On the late-night of the 11th of January 2021, I resigned from my last job (also my first and only). This also was the day when The Test Tribe had completed 3 Years since its inception. You now know why taking action on that day was important to me, and many of you would have understood the ‘why’ as well by now.
2021 was not an ordinary year for any human being, I guess, and for us too, it was weird, yet special, in many ways.
As the Year itself started with a huge change; that is, after three years of running as a passion project and volunteer-led efforts, finally someone was going to be working full-time on The Test Tribe. The Test Tribe got its first full-time Employee on the 16th of April, 2021. A giant leap of Faith. After being in a corporate job for a decade, pursuing what I thought (and think) was my calling was not a routine decision by any means. Yet, it was a very firm and morale-boosting step for me personally. Challenging, yet fun. With this step, there would be lives dependent on how The Test Tribe performs as a Community and as a Business.
Apart from this crazy start to the Year, the Community work of The Test Tribe never stopped, of course.
Our Year started with an excellent TTTribeCast Webinar with RobSab on “How to Learn a new Scripting Language, ” followed by many Webinars and Virtual Meetup Sessions throughout the Year. The Webinar start was followed by a couple of unique Workshops and Bootcamps, including our signature ‘The Testing Lab Workshop’ and ‘Automation Bootcamp with Selenium and Java’. You can check our upcoming Events here.
The Test Tribe is known for bold experiments, and it was time for one such at the very start of this Year. Around March-April announced “FailQonf- A Conference covering Failure Stories along with Lessons learnt around Software Quality”. FailQonf was possibly one of our biggest and boldest experiments. In a World where tried and tested success stories and at times glorified success stories were mainstream, we had decided to bring the other side to the stage in the form of Failures and what the audience can learn from those. 23 top Software Testing Minds from around the World would share things they had not shared before.
Missed FailQonf? No worries, watch the recap here, for free here.
FailQonf saw 1200+ registrations from 55 Countries and got a phenomenal 4.87/5 ratings from attendees. Did I mention that to help our Tribe during the deadly 2nd wave of Covid19, we had given the option to get FailQonf tickets for free to those who could not afford it?
There was something equally amazing being built along with FailQonf. That was our amazing new Community Home on Discord. Yes, we switched our primary Community Base from Facebook Group to a Discord Server this Year, and I must tell you it is so much fun. Super happy we did it. We always wanted to bring the human side of our Members alive apart from Work discussions, and Discord Community allowed us just that while fostering the Testing discussions and networking so well. Big shoutout to Mahathee, who almost single-handedly led this new initiative in terms of engagement and helping people.
(Video Credit: Geo)
While FailQonf buzz was on a high and we were prepping for it, in the month of May, we also did our 1st Hackathon of the Year (which was followed by many more), ACCELQ Automation Hackathon, which broke all engagement records we had for an Online Hackathon so far and assured us that the Tribe is now ready for a changing world and the changing ways.
The Hackathon fever stayed very high for the rest of the Year, with many Hackathons like Cignithon, Virtuoso Automation Hackathon, ACCELQ Hackathon v2, and ZenQuest setting the bar only higher than before. Getting 250-300+ registration from 20-25 Countries became the norm, and seeing them battle out 36 hours to claim fame is a routine by now.
JAS Quarter always stays pretty exciting for us at TTT as that is when we launch our biggest annual creation ever, The TestFlix. Yes, TestFlix 2021 was announced a couple of months earlier this time and happened a month early in October as well.
Did it break some records again, you ask? Ohh, a big Yes!
While last Year’s TestFlix had maximum Speaker participation countries was in focus along with Quality; this time, Quality alone became the top indicator to chase, believing rest would be a side-effect. We again had 100+ Speakers from some 24 Countries, delivering Atomic Talks across 13 different themes. Ohh, yes, there was one more change. TestFlix was a 2-Day event this time. TestFlix 2021 saw 6200+ Registrations from 99 Countries and a campaign reach of over 5 Million (and this doesn’t even include Linkedin). TestFlix, or anything big we do, cannot be the same without our super-strong Core Team of Tribe Leads (Geo, Balaji, Ajay, Sandeep). Not to forget our Tribe Champs, who just pitch in everywhere needed and bring amazing execution and Ideas to the table. Just blessed to have all these folks around.
Missed binging TestFlix 2021? Binge it here
JAS was a special quarter for us for one more reason: we had someone joining us full-time in the form of Ashutosh. Someone who is passionate about the work he does to the core and has enough belonging to the Tribe for years. Ashutosh joined us in September as Head Of Growth that was indeed a big boon to the entire team and things we do. Ashutosh was a Resident at TestAway Shimla. Feels good to see that folks who have seen the journey believes in the larger goal and join the forces. Might be deviating a bit but we experienced a similar Win later in November when Pravika, who had interned with us for a good 6-7 Months, decided to join us full-time after completing her studies. What can be a better culture validation to a Startup than this?
