I sent proposal to speak about “Quality as whole team responsibility” on SQA Days 17 in Minsk. It was quickly accepted and I started my travelling preparation. I realised that I need visa to go to Belarus however I was on business trip without any possibility to get it in reasonable time before conference. Thanks to conference organisers who managed it to be prepared at airport on arrival. So everything was ready.
I started my trip around 5 AM leaving by car to Krakow. Krakow airport was under heavy construction so it was very uncomfortable. There were no shops open during morning. I just got some coffee from machine few minutes before my flight.
Crazy times started in Varšava where I had one hour to change flight. However they were still asking for visa and they did not understand I have it agreed in Minsk on arrival. Several managers changed and they finally let me board the plain on my responsibility. Than everything was ok at Minsk airport.
I ordered taxi online a day before and it was smooth and price was as agreed (25 EUR).
Conference was at five stars President Hotel that was out of my budget. I chose some apartment near to it and it was fine.
I arrived one day before after lunch so I went for small walk in the city. Minsk is interesting city where everything is clean and nice. I had kind of feeling of old times – hard to describe. Moreover almost nobody there speaks English, even in restaurants, train station, etc. It can be quite challenging. Another interesting fact is rate of their money. I paid 150 000 Byr for pizza and bear and it is approx. 10 Eur.
Conference started at Friday morning and everything was well prepared and premises of President Hotel were excellent. My speech was planned before lunch so I finished last tweaks and enjoyed presentation about Testing Internet of Things from Paul Gerrard.
Room I was speaking in was quite big so microphone was needed. I like these you do not know about however there was the big one you need to have in your hand. Never mind, it was ok in the end and I hope that audience enjoyed my talk. There were several good questions right after the speech and hours of discussion later. Generally I think that my topic was something new for audience in Belarus. Transition from Testing to QA is starting there but it is still something fresh.
We were only three English speakers there and our talks were translated simultaneously. All other talks were in Russian without translation so nothing for me. However I spent most of the afternoon in discussion with participants so perfect networking. I think more English speakers could be the way of this conference.
Evening was about after party in nice bar. I am used to talk a lot of even during evening however here it was really about party with loud music, dancing, etc.
We left the party quite soon with Paul and had some bear and interesting chat at hotel.
I chose to try Airport train next day and it was very good. Price was 1 Eur and it took one hour from main station. Travelling home was long but smooth.
It was good experience finally speaking at conference abroad.