Željko Filipin's blog.
Home Blog Tags License

View on GitHub
31 January 2022

Stepping down as Testival Organizer

by Željko Filipin

I’m stepping down as a Testival organizer.

It all started in 2010. Davor Banović was organizing viaqa, a software testing conference in Osijek, Croatia. I think he had a few sponsors paying for the venue. But mostly Davor organized the conference with his own money.

At the time, I worked for a two person startup and the only other software tester I knew was Davor. I thought the conference would surely fail, since there would be just the two of us.

As far as I remember, to my huge surprise, about 50 people came to the conference. It was obvious that the market is ready for a software testing conference, something I was not expecting at all.

I was the main organizer of the viaqa conference in Zagreb, Croatia in 2011. Karlo Šmid helped me organize the conference. That event was when things started happening. Davor, Karlo and I became the core organizers of software testing meetups and conferences in Croatia. More people joined us over the years, but the three of us were the core.

After the 2011 viaqa conference Karlo organized Software Testers Speak Up Meeting. I think I was the one that suggested we should join the Software Testing Club (now the Ministry of Testing). So, from the second meetup we’ve changed the name to Zagreb Software Testing Club. I’ve joined Karlo in organizing Zagreb Software Testing Club and we’ve organized 25 meetups from 2011 to 2016.

Davor and I have visited several CITCON conferences and in 2014 the team has decided to help organize CITCON in Zagreb instead of the viaqa conference.

In 2015 we decided to rename the conference to Testival. I can’t remember who suggested the name, but everybody liked it. In 2016 we decided to rename our meetups from Software Testing Club to Testival, so both meetups and the conference were under the same name.

From 2015 to 2019 we have organized a conference every year, and most of the time we have a meetup every month.

In 2019 I decided to get serious about running. That took a lot of my time. Also, I had enough of organizing the Testival, so I’ve decided to step down as an organizer. I’ve announced that to the team. But then COVID happened and the Testival was put on hold anyway. We had a few online meetups in the last couple of years. I’ve helped organize them, so I didn’t really step down as an organizer. Then Karlo Šmid publicly stepped down and I’ve decided to do the same. Karlo wrote a blog post about it and I thought this was a great time to collect my thoughts and memories about Testival.

The Testival meetups and conferences were a success beyond all my expectations. We have organized a conference every year from 2010 to 2019. The meetups started in 2011. In the beginning they were every few months. In the last few years they were almost every month.

I hope Testival will revive after COVID. I’m looking forward to participating in meetups and conferences. The only change is that I don’t plan to be one of the organizers.


I would like to thank Tyler Cipriani for reviewing the article and a lot of advice on how to make it better.

tags: testival - years