The first Testing Showcase North event was held in the labyrinthine Palace Hotel in Manchester on Thursday 19th February 2015.  The event was organised by UNICOM, with sponsors Capita, NCC Group, Planit, XebiaLabs and … Sogeti – each of whom had a stand at the event to publicise their offerings and seek to make new contacts within the audience.

I am a Test Consultant and have been working for Sogeti for 4 years now. As I am based in Manchester, I was very pleased to be invited by the Sogeti Marketing team to attend and assist my colleagues manning the Sogeti stand, and generally networking with the many test professionals from all over the country who attended.

I have no sales or marketing experience, and had no idea what to expect when I arrived at 0745 to meet the team and to (hopefully) enjoy the day. The team comprised Andy Ainsworth, Leo Roberts, Anthony Muddembuga and Andrew Fullen. We had a selection of colourful brochures detailing Sogeti services, and also some great freebies – key-shaped memory sticks, excellent chocolates and a coaster bearing the legend “Keep Calm and Trust the Tester” .  So, although I attended a couple of the formal presentations (more of which later) I spent most of my time manning the stand and talking to testers from all over.

The first indication I got about how successful our freebies were was when 3 people came over saying that they had heard that we giving away some really cool coasters (or beer mats as one person insisted on calling them). The coasters were incredibly successful and popular.  I don’t know how many we started with, but there were none at all left when it came time to pack up at the end of the day.  One guy made a point of grabbing a full selection of freebies, and a couple of brochures, whilst telling me that Sogeti had the “coolest” stuff and stand at the event. The memory sticks and chocs went down really well, too – so Marketing outdid themselves in coming up with the giveaways.

The team of professionals were very supportive and welcoming and the team worked really well together.  All of us were greeting delegates as they came over to the stand, establishing what their interest was and handing them on the team member best qualified to assist with their questions. Judging by the great conversations we had,  it proved to be a successful day on the stand.

As mentioned above, there were a number of presentations in the main hall, the first of which being by Sogeti Managing Consultant, Andrew Fullen. This was described in the event brochure as follows:

Case Study 1: App Automation in an Agile World – A real world case study
During this session Sogeti’s Managing Consultant, Andrew Fullen, will present a real world case study focusing on how to successfully move from a manual agile practice for mobile testing to an automated agile framework. He will cover the processes that his team followed and the challenges that they overcame, in order to deliver a successful automated mobile testing project.

Andrew did an excellent job and his session was very well received by the attendees – despite some technical issues. This was emphasised to me when one particular delegate – Dot Graham – made a point of coming to the stand to say how impressed she had been by Andrew and how well he knew his subject.  Now, this may not mean much to some of you, but Dot is one of the leading experts in Software Testing.  Her profile on her website reads as follows:

“Dorothy has worked in software testing for over 40 years. Originally from the US, her first job was developing testing tools for Bell Labs in New Jersey. She then worked as a developer for Ferranti Computer Systems in Manchester before moving to the National Computing Centre where she developed training courses in software engineering. She later became an independent consultant specialising in software testing and founded Grove Consultants in 1988. Over the next 20 years, Grove gained a reputation for the high quality of their training courses, materials and presentations establishing a world-wide client base. In 2008 she left Grove to work again as an independent consultant. Dorothy now uses her experience to help educate and motivate others through conference presentations and tutorials.”

She is co-author of four books: an introductory book for software testing together with more in depth books on Software Inspection and Test Automation, and was a founder member of the ISEB Software Testing Board. She was a member of the working party that developed the ISTQB Foundation Syllabus and in 2012 she was awarded the ISTQB International Software Testing Excellence Award.

I think that the fact that she made a point of coming over to the Sogeti stand to congratulate us on Andrew’s presentation speaks absolute volumes, After loading her down with chocolates and a coaster, I wasted no time in asking Leo to introduce her to Andrew and Dot and Andrew had a long chat.  Andrew can be really proud of himself.

After all of presentations, there were drinks all round and everyone – sponsors and delegates – mingled, chatted and networked.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire day.  The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was very approachable and friendly. I felt that we had worked together really well as a team and I was very pleased to have been invited to assist. And when everything is all over, I think it was great to spread the word of Sogeti in the North.



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