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11 July 2013

Selenium Conference 2013, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

by Željko Filipin

Last month I was at Selenium Conference 2013 where I talked how we test MediaWiki, software that runs Wikipedia. The talk was in the afternoon of the third (and the last) day of the conference. I wish it was earlier, since there was not a lot of time for me to talk with people after the talk.

How was the talk? A few people on Twitter said they liked it:

The talk is recorded, in case you were not at the conference.

How was I happy with the talk? Let me tell you a story... I gave a similar talk at a few local meetups and conferences. (Take a look at notes from DORS/CLUC 2013 conference.) I was pretty happy with that version of the talk. But then, a day or two before going to the conference I had an idea. I was reading the DORS/CLUC blog post and I have noticed that the talk was focused on tools (Ruby, Selenium, Cucumber...). I thought the talk would be better if I focus on the challenges and then mention tools that solve them. Since I was preparing for a trip over the ocean I did not have the time to completely rearrange the talk.

In Boston I was contemplating should I just give the talk, or should I rearrange it. I thought rearranging the talk would make it better, but since there was not a lot of time to practice the new version, there was a chance that I would mess it up during the talk. After a lot of thought, the day before the talk I decided to put my thoughts on paper and practice the new version of the talk. I was happy with the new version so I decided to go with it. Since the time was short, I have practiced the talk only 2-3 times.

I was really nervous during the talk. I am usually nervous before the talk, but I am fine when the talk starts. I am not sure what happened this time. There was a few hundred people in the audience, maybe that was it. I usually speak at smaller conferences. Maybe it was the sight of almost the entire Selenium team in the front row. Anyway, I have survived the talk. I have watched the video of the talk and I think it went pretty good, given the circumstances.

I gave the new version of the talk at another conference, slightly improved, of course. But again, I did not have enough time to practice. I will write a blog post about that conference and the talk itself soon.

Visiting Boston was a unique opportunity to meet Rachel Thomas, our Gnome FOSS Outreach Program for Women Intern. I also managed to visit Harpoon Brewery and Samuel Adams Brewery (The Boston Beer Company). I also stumbled upon Boston Beer Works.

tags: event - facebook - photo - selenium - speaker - testing - twitter - video - youtube