Recently I was at the work unconference where a lot of the Devs had Codemania TShirts on and saying great things about it. This got me thinking of Software Testing Conferences in NZ where is our sexy conference that we talk fondly of and wear TShirts from? STANZ isn't a sexy community based conference, it is a big, expensive old style conference (does it even have a TShirt? and would you proudly wear it?). KWST does have some of that sex appeal of the new style conference but it is invite only.
Looking at KWST, WeTest, NZ Tester, etc we don't need the flashy international super star testers to talk at it, there are a lot of people in NZ who have a lot to offer to the community. Then there are also a great number of people who could learn from these people as well.
Also look at what can be done, the Kiwicon the Hackers conference was only $60 per person plus some corporate sponsorship. I pay for Kiwicon out of my own pocket given that I enjoy and have a load of fun there. It is a conference that I go to because I want to go to rather than one of those conference where there is a bit of a feeling of going to keep up appearances and get a little bit out of it. Especially when the price is factored into it.
A common theme I see between Codemania and Kiwicon is that the core people behind making it happen are respected in the community and they are making the conference they would be first in line to queue up for tickets, like people would do for their favourite band when tickets to the gig go on sale.
So does NZ need something like this for the software testers? Or is KWST and WeTest etc enough for us? They are great and wouldn't want them to disappear. Surely there must be more testers who are interested in professional development or are a lot of testers comfortable doing what they are doing an not wanting to rock the boat? Or is that the WeTests all fill up instantly so are will making an elite clique that people can't break into? (Which I assume is no one's intention)
Edit: There has been some discussion on the Software Testers NZ discussion group.
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