Speaker Idol 2012Every year TechEd’s Speaker Idol gives entrants a chance to win a highly coveted speaking slot at Microsoft's TechEd conference. Contestants have to create a five minute presentation which they deliver on stage in front of four judges and large crowds in the main expo hall. The judges provide feedback and determine a winner and runner up in each of three heats. The winners and top runner up all advance to the finals. The winner of the contest gets a speaking slot at the following year's conference.

Our Test Studio Evangelist Jim Holmes spoke on something near and dear to his heart: Making test automation less painful by carefully choosing how you locate elements on the UI you're testing. In his usual manner, Jim gave a number of practical problems and showed several ways to solve them. You can see his slide deck at Y U No Test Yur UI? // Speaker Deck — in his usual crazy style.

He took second place in the finals behind David Giard who is a fellow MVP and a very active member of the Ohio/Michigan developer community. His presentation on data visualization was awesome too! In Jim’s own words “It's tough to beat someone when two of the judges say they're going to use his tips to change their slides for their presentations that afternoon!”

Jim, you are a winner and we are very proud of you! And wanted to let you know how much we appreciate working with you!

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