Test & Learn Community — Join the conversation!

by | Apr 2, 2018

Several years ago, in a small confer­ence room with a view of the Pacific, I was talking opti­miza­tion with 17 others at the XChange confer­ence. The conver­sa­tion was lively, educa­tional, and zingy in that way that makes a person want to collab­o­rate and opti­mize! But, mid-conver­sa­tion (mid-reve­la­tion, really), we were told our time was up and we needed to move to the next “huddle.” An audible groan of disap­point­ment arose.

So, I encour­aged every­one to provide their email address and promised to continue the conver­sa­tion via email chain. A year went by that way, with cumber­some conver­sa­tion and all the complex­ity inher­ent in email chain “reply-all” style commu­ni­ca­tion. We even­tu­ally decided to have a monthly teleconference—we called it a “tele-huddle” after the XChange huddle where the group was born—and to expand the group from the orig­i­nal 18 members to include others who we met at indus­try confer­ences or in our day-to-day jobs. Fast forward 6 years, and we are now a rapidly growing commu­nity of more than 100 opti­miza­tion prac­ti­tion­ers and SMEs with the same focus as when we started—to create a space for good conver­sa­tion and debate (and no sales!) for all of us to learn and teach.

Today, the Test & Learn Commu­nity has grown into a virtual web-huddle that ranges in topic from high level gover­nance, talent acquisition/retention, exper­i­ment design, and ideation to advanced topics like journey analyt­ics, person­al­iza­tion methods, machine learn­ing, and statis­tics in opti­miza­tion. Each call is a panel format with 3–6 SMEs for the topic doing most of the chat­ting while others dial in to listen, ask ques­tions, and learn. The goal of these calls is for the prac­ti­tion­ers (ranging from newbies to experts) to learn from each other. Just like that huddle all those years ago at XChange, my only role is as huddle leader / panel moder­a­tor.

Some recent conver­sa­tions:

  • Machine Learn­ing with Matt Gershoff (Conductrics)
  • Journey Analyt­ics with Gary Angel (Digital Mortar), Matt Gershoff (Conductrics), and Rusty Rahmer (Vanguard)
  • Person­al­iza­tion with Tony Ferreira (Repub­lic Wire­less), Paul Legutko (EY-Semphonic), Michael Feiner (LeapThree), and Vanessa Green­lee (Dignity Health)
  • 3rd Party Data in Testing with Brandon Erco­l­ine (National Instru­ments), Alex Destino (Humana), and Matt Pedone (Search Discovery)
  • Qual­i­ta­tive Data in Testing with Lee Wong (Intuit), Melanie Hall (now of SDI), Carrie Bolton (Vanguard), and Michael Feiner (LeapThree)
  • Statis­tics in Testing with Matt Gershoff (Conductrics), Dr. Elea McDon­nell Feit (Drexel Univer­sity & Wharton Customer Analyt­ics Initia­tive), and Tim Wilson (Search Discovery)

Wanna join the conver­sa­tion? To offi­cially join the group, please review and sign the Code of Conduct and we’ll get you all set up! We also have a TLC Slack channel, which I encour­age all members, and espe­cially panelists, to join, so we can chat during the calls and continue the conver­sa­tion after the calls are over. It’s a great way to stay connected. Reach out if you have ques­tions or to join the conver­sa­tion today!