What Topic For The First Testing Meetup?

(Heather) #1

The list of Ministry of Testing meetups is growing, rapidly! Testing meetups around the world are sprouting up, it’s a fantastic thing to see :slight_smile:

One question that regularly comes up is:

“What would you recommend for the first meetup?”

When NI Testers started up in Belfast, we started with Lean Coffee. This was a 2 pronged approach so to speak. It worked to get testers talking to each other and getting to know each other. The over arching topic for the Lean Coffee was “What would you like to see at future meetups”. This gave the organisers a good idea of what the communty wanted from the meetup and even some suggestions of speakers/locations/etc moving forward.

What would you suggest for a first meetup? Lean Coffee? TestSphere? TestCircus? Lightening talks? Something else?

(T.J. Maher) #2

Lean Coffee or some type of dinner-and-discussion group are great ideas for those MoT Meetups which are starting out with a zero budget.

The first goal when you are starting out is building out the group, deciding on what cadence to meet. I try to have our group meet monthly. In our Meetup’s previous incarnation, we only met when there were professional speakers and corporate sponsors… so it would meet once every five months or so.

Lean Coffees, TestSphere, or any other type of member led activity is perfect so members can start building personal relationships with the group and each other.

(Gregory Paciga) #3

I’ve been mulling over starting a meetup for a while and how to get started is definitely one of the big hurdles. Glad to hear from a couple others that Lean Coffee is a reasonable way to go since that’s what I had in mind! And hopefully it generates topics for the 2nd meetup.

(Viv) #4

For over a year I held a roundtable discussion at our meetup which went down really well until we could attract speakers or work out what topics the group were interested in (they are a shy bunch). We’re now 4 and a half years in and still going strong.

It’s a great way to gather ideas for what the group are in to for future meetups and it doesn’t require a lot of upfront planning.

It just requires some post it’s and pens. When your attendees turn up, ask them to write down topics they’d like to learn about or share with the group and stick them on the wall or board if you have one.

After 10 minutes ask people to put dots in the corner of the post its of the topics they are Interested in. The top voted topic gets discussed first. Set a timer, after 10 minutes the group decide whether to discuss the next topic or whether to continue discussing the current topic for a further 10 minutes. If you have lots of space you could have multiple discussions going on in different areas.

If your just starting out and don’t have a venue try a pub, it’s free to go to and people can get their own drinks if money is an issue. Alternatively reach out to companies who have a meeting room space. If they are recruiting in the test/development space why wouldn’t they want to have you and lots of others at their company for a meetup…