My family and I arrived in Dublin on a cold dark wintry November night in 2008. At least metaphorically speaking it was. It was right after the GFC and we watched a country and economy wrestle with the prospect of becoming bankrupt. Regardless, Dublin’s IT and entrepreneurial spirit flourished. People who were made redundant invested their expertise into new ventures. There was a sense of familiarity in being in a recession (The common term for the GFC was recession 2.0) but also that the future was very much up to themselves.
I decided to start an Irish testers meetup, an opportunity for testers to share their expertise and learn from each other. Our first meetup had 4 testers. It never grew beyond that. I discovered that there was more to running a meetup than post on a blog. I learned that testers cannot thrive on testing alone, and that having a nibble or two and a drink goes a long way to attracting turn out. Having noteworthy speakers also helps.
So when I returned to Australia in 2010, and heard of a Sydney Testers Meetup I was keen to join. I discovered a hardy band of testers. Amongst them were Trish Khoo, Marlena Compton and Bruce McLeod. But they had similar problem as I had in Dublin. It was hard to get the word out and attendance was poor.
Sponsorship by Softed and getting some few heavy hitting speakers quickly changed that. We had James Bach, Elisabeth Hendrickson, Scott Barber come along and speak. Trish has fantastic ideas about different types of activities. We had games nights and book nights. Julietta Jung came along and brought along enthusiasm and excellent pizza ordering skills.
The Sydney Testers Meetup rapidly grew but not without its ups and downs. We’ve lost sponsorship, turned down sponsorship and for a while lived without any sponsorship. We had have committee members move to far away lands. But throughout it all we managed to maintain the spirit of the Sydney Testers Meetup. Today Attribute Testing sponsor the meetup that has a 600 strong membership.
It’s time now for me to hang up my boots as organiser of the meetup. It’s been a blast and I’ve loved seeing people become infected by testing. I’m leaving the STM in safe hands. Richard Robinson and Devesh Maheshwari will be taking over as organisers. I wish them the best and look forward to seeing the STM do great things.
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