Thursday, August 19, 2010

Helping the Testing World TWiST

Remember a few posts back I said I had a few things in the works that I didn't want to talk about until I was sure that they would come to fruition? Well, I think enough time and experience has passed that I can now talk about at least one of them (one time is an experiment, two times is a repeat offense, three or more times is a habit and maybe worth talking about (LOL!) ).

There's a weekly podcast now being developed for Software Test Professionals, the organization that was once Software Test and Performance magazine. Recently, ST&P rebranded, renamed their magazine Software Test and Quality Assurance, and set out to have a different mission, one that was more social media like and more engaged with its everyday readers and the population of software testers and developers. It was three years ago that I first discovered Software Test and Performance magazine, and it was also when I first read articles from people with names like James Bach, Jonathan Bach, Scott Barber, Elfriede Dustin, Michael Bolton, and the writer/contributor I have had the most direct contact with, Matt Heusser.

About a month ago, Matt made a request on Twitter to help him produce and support a new Podcast initiative he had started called "This Week in Software Testing" also known as "TWiST". Being a fan of podcasting and always curious as to how they are produced and distributed, I replied that I'd be interested in being involved. I helped craft a structure for Episode 6 (an interview at CAST 2010 between Matt and Selena Delesie). That led to my doing Episode 7 with Johnathan Kohl (albeit in a little more harried state, as I was up at scout camp while producing this one... *that* was an interesting experience (LOL!) ). In between my start on working with this, two other testers, Thomas Ponnet in the UK and Fareed Vaswani in New Zealand have also stepped in to assist, so we have created this interesting loose federation of audio editing geeks who enjoy testing and enjoy bringing this weekly interview show to interested listeners.

A Little about TWiST and the model. STP has three tiers of membership. there's the basic level, which is free, the Pro level, which costs $100 a year and comes with certain perks, and a Forum membership, which costs $4800 per year, and includes a free conference pass and other benefits that, frankly are out of my price range for the time being :). Be that as it may, the Podcast has been developed to be available for free the first 30 days after being aired. Archives older than 30 days are only available to those with Pro memberships. To that end, I will post when each episode goes up, a little synopsis about the show, and any other bits anyone may want to know.

Typically the shows are posted on Thursday's, but there can be variations in the schedule. The Podcast for this week is TWiST #8, and features Anne-Marie Charrett, a test consultant in Dublin, Ireland (and featured in my blog roll as Maverick Tester; she was also one of the Assistant Instructors in the AST BBST Foundations class I took in May, which is something I am now doing as well :) ). Matt hosts the show and conducts the interviews. I, Thomas and Fareed work with the audio and help to produce the final product. As of now, I am the one that constructs the flow of the show, creates audio beds, and currently serve as the show anouncer, too.

So for those who are interested in testing topics with a diverse population of testers, we hope you will give a listen to TWiST. We hope you enjoy them, as we are enjoying making them :).

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