Yikes! I just realized it has been almost a year since I have managed to write a blog post or publish an article. I have been super busy at my current organization. It has been an exciting year leading the transformation of testing but it has also made it nearly impossible to find time to write. Hmmm as I write that I realize it is really a choice to MAKE time to write. I suppose the truth is I have poured all of my time and energy into this transformation and have truly loved every second of it.
Although the new year has long since passed, I will make a resolution to write at least two blog posts this month. I have a good deal of exciting experiences to share. Be back soon!
Nancy and I are sad to report that unfortunately we had to cancel the Powerful Project Leadership Skills course scheduled to run next month in Calgary.
As I wrapped up 2010 I realized what an amazing year it had been! I chuckled inside as I thought about how 2010 was originally going to be a relaxing year. Back in November of 2009 I made the decision to stay home for my youngest son’s Kindergarten year. Kids grow up so fast and both of mine were now in school! This was my last chance to spend some extra time at home.
The decision to take a year away from work came with mixed emotions but I found myself working harder than I expected. I challenged myself in many new ways and got involved in the industry far more than ever before. I am still surprised when I think about my involvement:
- Co-founded and co-hosted the Calgary Perspectives on Software Testing Workshop, POST. The POST Workshop was inspired by attending the Toronto Workshop on Software Testing co-founded by Fiona Charles and Michael Bolton. Creating POST with Nancy Kelln turned out to be an amazing experience and a huge success.
- Spearheaded bringing the Rapid Software Testing course instructed by Michael Bolton to Calgary, Alberta not once but twice. With a keen software testing community here in Calgary it was rewarding to provide this training opportunity.
- Attended excellent training opportunities including the BBST Foundations course, the Rapid Software Testing course and the AYE Conference. I had been keen to attend these training opportunities for several years now and am astounded that I managed to accomplish all three in one year! AYE had an especially profound effect on me.
- Became involved as a board member in two fantastic organizations; the Association for Software Testing, AST, and the Calgary Software Quality Discussion Group, SQDG.
- Presented at several conferences and events including QUEST, TWST, CAST, SQDG, TesTrek, and EuroStar. These conferences allowed me to share my ideas through my sessions but more importantly I met some amazing people this year and learned a great deal.
- Helped generate the momentum for the Weekend Testers Americas and have co-founded the chapter with Michael Larsen and Joe Harter. This was exciting for me as I really hoped to see Canadian testers get excited about the weekend testing movement.
- Published several articles for magazines and newsletters in the US and Europe. Last year was my first time writing an article for publication. It has been a great learning experience in many ways.
- Participated in my first ever podcast hosted by Software Test Professionals, STP, discussing the AYE conference and software testing community with Selena Delesie. Also participated in my first webcast at EuroStar sharing my thoughts on advancing the craft of software testing through learning. These were fun opportunities and I look forward to the chance to do more of them.
- Participated in the STPCON 2011 Conference planning committee. I co-chaired two tracks and learned a great deal about the effort required to plan and host a conference.
- Created my own website and blog and evolved both over the past year. Blogging regularly has clearly been a challenge for me and I hope to get better at dealing with writers block.
- Joined Twitter and started tweeting. This has been one of the biggest surprises for me as I truly did not realize the learning potential this social media offered. Since joining I have actively promoted using Twitter as a learning tool for testers of all experience levels.
- Developed the Conference Calendar on my website and have been surprised to learn of so many great software testing conferences worldwide.
Thinking about my accomplishments has been very satisfying and somewhat unsettling. What will I accomplish in 2011? Can I keep up the pace? Where do I want to focus my energy? I have decided I am not going to stress about it and see what comes in 2011. I am sure it is going to be another eventful and exciting year.
My Resources page recently experienced a growth spurt and I was forced to reorganize. Now each section has its own page and includes a “Featured Resources” section on the right which was fun to create. The resource listing includes:
- Approaches, Techniques, Tools
- Associations & Online Communities
- Conferences & Workshops
The Conference Calendar links can now be found on the Resources and Conferences & Workshops pages or referenced directly at www.qualityperspectives.ca/calendar/. NOTE: There is no change in the URL.
The Testing Mnemonics listing can be found on the Approaches, Techniques & Tools page or referenced directly at www.qualityperspectives.ca/resources_mnemonics. NOTE: This is a new URL so update any bookmarks you may have to this page.
If you know of a great resource I do not have listed, please email me . Enjoy!
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Did you know that Dr. Seuss coined the word “Nerd”. The term originated in the 1950 book “If I Ran the Zoo”. From the book: “And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo. And Bring Back an IT-KUTCH, a PREEP and a PROO, a NERKLE, a NERD, and a SEERSUCKER, too!”
Thanks to Selena Delesie who tweeted this today on Twitter. The excerpt and images above are from the OMG Facts website and you can view the Dr. Seuss fact here www.omg-facts.com/view/Facts/3140.
In life some things seem very obvious. When you get in your car, you should put on your seat belt. If you are going to be in the sunshine, you should wear sunscreen. And if you have kids, you are going to have a fair number of sleepless nights. Right? Perhaps at first glance these examples may seem obvious, however, with some further thought it becomes apparent they may not be. There are a variety of reasons why these examples are less obvious for many individuals including cultural, geographical, environmental, personality, and perception differences.
How obvious are things in the workplace and on our project teams? Within our fast paced, ever changing industry of software development, believing anything is obvious is a real danger. Labelling something as obvious implies it is readily apparent, easily perceived and understood. Consider the following examples that are often dangerously deemed to be obvious:
- Terms and Terminology
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Best Practices
- Best Fit Tools or Technologies
- Complexity or Simplicity of a Technology, Tool, or Technical Design
- Complexity or Simplicity of Testing
Organizations, departments, projects, teams and individuals are unique. The context of each situation is unique. Be wary of expecting everyone you communicate with to have the same understanding, even for the things that seem incredibly obvious to you. What is obvious to one person may be an absolutely foreign concept to another. Sometimes the disconnect is purely in the terminology and the individual has a solid understanding of the fundamental concept.
The first step is to recognize things may not be as obvious as they seem. With a heightened awareness to this communication risk, you can actively seek confirmation of a common understanding. Now that was obvious, wasn’t it?