I viewed StarWest's Virtual Conference offering again. This and the affiliated Better Software conference are run by Techwell. A few observations.
- I loved the talk on Healthcare.gov given by Ben Simo (@QualityFrog). He communicates how easy it would have been to predict, find and fix the problems that would plague that site for more than a year. It was a good choice putting him on keynote.
- To attend one of these conferences will run you or your company into the thousands of dollars. Attending the tutorials is even more. This in spite of being sponsored by some of the biggest software providers in the industry. We are bombarded by ads for the latest ALM or bug tracking tool and they are called talks. What is such sponsorship getting the attendees? Who is benefiting from this other than the organizers? If the conference organizers were a not-for-profit, would they charge the same amount?
- The online offering tries to simulate the networking opportunities for those who could not attend. It tries to simulate the marketing side too by giving attendees contact info to vendors. What about the testing opportunities? With more than half the talks about web app testing, why aren't tutorial sites and learning apps available and promoted to virtual attendees?
Maybe DEF CON has spoiled me. $200 for the most frenetic hands-on conference over twice the number of days? A lot of that is a labor of love and volunteers, but then again most of it is also not sponsored by corporations too. Maybe I need to bring DEF CON to testers, or testers to DEF CON. See what shakes out.