As we move from 2016 to 2017 there are a couple of things that really excite me about 2017.
I start a new job with Travelport Locomote. This company produces software for corporate travel management. It’s a new domain for me, and that’s interesting. More than that, this is a company that believes that people matter, and acts that way. I’m looking forward to working with a new group of Testers and Developers. I’m excited about being given a role that will enable me to really utilise my teaching, coaching and mentoring skills. There’s a lot for me to learn, that’s really cool because I have a high degree of confidence that the people I’ll be working with will support that learning. We’ll help improve each other’s ability to produce a quality experience for our customers.
Across 2016 I have been working with Lee Hawkins (@therockertester) and EPIC Assist (http://epicassist.org/au/) to produce an introduction to software testing. This training will be aimed at helping people that have Aspergers Syndrome. Together we are hoping to get people sufficiently skilled to find employment. Lee and I will be developing and delivering the course with, to steal from the Beatles, “a little help from our friends”. EPIC Assist are helping identify people to attend the training and are also seeking out employment opportunities. They are also funding costs such as a training room, training materials, snacks, etc.
In 2017 this work will come to life as the EPIC Testability Academy (ETA). I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head for a while but needed to wait until I had bandwidth and a group to support the idea. EPIC Assist is the group and Lee is the bloke that put his hand up before I finished outlining the idea to him. Working with Lee, in my experience, is incredibly easy. He is a very positive guy, humble and people focused. He’s also got a lot fo testing experience. William Elliott and Zach Zaborny, from EPIC, have been brilliant to work with, they are so positive and supportive. As a team we “clicked” from our first meeting.
Zach is an author. I highly recommend his book – Education of An Aspie: College Through My Eyes
For Lee and myself this is a “giving back to the community” initiative. We are providing all our time for free. While we make zero dollars through this initiative we expect we will learn plenty and have a lot of fun. Well-worn as this term might be, for us, it really is about community building. The people that come along to ETA will not have any previous exposure to software testing (although they more than likely test without knowing it). Initially we want to build some confidence and engagement. Finding bugs that are not too hard to detect would be useful. Of course, this needs to taper because “easy bugs” are one thing but reality is another and so we need to progressively ramp up the challenge and engage the type of thinking we want our students to embrace.
This is where we seek assistance. It would be an enormous help if you, or your friends, the people that make the testing community what it is, could contribute ideas around software that would be suitable for ETA. It can be alpha, beta, web based, hosted, local instal, anything really. If you would like to be part of ETA, even though you might be on the other side of the world, or this continent, the “welcome mat” is awaiting, the door open. You can contact me through the blog site message function with any ideas you might have. Anything you can provide will be really appreciated.
So that’s it folks. 2016 is rapidly drawing to a close. It’s been a year of some incredible highs (I’ve a learnt a lot and have developed some very strong friendships) and sad lows (deaths in the family). As always time marches on. 2017 is looking exciting for me, I hope it brings the same sense of excitement to you.