Reflecting on WOPR26

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Over the years, I have attended a few testing conferences and Workshop on Performance and Reliability (WOPR) conference stands out for me due to its unique format.

 

The WOPR conference is generally limited to 20-25 seats and lasts for three days. This year the 26th WOPR was held in Melbourne (Australia) and the theme of the conference was “Cognitive Biases in Performance Testing”. We had 16 participants from around the world attending it.

 

A few things about WOPR that stood out for me when compared to other conferences are:

  • Real life experience report
    • Based on the theme, participants present real life experience report to the rest of the group. If you want to learn more about experience report then refer to this link.
    • After my first day, I ended up updating my report. It was written more like a “How To” presentation rather than an experience report. However because of the unique format, I had time to hear others experience report, reflect and update my report before presenting.
    • Some of the biases we discussed and presented at WOPR26 were:
      • Anchoring bias
      • Expectation bias
      • Attentional bias
      • Dunning-Kruger effect
      • Automation bias
      • Confirmation bias
      • Pro-Innovation bias

 

  • Open season and Q&A
    • The experience report is used as a vehicle to stimulate conversation between participants. You get to hear their own real life experiences and also get feedback on your own experience. This tends to lead to more questions, comments and new threads on the topic.
    • There is no end time for Q&A and open season sessions. The session will continue as long as there are questions, new threads and comments.
    • To facilitate Q&A and open season, facilitator uses K-cards. They are Green, Yellow and Pink. This helps the group stay focus on the topics related to the theme of the conference.
      • Green card is for new thread
      • Yellow card is for question/comment (used in same thread)
      • Pink card is for important question (put me on the top of the stack)

 

  • WOPR dinner night
    • It is the highlight of the conference. This is where you get to chill out with rest of the group after long day at the conference. You get to learn something, build new relationships and above all, you get to chill out with like minded people and enjoy wonderful dinner.

 

  • Conference atmosphere & corridor talks
    • During breaks you might have different groups discussion various things, revisit what was discussed during session, catch up with old friends and also introduce yourself. This helps with conference atmosphere because everyone gets comfortable with one other.
    • The conference atmosphere also helped me overcome my public speaking jitters as it was my first time presenting in a peer conference.

 

The attendees at WOPR26 were Paul Holland, Eric Proegler, John Gallagher, Tim Koopmans, Harinder Seera, Andy Lee, Aravind Sridharan, Diane Omuoyo, Scott Stevens, Sean Stolberg, Srivalli Aparna, Derek Mead, Joel Deutscher, Ben Rowan, Stuart Moncrieff and Stephen Townshend.

 

Also would like to thank Stuart Moncrieff for taking pictures and sharing it with us.