Looking for voices in testing for TESTCON’18


(Dipak) #1

The Home Office is hosting up to 200 people for TESTCON’18, a conference for UK Government Software Engineers engaged in testing and QA. This year in central London we’re looking for individuals and companies to come and host a session on Wednesday 10th of October 2018.

The theme of this year’s conference is Insight and Innovation and we’re looking for engaging sessions to bring in new ideas and best practice into our sector.

Slots can be anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour and we can be flexible with the session format. Unfortunately we aren’t able to offer monetary incentives but it is a great opportunity to present to an engaged audience in a building not open to the public. We would like to have, as one of our sessions, a representative from the UK Testing Board who could introduce the organisation and the work it does. This would then be followed by a Q&A session with the
attendees.

If you’d like to be involved please email
TESTCON@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk with the following details:
Your name:
Session title:
Session format: Q&A session
Approximate duration of session:
Brief overview of the session content:
A few sentences about yourself:

Thanks very much,
Regards


(Ady) #2

Unfortunately we aren’t able to offer monetary incentives

Incentives suggest payment for speaking to me. Does this mean you will not cover expenses either making it a pay to speak conference?


(Robert) #3

Within the UK Government sector, you are looking here at a mindset where attendees from other Government Departments will have their expenses covered by their home department, and any political attendees will be operating within the “Westminster bubble” and so not incurring expenses anyway.

Sadly, speaking expenses have been something of a political issue over the past few years, mainly because of past indiscretions by some high-profile speakers. This makes Government departments reluctant to be seen to be offering “jollies”. The people who suffer are the independent and SME speakers, who cannot justify giving HMG a freebie, and HMG itself, of course, who do not get the benefit of the experience of people who have something helpful to say. In the end, it only serves to reinforce groupthink amongst managers in Government computing as they will ultimately only be listening to opinions from either within the Government estate or from big consultancies with an eye to getting or retaining high-profile contracts (no names, no pack drill, but I’m sure you can fill in the likely names as well as I can).

In my experience (30 years in the Civil Service, albeit at a minor level), testing is not prioritised by many managers with responsibility for IT - which is not the same as saying “IT managers”. Ultimate responsibility for IT will, in so many Government departments, rest with a senior administrator and not an IT person.

The decision to make this a “no budget” event will have been taken at a higher level than Dipak’s pay grade, so don’t shoot the messenger.


(Dipak) #4

Hi Adrian, unfortunately as a public service business we cannot offer payment for the opportunity to speak, this includes travel etc. We would of course provide sustenance for any persons that are attending the event and it is ultimately an opportunity for individuals/companies to network and showcase their wears. At any level if you feel that you can contribute then please do get in touch as per the directions

Many thanks


(Dipak) #5

Well put and cheers Robert day, I would not have put it better myself :grin:


(Robert) #6

I wrote to my MP about this.

(For those unfamiliar with UK Parliamentary protocol, the best way to challenge something that a UK Government department does, especially if it’s on a general point of policy or principle, is to ask your MP to write to the Minister concerned. It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get action, or a change in a policy; but it does usually mean that your query will be answered by someone rather higher up in the organisation than if you wrote directly. If it so happens that your MP knows a Minister personally, then your query may be discussed - informally - on a one-to-one basis. Again, there is no correlation between the level of contact and any action.)

Westminster MPs are currently engaged on some other minor policy issue (!), so it was perhaps only to be expected that it took two months to get a reply from my MP. The answer was a rather complacent “no change”, which I suppose didn’t come as a shattering surprise to me.

I shall post a blog post in the next couple of days about this, with the full text of the correspondence. I’m prepared to carry on with pushing this issue as far as I can, so I’ve offered to meet with my MP should he feel his interest piqued by the wider concept of software testing. In a previous existence, I was the person answering public correspondence at this sort of level in Another Government Department; and in another previous existence, I was involved in various campaigns to change opinions in the UK Civil Service on a number of different (but sometimes equally specialised) subjects through one of the trade unions active in the Service, PCS. So this is my kung fu and it is strong…