Rick Tracy Hapalion Consulting

BIO: Rick is an avid Test Philosopher, always up for a good debate, discussion or exploration of the many facets of Testing and Software Development in general. He worked 5 years at Rabobank WRR Finance in the Netherlands and now does development, testing, requirements analysis, Agile scrummastering and test coordination for his consultancy company Hapalion and QualityMinds.

When not testing, discussing, or listening at conferences and events, Rick enjoys writing his (one day to be published!) novel, sword fighting and cuddling his outrageously adorable cats. While he has a reputation for always having a story to tell, Rick prefers an interactive lecture or debate to a chalkboard presentation.

Presentation: I Bought a Robot: Remote Working and Telepresence Tech.
Co-speaker: Jacek Tomczak
session level: beginner

I recently started working remotely, 8 hours away from my colleagues. In order to have smooth communication I am on skype, slack, and have multiple digital scrumboards. Despite all of this, it still feels as if I am somehow disconnected from the team, as if being physically present and available for trivial things forms a basis of team culture. As such, I did the only rational thing possible: I bought a robot and decided to live in it.

This telepresence robot rolls around the halls of my new company and at times goes along to clients. When I want to get a cup of coffee or something I roll up to a colleague and invite them to the water cooler. I roll the thing into meetings, attending via robot rather than shaky video conference, and I turn its head when I want to talk to different people. When leaving meetings I make small talk with my colleagues and joke about the topics of the day.

All of this brings a much different experience to working remotely. I no longer feel apart and I am constantly finding new ways to interact, make my robot useful and be more present and available for my team. In this talk I will explore the theories and outcomes behind this experience so far.


Key learning 1: Skype and video chat doesn’t fulfill the needs of team culture
Key learning 2: There are ways to be somewhere physically without being there in person
Key learning 3: Team interaction is more than important information exchanges
Key learning 4: Telepresence Robots can be used for far more than video chats
Key learning 5: Sometimes the fun move is also the best move