Marko Anastasov wrote this on November 5, 2012

Notes from CITCON Budapest

On October 19th and 20th I was at CITCON - Continuous Integration and Testing Conference - in Budapest. It was one of the best conference experiences for me. What’s so special?

The open format

I’ve read about it on the website, but I haven’t really understood until I saw it. What happens at the beginning is:

  • People gather in a large room.
  • The organizers give an introduction, show an empty schedule with timeslots.
  • Everyone briefly introduces themselves (great way to quickly grasp who’s in).
  • People think up talk proposals, pitch them to everybody else and stick a note anywhere on the schedule.
  • Everyone is free to vote with a marker, rearrange and group similar topics.

Somehow at the end of this process we had just the right number of sessions for the next day, ranging from general discussions about TDD and large test suites to challenges in testing mobile apps and test metrics.

The sessions were not talks done by a single person but discussions where everyone in the room participates. The one I hosted (“What happens after the build is finished?”) was almost free-form, some were more driven by the facilitator.

The vibe I got was that everybody who came has valuable experience, is open to sharing it and very eager to hear and learn from others. I had numerous interesting conversations; the format of the conference and the cozy space (a floor in an old building) made everyone an active contributor.

Notable resources

The conference wiki has notes from some of the sessions. Often in conversations would people mention some article, book or presentation that they think is important and would help others. Here’s a list of some:

Also, these books:

  • Growing object-oriented software guided by tests
  • Working effectively with legacy code
  • Six thinking hats


Big thanks to Jeffrey Fredrick and Paul Julius and the volunteers for putting together the conference. It’s been going on for a few years actually and they’re organizing it on four continents. I definitely recommend going to your nearest one.

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About Marko Anastasov

Rendered Text co-founder. Started with code, currently more focused on people and words. Foosball striker and entry-level cyclist.

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