Recap #InflectraCon - Highlights from our Inaugural User Conference

September 16th, 2019 by inflectra

About six months ago we decided to host our first international user conference, to bring together our users, partners and evangelists together in the same place for the first time. Last week this vision became a reality: InflectraCon

With 130 attendees from 5 continents, 40 sessions, 4 sponsors, and of course 2 banjos (!) the event was a roaring success. If you couldn't attend this year, please check out the sessions and presentations, as well as why you should attend next year at InflectraCon 2020.

Welcome to InflectraCon

Welcoming attendees to InflectraCon, Jessica and Thea were on hand to speed everyone through registration, make sure they knew what sessions and networking opportunities were available, and generally be on-hand to make everything run smoothly.

Day 1 Highlights

Keynote: Welcome to InflectraCon

Kicking off the conference, Adam Sandman from Inflectra welcomed attendees to our inaugural event, outlined the plan for the two days, and also introduced the audience to the underlying ethos of Inflectra - HARMONY - how we want to bring different disciplines (testers, developers and managers) together, how we want to integrate different platforms and toolsets (Microsoft, Atlassian, open source) to bring harmony to the software development lifecycle. The theme of harmony was incorporated into the various sessions and tracks, with speakers and attendees using InflectraCon as a place to share experiences and dispel myths and preconceptions.

Please enjoy a recording of the Keynote by Adam Sandman

Introduction to Testing with SpiraTest

Teresa Langston helped attendees learn the processes of creating test cases, test steps, linked test cases, parameters and simple test sets. This session shared best practices for how to structure and organize tests, as well as make the best use of linked test cases and parameters to promote reusability and componentization.

Afternoon Keynote - Continuous Testing, Fact or Fiction?

Jeffrey Payne from our partner Coveros took to the main stage to slay some of the myths surrounding Continuous Testing. With topics including how to "Shift Left" and "Shift Right" with testing, the session was a hit with attendees, and we appreciate Jeffrey sharing his wisdom and experiences.

Managing and Scaling Agile Projects

Dr. Sriram presented the best practices for using SpiraTeam or SpiraPlan to manage agile projects. Using Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming as references, Sriram demonstrated the principles using Spira’s Agile planning boards, including the different views specifically designed for Scrum and Kanban.

Building on from this foundation, in his second session Scaling Agile, Dr. Sriram outlined the different ways you can scale your agile projects into programs using SpiraPlan. The session covered several different approaches including SAFe and the Nexus model of Scrum. The presentation demonstrated how you can implement these different methods in SpiraPlan today.

Starting Your Test Automation Journey

Denis from Inflectra showed how to test modern web applications with Rapise. Outlining basic test automation principles to record, modify and execute a test, the session also explained how to analyze test failures and how to adapt a test when an application changes.

Creating a Test Automation Framework with Rapise

Expanding upon the concepts introduced in Denis' session, Alexey from Inflectra, outlined the collaboration and test framework level facilities provided by Rapise and Spira as a toolset. Attendees learned how to add a test to an existing test framework and execute a web test on a mobile device.

Program and Portfolio Management with SpiraPlan

Simon, our head of products gave the attendees a preview of the planned new Program and Portfolio Management features that will be released later this year. The session provided an opportunity for attendees to give early feedback on the planned features and make sure they would work for their teams and products. Embracing the principles of agile in real time!

Case Study: Using SpiraTeam at Generali Insurance

Andreas Eckerle - our guest speaker from #Switzerland discussed how Generali Insurance has used SpiraTeam in his customer Case Study. It included a discussion of the various tools they have integrated with SpiraTeam, the business benefits, and lessons learned along the way.

Day 1 Session Presentations

The full list of day two presentations can be found below:

InflectraCon Happy Hour and Bourbon Tasting

Happy Hour and bourbon- tasting in Cincinnati, Ohio. We'd like to give a big thank you for all who came out! The event was open to the local Cincinnati tech community (thanks to several Meetup groups for helping us get the word out) as well as attendees of the conference.

If you're having a Bourbon tasting in the outdoors, relaxing after a day learning about Agile, QA and DevOps, the melodic tones of banjos was just what we needed to help us relax, put down our hair, and find some harmony with great food and drink.


Day 2 Highlights

Artificial Intelligence (AI) - The Origin Story

Dennis Haßlöcher from our partner PTA / DATIS kicked off Day 2 of InflectraCon talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), two of the biggest topics in the IT industry right now. The talks covered the capabilities and limitations of current state AI efforts as well as introduced how DATIS has built an integrated developer platform for building and hosting Artificial Intelligence business applications using containers (Docker and Kubernetes) and high powered data storage, analytics and processing engines.

