A Look Back at Lessons Learned at STARWEST 2023 | TTC Global

A Look Back at Lessons Learned at STARWEST 2023

The Value of Industry Conferences for Vendors and Attendees

Ashton Edwards
  • Ashton Edwards
  • 7 March 2024

I had the opportunity to attend STARWEST in October of 2023. It was my first time attending a conference like this for work, and while I had been looking forward to the opportunity, I was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of insights and strategies that even event sponsors could take away. Below are a few key takeaways from what I learned during my time there, both about the future state of testing and how sponsors and vendors can make the most of their event participation.

  1. Testing is still big. There are so many solutions for every hurdle imaginable, from automation to finding enough testers for projects. There are even solutions for training for and acquiring testing certifications, like the ISTQB. STARWEST helped me to better understand our partners in the market and the services we provide through working with them. For potential event sponsors, I suggest genuinely engaging with attendees to truly understand their needs. Outside of being able to better serve your partners and clients, you can also learn more about current market trends.
  2. Double-check where the outlets are before setting up your booth. The last thing you want to be doing is looking for an outlet when your laptop is at 3% and risking the walls of the booth falling over. Also, if the walls of the booth topple over while speaking to someone, it's okay to stop your conversation to acknowledge the fallen walls. Whoever you are speaking to will have likely noticed the walls as well. Consider zip ties for securing the walls of your booth at future events.
  3. AI is here, whether we like it or not. As someone in the testing community, I'm aware of AI and its role in technology. Being a Los Angeles local, I've also seen the impact it's had on the entertainment industry and creative community. I'm wary of its integration, and I don't appreciate rose-tinted pitches coming from someone who will likely not be in the workforce in the next decade.

    While I recognize its potential for mundane tasks and projects that are beyond human scale, guidelines will likely need to be in place to ensure it doesn't interfere with the creative and human touch that is essential to testing. We need to have conversations on how we will preserve the human aspects of testing in the face of AI, which mimics us to an uncanny degree.
  4. Visiting the vendor booths is just as educational as attending talks. Everyone at a booth is so knowledgeable on the product or services they provide, and many are happy to walk through a demo with you. I learned about mobile testing solutions, and how to test on various mobile platforms and devices without having the physical device on hand. It's great to see developments among testing tools in the industry, and to be able to recommend those tools to our clients. I also have four new t-shirts and a reusable bag filled with merch. Need a wardrobe refresh? Consider STARWEST.
  5. It's nice to meet people. I know as a consulting solutions company, TTC Global has a variety of business partners we work with to help our clients achieve their testing goals. Many of these business partners also attended STARWEST, and it was great to make those networking connections and put into perspective what the market is doing. Making those connections at STARWEST helped me to be inspired about what TTC is doing. Also, as a fully remote employee, it was wonderful to finally meet a few of my TTC colleagues in person for the first time.

Events like STARWEST are prime opportunities to meet other software testing professionals who are eager to share more about their experience within the industry. These events offer great opportunities, from attending talks, to networking, to being triumphant over collapsing booth walls. I had a blast at STARWEST, and I look forward to the next event and what I'll learn. Where would you recommend I go next?