Coming back to TestFlix, while it was great as usual, it was not the only thing going on at TTT. Remember #WhatsBrewingAtTTT ? There was something BIGGER happening. Big enough for us to call it TTT 2.0.
The Rebranding exercise, which we started last November, was finally completing the cycle and was concluded with a TTT 2.0. It was such a massive effort, and would not have been possible without our super talented and passionate Team of Interns (Shoutout to Shrutika, Pravika, Saloni, Deekshanya). It wasn’t just a rebranding, though by any means. For reaching the global Software Testers in need and helping them the best we can, the need for Digital initiatives was paramount, and that’s exactly what 2.0 was aimed at.
What all initiatives came with 2.0? (Tell me at the end if you loved the names 😉 )
- build.qareer – Software Testing Jobs Portal
Eventually, everything boils down to basic needs, and those are supported by a good Job. In our quest to solve Employment-related problems for Software Testers, a Software Testing Jobs portal was long due and finally happened through build.qareer. A dedicated, fully-functional Testing only Jobs Portal. Not just curation but an entire Job Site for Testers.
- thrive.now – Pointed and Best Software Testing Courses
By our calculations and research, there are around 5 Million Testers in the World. We had understood that our upskilling efforts for such a high number cannot be just Events and has to be something that is more on-demand. Courses by thrive.now initiative are aimed at the same problem. The second problem we wanted to solve with thrive.now was procrastination out of too many choices. We all have gone through the problem where we just kept postponing our learning journey on something new because we could not finalize from where to learn out of thousands of possible options. At thrive.now, you will only find one course on one niche/broad topic, from the best possible instructor, giving the best possible learning experience. Your quest of ‘where to learn?’ ends here.
- Qonfidence: Styling and Productivity Gear for Software Testers
One-of-a-kind Styling and Productivity kit for Testers, keeping the pride and love we all carry for our craft at the centre. From an Exclusive Planner for Testers to the Tees, the Mugs, and the Stickers and Badges, Qonfidence has it all.
- finer.circle Membership (beta): Membership for Passionate Testers who wish to learn consistently
A membership that brings some exclusivity and lots of benefits at a very nominal cost. This one is for the hard believers of TTT and consistent learners. Won’t talk much about this. Time will reveal better.
- Interview Questions and Answers Repo
Another attempt at solving the Employment problem for Testers, by providing a space where they can share questions and answers, which can help the Job Seekers prepare better.
- Library of Testing
How about a public digital library of all Software Testing related Learning Resources, Books, Videos, Courses and what not. Even more, you all can upvote the resources you liked and found beneficial. Result? Eventually, a community-curated library where anything can be found super quickly and votes will answer the reliability factor—credit to Sayali for driving it end-to-end.
While these were top TTT 2.0 Items, there is a lot more. Please go check them out here.
Out of the many beautiful experiences that TTT 2.0 brought, watching the parcels being packed for those who ordered Qonfidence Kits/Items was my personal favourite.
For humanity, the Year was challenging to its core, yet it brought so many new opportunities and possibilities. The Year that took so many lives but also helped many of us understand the true essence of life.
Honestly, for me, 2022 came too fast. 2021 is looking like a blink in hindsight. It was a great year for TTT overall. We enjoyed the process and did well I think. Credit to our Team of Tribe Champions, Tribe Leads, many believers in our Tribe, and a great community we managed to build.
In 2021, we saw:
- 2x Community Growth
- New Community Home on Discord
- 30 Events (Many of these events you can watch for free on our Youtube channel here. Do not forget to subscribe.)
- 2 Conferences
- 5 Hackathons
- 6 Webinars
- 5 Meetups
- 5 Bootcamps
- 6 Workshops
- 1 AMA
- TTT 2.0 Launch
2022 and Road ahead
Remember what I mentioned in last Year’s Roundup? Silly question, you won’t remember it, but I had said that this would be our greatest Year ever for all the reasons you know better now.
For 2022, I will pretty much stick to the same and won’t spill the beans by revealing anything new just yet. We have already announced WorqFerence, a unique combination of Workshops and Conferences where there will be 15 workshops focusing on observational learning from top-of-the-line instructors. Expect the new digital initiatives to get better and Events to stay great as always. Let’s see what new we bring to the table. Of course, we too, are waiting for things to open up like before. We are so waiting to see the handshakes, the hugs, the hi-fives, and the TTT vibe around. Fingers crossed.
Leaving you all with a promise of being only better in our service to the global Software Testing Community and that we will get closer to our mission to create safe, inclusive, better, and new-age spaces to bring Testers across the globe under a Community roof where they can Collaborate, Learn, and Grow together.
Join the Tribe here if you are still missing out on all the learning, action, and fun.
Wish you all only the BEST for this new Year and hope it brings only good things with it for us all.
On that note, signing off. You have any experience, good vibes, or feedback to share, please feel free to comment or DM. I am always a DM away.
Again, I wish you all a Happy and Successful New Year.
Mahesh Chikane Founder & CEO - The Test Tribe