effort to talk to someone new at each opportunity (especially during lunch and at the reception Thursday night). Everyone I met was a pleasure to talk with and several took particular interest in my work. (Two gentlemen in particular gave me some very good insights and pointers at the reception.)

Google was a generous host. They organized the conference and provided their facilities and breakfast, lunch (and dinner Thursday) at no change. All the attendees received a "goody bag" with a t-shirt, notebook and pen and a light-up fridge magnet, and the speakers were given what looked like very nice laptop bags. And we were all invited on a Hudson River boat cruise tomorrow morning. (I'll be there.)

Sure, Google can afford it and they will benefit from their largess; but they still deserve credit for being a class act. (That reminds me of years ago when Microsoft was lauching DirectX and reserved Great America in Santa Clara for the exclusive use of about 100 developers. But that's another story.)

This was actually the second-annual GTAC. Next year it will be in Hyderabad, so it's unlikely Altera will send me (though perhaps they'll send someone from Penang). It I want to be invited back though, my best bet is to submit a speaker submission; this year they invited everyone who do so (even if they weren't chosen to be a speaker).

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