Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So, Why Should You Vote For Me?!

Well, actually, if you are not a member of the Association for Software Testing, I'm going to say the answer is "you don't have to". Actually, even if you are a member of the Association for Software Testing, you don't HAVE to vote for me… but I'd certainly be happy if you did.

Part of me feels like starting this with the lines of Admiral James Stockdale when he participated in the 1992 Vice Presidential debate… "Who am I? Why am I here?" Unlike Admiral Stockdale, though, I hope to be able to get to that much quicker and provide a reasonable answer (for those of you who are outside of the US and have no idea who James Stockdale is, no worries. For those of you stateside who don't know, you're obviously lots younger than me ;) ).

I am a tester. I am a teacher. I am a believer in the idea that "it's the people, stupid" that make any organization worth being around in the first place.In short, members of AST, I'm one of you, and really no more than that. I don't have any grand qualifications outside of having been a tester for 17 years. I've never managed a company's test team, I've never held an exalted title like "test director". Heck, most of my efforts have been as a lone tester over these 17 years. I have, however, experienced a lot of ups and downs in this industry, and it's helped me see that I'm not alone in facing those challenges.

I'm a strong proponent and a believer in the value of the Black Box Software Testing classes. To date, I'm a veteran of five Foundations classes (one as participant, four as instructor) and two Bug Advocacy classes (one as participant, one as instructor). I look forward to the opportunities to teach these classes because I learn something new every time.It's also as an instructor that I see the value and power of these classes. We are not seeking a "fill in the blank" one size fits all certification. We realize that testing is dynamic, context driven and varies with every test and tester. It's this view I would like to see more testers embrace and understand, as well as the rest of the software development world.

I believe strongly in the value of continuous education and active practice. It is with the eye towards continuous practice that I have led the charge for Weekend Testing in the Americas, and why I have facilitated each session since its inception. Each time we hold a session, I learn something different and help to teach something different to the participants. It's also in this continued growth and practice that Albert Gareev and I are developing "Project Sherwood", with the goal of developing the next level of "active practice" for testing skills.

Having produced nearly 60 podcasts, including some with me as the interviewer and interviewee, I have had the opportunity to become intimately familiar with the challenges and issues that span the testing discipline, and it's my desire to help see that discipline grow and develop.

Overall, my approach to politics can be best summed up as "neo-prudentist", which roughly translated means "I don't much care for politics, but I'm very motivated to find what works and help to promote and encourage it". I believe AST and its model to work and to be effective. I believe that the development and growth of the BBST course series, bot now and in the future, would be a tremendous help to the overall testing industry. There is a Test Design course in the works and almost finished and ready to be presented. There are many more possible courses that can be offered. As a board member, I'd like very much to see AST focus on further development of these courses and being able to present them to the public.

Finally, the reason I am here is "I was nominated", and for that alone, I am touched and honored. To quote Matt Heusser (a good friend and also a candidate), "If I am nominated,I will run. If I am elected, I will serve." Really and truly, it is that simple. I have no great promises to make, and I have no promises that I can use to sway your vote, other than this… AST is an organization I believe in, and am honored to be a member of and to serve. If I'm elected,I will serve to the best of my ability. If I am not elected… I will still serve to the best of my ability in whatever ways it may need me".

The rest, my testing compatriots, I leave up to you :).


Catherine Powell said...

Best of luck! I know I'm also a candidate, but it's only fair to say that you would do a great job. It's an honor to be in your, Matt, and Pete's company on that list.

Michael Larsen said...

Catherine, late to getting to this, but thanks for a great "debate" last wednesday and I enjoyed editing down the series. Regardless of election results, I am looking forward to meeting you and Pete for the first time next week :).