peer conference

Geen Fietsen Plaatsen - Excursion to #DEWT2


I have always enjoyed the sound of the Dutch language; for one, because there is a proximity to Swiss German and also because it sounds friendly: ‘GEEN FIETSEN PLAATSEN’ - not here, put your bike elsewhere.

Schipool welcomed me with enthusiastic rainfall and energetic wind blows. It was Friday, 5 October 2012. I decided to have a walk in Amsterdam. Jordaan is a good place to drink coffee and contemplate. Later the day I met Joep Schuurkes and together we drove to Driebergen, which is about a 50min drive south-east of Amsterdam.

The DEWT guys had found a great place for a peer conference. Hotel Bergse Bossen is located in the middle of a forest and there is a lot of space to sit together and confer. And what would be a better start of a conference than have some beers together.


We had a relaxed evening, and Jean-Paul Varwijk gave a short lightning talk which resulted in a discussion whether the club of testers, who subscribes itself to the context-driven school, was too elitist. I believe this is a question that needs some more thinking.

The testers I know from the context-driven school all have at least two character traits. They all are very eager to learn as much as possible, and - and this is important - they also want to share it with anybody who asks. Yes, there is a relentless urge to become better, and that might put off some people. Should we care? Yes, of course we should. But under no circumstances would it be justified to move in the direction of mediocricy. And what we shouldn’t do neither, is become a club of arrogant pricks, frowning at everybody else.


The second day was filled with talks I won’t go into in detail because they have already been elaborated on here. Instead, I want to mention our walk in the woods, honoring the peripatetic school. I had an engaging talk with Jean-Paul Varwijk about dysfunctional management systems. Why not establish regular walks at conferences? I have always enjoyed concurrent thinking, talking and walking.

To finish up here, I think Simon Peter Schrijver deserves a special mention, as he found a healthy middle ground between assertiveness and humorous coolness as a facilitator of DEWT2. Well done, man!


I enjoyed coming to Driebergen, and I hope to come back soon. DEWT3 will take place on the weekend of 20/21 April 2013. Would be happy to join the Dutch crowd again.