Behind the Scenes: The Romanian Testing Conference

It’s been a month since I returned to the States, yet Romania is still on my mind.

Being invited to speak at the Romanian Testing Conference was exciting, but I wasn’t sure I could go. Cluj is very far from Cupertino, and missing the better part of a week to go there was a huge commitment, especially as the CEO of a startup. In the end, my curiosity regarding the burgeoning IT community in Eastern Europe — especially the fast-growing software development and QA hub of Cluj — outweighed my reservations, and I resolved to go.

I found myself in northern Romania Thursday morning after a couple of layovers in New York and Munich. I was lucky to be there; when it comes to packing, I tend to procrastinate, and I nearly missed my flight from San Francisco. So you can imagine my gratitude upon exiting the plane and seeing an official RTC car waiting to drive me to my hotel! From the start, my experience in Romania was exceptional.

Photo Credit to my fellow presenter Richard Bradshaw

The hotel was a quaint place next to a picturesque lake, but I had little time to appreciate it before exhaustion hit me. I soon fell asleep. When I eventually woke from my nap, I polished my presentation and prepared for the next day, when I was set to speak at 9:00am.

Me giving my presentation

The location of the conference was, surprisingly, a movie theater. My talk, “A Tester’s Journey: From Germany to Silicon Valley”, was well-received by the crowd of three hundred or so. I discussed my journey to Testmunk, starting as an intern in Germany and ending up as the CEO and founder of a startup in California. Once done, I joined the crowd and learned from my fellow presenters.

The trip truly was exceptional, and I was further impressed by the generosity of RTC 2015’s organizers: they gave each of us presenters a pair of shoes which were made in Cluj, a gesture which I really appreciated.

The shoes I was given for presenting

Friday, after the conference, I had a couple of meetings with local development and testing companies, to talk about mobile test automation.

Me visiting the great people over at Yonder

Between these meetings, the friends I made, and the conference itself, the trip was a huge success. I have to thank Andrei and Andrei and their team of volunteers for organizing such an amazing conference. And it would be a tragedy to fail to mention the amazing food, which could have made the trip worth it on its own!

Typical Romanian Cuisine (lots of meat)

It didn’t take long for me to learn that Romanian cuisine is meaty and delicious, just the way I like it.

Eating lunch
With Dominik Dary and Michael Palotas, the brains behind Selendroid
Another meal with the other presenters

I’d also like to thank my fellow presenters for their wisdom and friendship, especially the ones in these pictures. It was a blast getting to know you!

Anyway, I departed Saturday for Munich, where I visited family I hadn’t seen for a year. This was a perfect finale for the trip; by Sunday night I was back in California. Come Monday, I was back to business as usual, though the sights and sounds and tastes of Romania still bounced around in my head. It will be a while before I forget my week in Cluj!

P.S. The party scene was pretty good too:

Innovating @Snap. Founded Testmunk. German. YC alum

Innovating @Snap. Founded Testmunk. German. YC alum