Recap: Testing Talks in Melbourne, Australia and Sydney / Melbourne Brekkies

October 28th, 2022 by inflectra

#TeamInflectra just returned from a week-long trip to Australia to catch up with our team mates based in the country, meet our customers, partners and local technologists in organized networking breakfasts, and take part in the biggest software testing event in Australia since 2019 - Testing Talks 2022 / The Reunion. We also found out lots of interesting trends about software testing and quality in Australia.

Inflectra Meetups in Sydney and Melbourne

Sydney

The Inflectra team coming from the USA included both our CEO Adam Sandman and our Director of Global Alliances, Jessica Moore. For us, it was our first time visiting Australia, and we were super-excited to visit Sydney for the first time, seeing the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

After a weekend of sightseeing and getting acclimated to the new time zone and season (from Autumn to Spring in 23 hours!), we met up with our local Regional Manager - Peter Brackstone, who flew down from Brisbane to meet up with the US team. It was a wonderful reunion, as we had not seen Peter face to face (because of the Covid pandemic) since InflectraCon 2019 in Cincinnati.

The next morning was the first of our two networking breakfast events (aka "Brekkies") where we outlined Inflectra's plans globally (and for the region), met with local partners and potential partners, and also spent some time listening the ideas and concerns of our customers in Sydney.

The Sydney networking breakfast

After some additional one on one meetings in various locations in Sydney (excellent train system, thank you Sydney Trains, one of our local customers!), the team packed their bags, gave a tearful farewell to Sydney, and took a flight to Melbourne, ready for the second networking breakfast and the main Testing Talks conference.

TeamInflectra off to Melbourne

Melbourne

In contrast to Sydney, which reminded us a bit of London with "different" weather, beaches and excellent food and wine, Melbourne felt more like an international city, which was an interesting contrast. Locals had assured us that the food and coffee (in particular) was much better than Sydney. In the interests of good relations with all our customers (those in NSW and Victoria), we shall say we enjoyed both equally :-).

Team Inflectra in Melbourne

At the convenient Pan Pacific hotel, located next to the conference center, we had our second networking breakfast with local partners and customers.

The Melbourne networking breakfast

After this, the team got some rest and prepared for the main event - Testing Talks 2022.

Testing Talks 2022 - The Reunion

Originally scheduled for 2020, Testing Talks the Reunion was a long anticipated event for both the local Inflectra team and the company as a whole. Due to the Covid pandemic, it had been rescheduled several times, and people were itching to get back to meeting each other face to face. The original estimated size was about ~250 people, but  it ended up being almost twice as big with ~ 410 people registering. Incidentally this was the same venue, where we sponsoring and attended Australian Testing Days in 2018.

The Melbourne Conference Centre

The Event itself was almost twelve hours of constant stimulation - meeting attendees, discussing their quality management and test automation needs, demonstrating our products (Spira and Rapise) on the interative iPads, listening to people talk about their pain points and ideas for improving testing. As you can see from the photo below, we were one of only 8 platinum sponsors, allowing us to have lots of face time with attendees as well as meet other sponsors to discuss partnership opportunities.

TestingTalks 2022 - The Reunion

In the photograph above, you can see Emma giving our some swag and answering questions. This year our swag focused a lot on useful items vs. wasteful giveaways that end up in the rubbish bin. For example, we had our famous "James Bond" pen, wireless phone charging pads, and our new Zoom vanity light to make you look beautiful on all video calls.

The Inflectra Booth all setup

Here's the team just before attendees arrived, with the booth looking pristine and ready fro action. Below, is the same booth, as the attendees arrived to learn more about our products.

Meeting the conference attendees

Finally, at the end of a long but satisfying day, here's Adam Sandman, our CEO, giving out the Inflectra prizes for the "passport" game, Apple Airpods!

Awarding the Inflectra passport game prize - some Apple airpods

Thank you to Cameron for organizing the conference and making it such a success. Thanks also to Peter and Emma, our local Inflectra representatives who made everything run so smoothly.

Takeaways From The Trip

During the breakfast meetups, one on one meetings and the conference, we had lots of interesting discussions on how the Australian testing market is different to that in America and Europe. In no particular order, here's some of the findings:
  • There has been a large shakeup of the local IT industry, with large IT multinationals such as Infosys and Wipro acquiring a lot of local, Australian companies. That has in turn, opened up the market for other newer Australian companies to rise and fill the gaps created by the acquisitions.
  • There has been a move away from considering testing and test management as a separate activity, due to companies being agile. Instead there is a move to quality engineering.
  • Unlike the US and European markets, companies are not typically setting up testing centers of excellence (CoEs). Instead, testing is being embedded solely in the agile teams themselves.
  • The ANZ economy itself is mostly comprised of either extraction or service industries (vs. manufacturing) so a lot of heavy-duty requirements management and ALM / PLM tools that are common in the US or Europe are not prevalent. The main exception to this is in large legacy government IT projects.
  • Lot of people had heard of SpiraTest and were either using it in their organizations currently, or had used it in past or at RMIT University.
  • There was a significant interest in test automation particularly for complex applications like Salesforce because it is hard to automate with open source tools like Selenium because of its DOM.
  • There was a lot of concern around test data management, particularly in light of the recent large data breach at the telecommunications company Optus, that had been improperly using production data for testing.
  • The concern about security and data breaches also manifested itself in a lot of interest in risk management and risk-based testing approaches.

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