Every third quarter of the year a small discussion starts in our office. The subject of discussion is
“Are any of our testers going to attend a conference, and if so how many and who?”
Generally the discussion tends to lean more to the how many then to if any testers are going. So in the past years on average four to six testers attended for example EuroSTAR and the Dutch Testing Conference. The question who was going to a conference solved itself most of the times. The number of testers wanting and able to go did usually not exceed the number of places available.
Having attended several conferences myself I know that the result of attending can be very rewarding. Conferences typically are the place where you can learn the latest developments and opinions, submerge yourself into the testing mindset, confer with your peers, refresh your ideas and expand your network.
Conferences, especially when they are abroad, are however rather costly given that you easily spent between 1500 to 2500 euros per person. This might not be much more than a three or four-day course, but then again it is a conference and not a course. And this seems to create the need to sell the attendance of a conference to management. So my question to you the reader is:
What do you,
or rather what does your manager,
see as valid justification to attend a conference?
I would like to ask you to participate in a small inquiry and leave your justifications as a comment.
To start a few I thought of myself:
As a reward or bonus
To expand the attendees knowledge
To expand the organizations knowledge letting the attendee convey what she has learned (How?)
There is no justification it is money waisted as the organization never sees any return