The story of RTC2020 program – next step of a (s)heroes journey


Vera, RTC would be delighted to have you as the chairperson of RTC2020” – this is how my  journey started, with an invitation.

An invitation that afterwards reflected into a story, one about heroes, stories, experiences, mainly because of my passion for superheroes and learning. Once launched, the conference theme turned out to be very successful. With 254 submissions, we found ourselves facing our first challenge – selecting the best 24 sessions.

Creating an interesting, inspiring and informative program for a conference is quite a challenge – and perhaps the most important job of a program chair. With people being remote, we had to make use of all communication tools possible to overcome misalignment’s. Actually the team was spread on both hemispheres of the Earth across 3 continents with me being in Germany, one Andrei in Asia, Andrei C traveling to South America, Cristina in Barcelona and 5 other reviewers located in Romania across 4 different cities.

Selecting the keynote speakers is also part of the chairperson job description. With RTC, the chairperson gets to choose 4 inspirational talks for the conference day. One particularity of the event is having 2 keynotes simultaneously which gives people a choice and allows us to explore a wider variety of topics. 

We looked for a diverse selection of (s)heroes with unusual journeys – who lived to tell the tale and also wanted their stories to cover a wide variety of topics with meaningful impact on Testing.     

It was a wonderful experience talking to all those great keynote speakers, hearing about their journeys and what they like to share with us! As a result, the attendees  will have the opportunity of hearing Sharon Steed subject matter expert on empathy at work, Tanja Vos PhD professor in software testing, Elizabeth Zagroba & Joep Schuurkes sharing “Everyday Acts of Heroism” or Gwen Diagram sharing her super stories on leadership in testing.

Building the conference program was the next big thing. With more than 10 proposals per conference slot, we immediately knew we had to rise to the expectations. To begin with, all the (s)heroes in the team took it upon them to challenge all the abstracts in order to find the most suitable, one by one. 

Afterwards we compared our results to create a program, which includes a variety of topics and approaches. We wanted you to have the opportunity to see established and well known (s)heroes as well as new faces and we wanted them to attack small as well as big challenges. 

We  aimed  the topics to be diverse and to cover  multiple areas you all might need for your own (learning) journeys – from more technical approaches to a more human and teaching approach. 

Few facts about RTC2020 program:

  • There are no 2 speakers with the same role within their company
  • 15% of the talks are highly technical, 20% requires some knowledge while on 65% of the sessions, everybody will get it
  • 40% of the speakers are doing public speaking as part of their lives while 45% of them feel very confident being on the stage. 
  • 2 speakers are having their first conference talk and will be coached by “Tech Voices” mentoring program
  • The most popular superhero mentioned by speakers is: Batman 

The speakers list is public , the program is live and the registration is open. We put a lot of energy, enthusiasm and passion in this program and now we are really excited and hope you all like it!

Hope to see you at #RTC2020

24 feb 2020

Vera Gehlen-Baum

RTC Chairperson

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