So, ETC starts today (or on Thursday if your’e not attending the tutorials), but people were already here yesterday, so why not start meeting the people before the conference?
After taking most of the day to move from the airport hotel (I got there by 2AM) to the hotel I’ll be in for the conference and after settling in (grabbing lunch, braving the cold outside) I tried to find some of the people.
Problem is – people these days communicate by tweeting. I don’t own a twitter account, and can’t afford the noise and distraction it generates (and knowing myself, creating one “just for the conference” is a slippery slope I don’t want to venture), and unlike last year, there wasn’t a conference slack channel to find people in, or there isn’t one that I know of yet. So I tried the testers.io slack channel, with minimal success. However, I did find a tweet (I can read tweets online) by Helena Jeret-Mäe indicating she’s in the area. The cool thing about this is that Helena was also on testers.io slack channel, so I used it to contact her. Luckily, by the time I did this, she was already meeting a bunch of people and invited me to join – I met there some folks I encountered before in conferences – Neil Studd, Dan Billing, Simon Schrijver, and there were some others I’ve met for the first time – among them (I don’t remember everyone, sorry) – Fiona Charles, Damian Synadinos, Angie Jones, Helena, Joep Schuurkes and a couple of others (again, sorry for not remembering names). During most of dinner I spoke with Damien and Simon, Damien spoke a bit about the connections he sees between Improvisational theatre and fundamental personal skills, and Simon showed us a cute visual bug in a twitter app. Afterwards, back in the hotel (that apparently we are all in), I ended up sitting with Helena and Joep, speaking just a bit about everything. I still need to work more on my listening skills though, as several times during the conversation I caught myself waiting for a pause to reply in instead of actually listening (there’s a quote somewhere about people not really listening but rather waiting for their turn to speak – I try to avoid doing that, sometimes I succeed).
That was a great start for a conference, I can’t wait for it to start.