Risk Management with SpiraPlan

We recently added a new risk management module to our Spira platform. In this talk, Peter Brackstone from our partner InfluenceIT demonstrated the end-to-end workflow for using these new features. Peter covered the basics of the risk management lifecycle, from identifying and analyzing risks, to evaluating and treating them with mitigations, and action items (tasks). Peter also discussed the methodologies used for ranking risks by probability and impact and how you can customize the exposure metrics used by SpiraPlan.

Custom Reporting and Business Intelligence (BI)

From the aspirational world of Artificial Intelligence to the more mundane, but equally critical world of Business Intelligence (BI), Adam from Inflectra explained the different reporting options available in the Spira platform. The sessions provided a quick overview of the dashboards, standard reports, and standard graphs, before diving into the world of writing custom reports and graphs. Based on the popularity of this session, we may well have more expanded 'hands-on' style workshops in future conferences.

How Different Industries Use Spira

One of our long-term users and evangelists – Remco Putker from our partner Robust IT, presented some different approaches for using Spira based on his experiences using Spira in different industries. Remco has been instrumental in deploying and managing Spira in companies as diverse as the Dutch Post Office, British Petroleum, a Mental Health provider, and other industries within the Benelux region.

Managing Source Code and Developer Workflows

In this session, Adam from Inflectra shared recommendations and best practices for using Spira and TaraVault to manage your source code, with examples using both Git and Subversion. Featuring anecdotes and experiences from within Inflectra and our customers, Adam discussed the recommended workflow for development tasks, linking tasks to code commits, and using our IDE plugins to improve efficiency. "Git, with great power comes great responsibility", and "friends do not let friends merge branches alone".

InflectraCon Panel Discussion

The crown jewel of InflectraCon was our a panel discussion about the future of software testing, development & DevOps on the main stage. We'd like to give a big thank you to our esteemed guests for sharing their thoughts, opinions and ideas.

Some of the questions were serious ("what are the common pitfalls you have seen adopting agile?") and others less so ("what is the strangest use you have seen for SpiraTeam?"), however the panel and attendees had a lot of fun. We will be posting a video recording of this panel session on our YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

Day 2 Session Presentations

The full list of day two presentations can be found below:

Hands On Sessions

In addition to the formal program, the event offered a unique opportunity for meaningful face-to-face interactions between Inflectra, customers, users, evangelists, industry experts and partners. In particular, the hands on track let users discuss problems, ideas and solutions with each other as well as with Inflectra experts. The hands on room was even more popular that we had expected, so next year we will plan on making it even bigger and better.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

We could not have realized the vision of InflectraCon without our sponsors, and we'd like to thank each of them for their support and help during the event:

The team from Coveros (Jeffrey, Kim, and Hugo) were in full attendance with their booth as well as speaking in several sessions. We are partnering with Coveros to provide training and consulting around our Spira and Rapise platforms.

We'd also like to thank Boris from our partner Neotys for supporting InflectraCon. We have been partners with Neotys for over 5 years, with many of our customers using Spira, Rapise, and NeoLoad as an integrated QA solution.

Aaron from Ceefa Software was excited to be able to demonstrate their WorX accelerated manual testing solution that is fully integrated with SpiraTest

We'd also like to thank the team from OAT Solutions in Sao Paulo, Brazil that came to support our event. They have many customers in Brazil that are using Rapise to transform their agile testing and test automation, so it was great for our automation team to work with them face to face to help solve some of their customer's toughest automation challenges:

Shout out to the Inflectra Team

We'd like to give a huge shout out to the entire Inflectra team that participated in the event as well as those folks left behind at the office to keep the home fires burning. In particular we'd like to thank Kajal and Teresa for tirelessly managing the presenters and presentations, and Mike, Elise and Francois for being on top of all the sales, support and technical needs that let the InflectraCon team focus on putting on an amazing event.

However our final and most heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes to the Triumphant Trio who were the brains and organization behind InflectraCon. Thea, Jessica and Simon worked tirelessly for the past six months on taking a grand idea and making it a flawlessly executed reality. This was our first conference on such a scale, and ever single aspect was delivered like a well oiled machine. Attendees said it was the most well organized conference they had been to, and this is a testament to the hard work and dedication of these three amazing people.

inflectracon conference community users summit Keynote recording

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