Talks today were: "You Can't Test Quality into Your Systems" (which spent too much time talking about the history of software and not enough time about the future - his goals of "Short term: QA requirements; Medium: learn how to read code; Long term: become a coder" was both glib and too narrowly focused. Next was "Agile Testing: Uncertainty, Risk, and Why It All Works" which was a good look at how to make testing an integral part of an Agile development process; not really relevant to me anymore but a good talk. This got me talking to Agile test guru Lisa Crispin later about my horrible experiences at Tango Foxtrot; she thinks I've got a good article in there and also wants to interview me for a "women who do Agile" thing she's working on. And she promised she'd talk to me about what kind of book I should write, though we didn't actually wind up doing this over lunch like we'd planned on, as some other women at the table got caught up asking about how to improve the Agile implementation they're in the middle of; given that the entire table was participating in the conversation (sort of a group therapy thing, or maybe a large "Dear Abby" session), I saw no reason to rush my chat, and, really, it was fun having people working together. Taking advantage of the group mind is my favorite part of this conference.
The shorter talks I went to were about reducing duplication (the talk was too short to do much, she should have timed herself and added at least another 20 minutes), dashboards (I got some ideas about this but feel like what I need to do is show the guy who held it the one we've got and figure out how to 1) make it universal 2) make it easier to read), and ... um ... something about testing as a service that was so "This is what you do wrong!" that I got bored and left. LATERZ.
We ended with "Stop Guessing About How Customers Use Your Software," which was a guy from Microsoft showing a bunch of ways they measure what people actually do or would like to do with their software, from the ever popular A/B (i.e. Optimost) tests to the error messages that feed back to them to these little "what matters more to you, X or Y?" quizzes they give to their beta testers. It was actually a very informative session about what Microsoft does, but as a firm that develops things that don't use the internet, for almost strictly internal customers, it wasn't particularly relevant. I did almost win a book, though.'
Anyway, 5:30 and no luck seeing Mom lastwordy_mcgee, as she was booked already for the evening and not free again until after M comes to town. So I took myself to yet another mall, this time buying *drum roll* socks, underwear, and some soap. I was, at least, on the right end of town to go to Jalapenos, which I did and where the food was amazing - I had the plate that came with a chile relleno, a green enchilada, and a tostada. OH SO FULL. Even the beans and rice were amazing. I also had a guy at the place MASSIVELY hit on me, offering me a beer ("no thanks, I'm driving"), then asking me if I wanted to play pool with him "or just party," then following me out to the car and asking me to change my mind. Yeah, no. Ah well, at least I know where the action is now, and I have lots of new socks, so no more of this Oliver Twist crap with the multiple holes, I'm having a sock chucking party when I get home.