February 28th, 2007 | Published in Google Testing
Yesterday we held a global internal test conference that we called "Testapalooza".
The idea for Testapalooza came out of discussions about how to build a vibrant testing community here at Google. Many diverse groups work daily on quality-related activities, but each group uses different tools and has different ideas for testing an application, so it can be difficult to find out what others are doing. So we decided to put on a conference!
We asked engineers from Testing, Development, User Experience, and other groups to submit conference sessions: tool presentations, tutorials, workshops, panels, and experience reports. We hoped to get 30-40 submissions from which we could select about 20. In typical conference mode, the day before the submission deadline, we had 12 submissions. The day after the deadline, we had more than 130! It was very impressive and fun to read what our engineers submitted. We had some of our most involved engineers on the reviewing committee, and even they were surprised about the breadth and depth of the proposed sessions. It was extremely hard to pick just 41 of these proposals, but we couldn't fit any more into a one-day conference.
We ran 11 tracks: Agile, Automation, Developer, Internationalization, Perf, QA, Release Engineering, Security, Reliability, SysOps, and User Experience. Registrations for the event filled up quickly and proved that there is indeed a great desire for more cross-specialty collaboration: software developers signed up to attend QA sessions, operations engineers learned more about unit testing, and QA engineers were everywhere.
The conference was a great success. We had sessions going the whole day, and people were discussing testing in the hallways. New ideas were generated and debated in every corner of the Googleplex. People appreciated the variety of topics from agile testing to micro-level unit testing to testing tools to usability testing. We also had a poster session, where internal groups could show other Googlers what they were doing, our equivalent of the conference expo.
Of course, this wouldn't be a true Google event without some great food, and we were fortunate to have enthusiastic participation from our chefs: Taste-a-Palooza!
We finished the day with an hour of lightning talks. At the end of the day everybody was exhausted, but with new and interesting ideas to think about.
All Testapalooza sessions were video recorded (many were videoconferenced to other offices). We want to publish as many of these videos as possible, and will review them over the coming weeks to publish sessions which did not contain any confidential information. Watch this space for more information on the videos.