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Happy 6th Birthday, TESTHEAD (TESTHEAD)

On March 10, 2016, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Time flies.

Six years ago today, I initiated an opening salvo that I had hoped would help me develop some more interest in my chosen career. It was a way to get me out of a rut, to make me re-examine my thinking, and to engage with the community.

Well, that’s what I’d like to believe was why I started it, but truth be told, what I just said is the result of what happened because I started it. The original entry actually looks a lot like this (OK, it looks exactly like this):

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome to TESTHEAD

OK, why the need for a blog like this? Well, truth be told, I don’t know that there really is a “need” for this blog, but I’m doing this as a challenge to myself. I consider this an opportunity to “give back” to a community that has helped me over the course of many years, as I have been the beneficiary of many great insights and learned a lot from a number of people and sources over nearly two decades.

First off, professionally, I am a Tester. It’s been what I’ve done in one way, shape or form for most of my career. As such, I am strangely drawn to the fine art of “breaking things on purpose” and then trying to find ways to improve the process so that they do not break again.

Being a Tester requires a bit of many disciplines. Saying “I like to test things” really isn’t enough. A good Tester needs to have some understanding of the Software Development Cycle. This means that, to really be good at what they do, they need to “embrace the code”, and I’ll be the first to say I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with that. They also need to have some skills with troubleshooting systems and finding solutions to issues. They need to be able to communicate to a broad group of people as to what they are doing, and ultimately, they need to be a part of the solution to the issue whenever possible. It’s in the spirit of those areas I hope to contribute something here.

Most of all, this will be a site where I share my own experiences, both good and bad, and what I’ve learned from them. Expect there to be talk about tools, both proprietary and open source. Expect some talk about test case design (and how I so hate to do it at times). Expect to hear me vent about some frustrations at times, because like all people, I have my share of frustrations when things don’t seem to work correctly or go the way that I planned them to. Expect me to share ideas on testing that don’t divulge too much of what I do at my day job… much as I find what I do interesting, chances are there’s not much anyone who is not in my particular niche market (software applications for the Legal industry) will be able to use outside of that area, but if I come across a cool concept or a neat way to do something, I’ll definitely put a more generic example of it here. Most of all, expect to get a real person’s perspective on these things and an attempt to communicate them in plain English, whenever I possibly can.

Opportunity to “give back” to the community – I think that’s true.

Drawn to the fine art of “breaking things on purpose” and then trying to find ways to improve the process so that they do not break again – I’ve since changed my terminology here. Testers don’t really break anything unless they maliciously and intentionally try to. I really don’t do that, but I do try my best to uncover and discover what is already broken.

They need to “embrace the code”, and I’ll be the first to say I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with that – this has proven to be more true than I originally intended, and I’ve gotten more “code involved” these past years, but more so in my role as release manager than in my role as tester.

They need to be able to communicate to a broad group of people as to what they are doing, and ultimately, they need to be a part of the solution to the issue whenever possible – I think that is still the spirit of how I try to operate, at least much of the time.

Most of all, this will be a site where I share my own experiences, both good and bad, and what I’ve learned from them – this has partially proven true, but I’ve realized less often than I intended. I’ve realized that this has been a springboard for many endeavors, and I’ve give many of them coverage here, but if there is a desire to get back to the true intention of TESTHEAD, I’d say I have some work to do right here.

Most of all, expect to get a real person’s perspective on these things and an attempt to communicate them in plain English, whenever I possibly can – Wait, how can I have two most of all’s? Looks like editorial oversight was not an early strong suit (and yes, I’m well aware some might say that is still true now, thankyouverymuch). Still, this is what I’ve always hoped this blog would be, a tester, working as a tester, talking about testing and other topics in something resembling “dude” as much as was possible. If I am doing well here, I aim to keep doing well. If not, I aim to do better.

Ultimately, this platform has been a springboard into a reality I didn’t imagine I’d be inhabiting six years ago. The world is different, and I’ve grown and adapted along with it. In many ways, having this blog has been a touch point for my sanity, as well as a venting place to make sure I retained that sanity. Many books have been read and reviewed. Many Weekend Testing sessions have come and gone. Many podcast episodes have been recorded and announced (and there might be some more on that front in the not too distant future 😉 ). I’ve been able to speak in a variety of places, including three trips to Europe. I’ve collaborated on a book with several others. I declared a “Year of Accessibility” learning and teaching along with Albert Gareev. I served on the Board of Directors with the Association for Software Testing for four years. I’ve written and published scores of articles in numerous magazines and portal sites. What’s more, I’ve met many amazing people who have greatly enriched both my career and my life, and this humble little blog started all of that. To all who have been with me thus far, thank you so much. You are why I am still doing this, and I look forward to many more posts, and many more opportunities for interaction.

 

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