Wednesday, January 1, 2014

On Resolutions, Commitments and How Nature Abhors A Vacuum

First off, Happy New Year, everyone. 2014 is here, and with it, a lot of talk from people about the resolutions they are going to make. It may surprise you all to know that I don't make resolutions for the New Year, or for any year. My logic is that, if an idea, goal or commitment is worthwhile, you will start it when you start it, and will keep to it if it actually matters to you. If it doesn't, you won't keep to it. Really, that's OK. There's lots of resolutions we make that are most often poorly thought out, don't address what we really want to do or need to do, or we don't give ourselves realistic parameters to actually meet them.

I'm much more persuaded, and have a much better success record, when I make commitments. The more specific the commitment, the better I will likely be about actually achieving it. An example, saying I want to write more for my blog is a weak commitment. It's unbounded, unfocused, and it doesn't really meet any objective. Write more of what? For whom? For what purpose? Chances are, if I can't answer that, then I am far less likely to achieve anything that will have lasting results. Now, were I to say "I want to write more about technical testing, the aspects that make up how I can do that, and ways to interact with technical topics. I want to focus on network testing, open source tools, programming languages and automated processes. I want to incorporate those ideas into my everyday testing repertoire, and share the ideas that work, and those that don't work"... now I've got something I can hang some real work and energy on, something I can commit to, and perhaps others might be excited about that as well.

What's more, as I have seen over the past year, when I stopped producing podcasts as a regular thing, it's not like I suddenly had hours of "free time". Instead, other things climbed in to take center stage and demand attention. If I gave them attention, they became regular parts of my routine. If I didn't give them attention, I rarely got around to them later on, because the items that I had given attention to flourished and (surprise) demanded even more attention. It's with this in mind that I am going to start, here and now, with Noah Sussman's challenge to write a book on becoming a more technical tester. Well, Noah's actually writing the book. He's already made the Table of Contents. My challenge to myself is to apply the table of contents to my own reality, and to set up a case study that's relevant to my world. I intimated that I was going to do this last year when I finished up the "99 Ways" workshop series. The time to make good on it is now. Please feel free to follow along on the journey to see where it leads me (and perhaps you, too ;) ).
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