I love conferences, meeting new people, hearing their stories and get a full update on the trends in test land. Where as many conferences are quite big, Peer conferences are small and have another dynamic. For those not really familiar with peer conferences, You can regard it as a conference that is small, attendee-driven, inclusive, structured, safe, supportive, interactive, community-building, and provides opportunities for personal and group reflection and action (this later definition according to www.conferencesthatwork.com). I think peer conferences are very nice, since it allows you to go a little deeper into the subjects than often possible on normal conferences.
This weekend I spent in a large Farm in Drenthe (the Netherlands) for the 18th testing Retreat. I joined this group of mainly UK thought leaders like 5 years ago, and the group has been expanded with other nationalities ever since. This weekend we gathered with 10 people from 4 nationalities, and we took al the time we needed in order to really get into topics like: Risk based testing, TBYDWTFIP, Motivation of testers, Testers career paths, Implementing changes and Test techniques and test basics, improvement models. It gave me quite a lot to process and think about…so thanks for all the participants for providing me with food for thought and of course the pleasant company.