Friday, July 29, 2011

Podcast Friday: Cakes, Transition, Salad and Mice, Oh My!

Hey everyone! It's been a few weeks since I've done a Podcast Friday entry, so please forgive me and let me help fix that situation.

First and foremost, let me draw your attention to the latest and greatest TWiST episode. This time around, Matt Heusser interviews Matt Kallman of Carnevale Interactive, and covers various topics such as what it's like to be a principal in a small company, how it feels to work with people who are maybe only interested in being testers for a short period or otherwise have other goals beyond just software testing, and what being a tester can do to help bolster a career as a product manager. It's all right here. Oh, and for those who follow my nerdy goings on with this podcast, this episode marks the beginning of my love affair with Blue Microphones. No, seriously, I bought a Blue Snowball USB mic and a shock ring for the capsule, and recorded the intro/outro, and really, this is probably the best "microphone" I've ever had the pleasure of using. Granted, this is nowhere near the caliber of their extremely awesome studio mic's (like the Bottle) but for a consumer grade, direct to PC microphone, the sound is awesome!!!

Also on the testing front, I need to give another shout out to Trish Khoo and Bruce MacLeod for their latest edition of Testcast. In Episode #5, called "Pass Cakes and Fail Cakes" Bruce and Trish roam around a number of topics, such as the sheer number of blogs they both have (Trish really has six blogs?! Wow!), and when to use production data in tests (and of course, when not to, which really is most of the time).

Dan Benjamin and Merlin Mann are back in the mix again with Back to Work #26. In this episode titled "Spaghetti Guy Hits Close to Home". It's an all over the map run, and really, that's what makes it fun, but if podcasts about work, productivity, finding jobs, selling cars, putting your house on the market, leveraging enthusiasm and finding your position of strength. And really, gang, there just isn't a bad show in the bunch for these guys. It's an acquired taste, I know, but if you can get into the Dan and Merlin vibe, it's pretty much always golden.

My last recommendation for this week is strangely appropriate for a testing and QA crowd. I'm somewhat amazed that I have not listened to this podcast before this week, but I've found it now, and I love it. Freakonomics Radio, which is based on the book of the same name by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, emphasizes on what it refers to as "the hidden side of everything". Their most recent episode is called "Mouse in the Salad" and takes a look at the idea that, in a top end posh restaurant in New York, how in the world did a dead mouse make its way onto a diner's plate, what would such a situation do to your confidence in that organization, and what did they do about it? Additionally, seriously... how did the mouse get there?!

Oh, and here's a pending announcement, to be delivered as soon as I can humanly do it… the five candidates for the Association for Software Testing's Board of Directors (Matt Heusser, Cem Kaner, Michael Larsen, Catherine Powell and Peter Walen) sat down for a roundtable debate/interview session to discuss the upcoming elections and hopes and aspirations for the future of AST. We recorded two hours worth of audio and I am actively editing it, and want to get it out as soon as I can, so if I'm a little more quiet than normal, that's why. My goal is to try to get it out in time for the great Twitter debate which will be hosted on Monday, August 1, 2011 (more on that tomorrow :) ).

Happy listening :).

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