Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tweet Your Way to Better Test Understanding

This post was originally prompted by an off-hand comment made by Jonathan Bach on Twitter, where he said (I’m paraphrasing) “Twitter is like having a 24/7 Software Testing conference”. He’s right!


I use Twitter for one thing and one thing only and that is to learn about software testing. I have one account, and I have made sure that the people I “follow” are directly related to and focused on software testing or software development (or at least their specific profile is). Instead of trying to get a huge number of followers, I have focused on following those individuals who provide good information, timely updates and challenge the way I think about things.


Twitter is excellent for this type of knowledge exchange because of its specific design. The 140 characters limit means that anyone who wants to put up a comment has to do it in a tight and “to the point” fashion. Replies likewise have to be done the same way. Entire conversations and debates between contributors take place in this fashion, and the beautiful thing is that you can see what is being said from both sides if you follow both sides of the conversation. I’ve seen some terrific debates and even participated in a couple here and there. Many testers use twitter to announce blog updates, to re-tweet comments from others, or make recommendations for tools, books, seminars and meet-ups in various areas. Getting used to certain hash tags can help users find new insights (the daily testing tip, actually several of them each day, can be seen at #dttip).


Is this some kind of elaborate scheme to get more followers? Nope, though if you’d like to follow me on Twitter, you’re certainly welcome to. I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that, if you want quick, easy to read, and very focused testing ideas, Twitter’s a good place to find them :).
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