Friday, November 11, 2011
Moving Forward By Letting Go
Yesterday's post about how I spend my time actually came at an interesting juncture. As I'd said yesterday, to agree to do something, you have to be willing to not do something else. When Matt and I were sitting in the AST board meeting and the discussions about the Education SIG were happening, as I threw my hat in the ring to take on that responsibility, we both knew I'd have to free up bandwidth to do it.
Over the past fifteen months, I've edited 65 shows, plus several extra spots and other details that have helped to shape "This Week in Software Testing" into the format that it is today. By far the most time consuming aspect is the ongoing editing of the audio. Well, with next week's episode, I'm officially handing over a good chunk of the audio editing piece to Rick Baucom.
It's funny, this should be something that I should be totally happy to stop doing; it's not like I'm not going to be doing production for the show still (I'm going to be constructing the bumpers still and the final deliverable, at least for the foreseeable future, though it's possible I may pass that off too at some point). Still, part of me is resisting handing this off.
I think the reason is that, when we spend the time doing something, especially for a regular deliverable, we develop a lot of domain specific knowledge, and we just plain get good at doing it. When we feel we are good at doing something, we develop a bit of a pride in doing it. Anything that's truly onerous we should be happy to be rid of. In this case, while it was time consuming and meticulous stuff, I greatly enjoyed, and enjoy, doing it.
Having said that, I also know that I will have to, in due time, make commitments to focus on other areas, areas that will give me less time to do the day to day audio editing. I have help, and I'm grateful for it, but now I have to ask myself "am I willing to turn over the authority for doing something I've done for what seems like so long?" In all honestly, part of me isn't. What if the results are not the same as if I'd done them? Well, that's a risk... but so what? Do I have any belief that the podcast will suffer because of it. Well, it may. Or it may not. Fact is, I won't know until I let someone else try. They won't do things my way. They won't have my system down. They won't know the tricks I use to make things work the way that I do. And that's OK. They'll figure out their own ways of doing things. It may even (gasp!) change the flavor of the show, or they may discover some techniques or have access to gear that I don't, and that may even make the overall sound of the show even better, and frankly, that's cool, too.
The simple fact is, it's not my show. I don't own it. STP owns it, and from there, Matt owns it if any single person can say they do. I enjoy working on it, and I will stay connected to it as producer, but the daily engineering will go to someone else, and they'll make their own magic work. And it will be cool, it will be relevant, and it will be "the best software testing podcast... by some definition of best" :).
Here's to future days.