Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Happy 10th Birthday, TESTHEAD

Granted, I realize that I have been a bit quiet here (I feel like I apologize for that more than I should but yes, I intend to do something about that :) ). Regardless, let's have a little bit of fun and reflect on a post I made 10 years ago today:

OK, why the need for a blog like this? Well, truth be told, I don’t know that there really is a “need” for this blog, but I’m doing this as a challenge to myself. I consider this an opportunity to “give back” to a community that has helped me over the course of many years, as I have been the beneficiary of many great insights and learned a lot from a number of people and sources over nearly two decades.

Wow, I really had no idea that, when I first took this process on, that I would be doing it still 10 years later. I am happy to still be doing it and I am happy for the opportunities it has provided me since I first started doing it.

First off, professionally, I am a Tester. It's been what I've done in one way, shape or form for most of my career. As such, I am strangely drawn to the fine art of "breaking things on purpose" and then trying to find ways to improve the process so that they do not break again.

Being a Tester requires a bit of many disciplines. Saying "I like to test things" really isn't enough. A good Tester needs to have some understanding of the Software Development Cycle. This means that, to really be good at what they do, they need to "embrace the code", and I'll be the first to say I've had my fair share of ups and downs with that. They also need to have some skills with troubleshooting systems and finding solutions to issues. They need to be able to communicate to a broad group of people as to what they are doing, and ultimately, they need to be a part of the solution to the issue whenever possible. It's in the spirit of those areas I hope to contribute something here.

Oh, that is soooo CUTE!!! this should be an indication of just how much I thought I knew then and really didn't. Software testing has changed a bit since these days and I can see in myself slightly false confidence and a bit of Imposter Syndrome. Still, I wanted to roll up my sleeves and contribute and to that end, my motives were indeed pure.

Most of all, this will be a site where I share my own experiences, both good and bad, and what I've learned from them. Expect there to be talk about tools, both proprietary and open source. Expect some talk about test case design (and how I so hate to do it at times). Expect to hear me vent about some frustrations at times, because like all people, I have my share of frustrations when things don't seem to work correctly or go the way that I planned them to. Expect me to share ideas on testing that don't divulge too much of what I do at my day job... much as I find what I do interesting, chances are there's not much anyone who is not in my particular niche market (software applications for the Legal industry) will be able to use outside of that area, but if I come across a cool concept or a neat way to do something, I'll definitely put a more generic example of it here. Most of all, expect to get a real person's perspective on these things and an attempt to communicate them in plain English, whenever I possibly can.

Well, to that end, I would say that, while a lot has changed, quite a bit has stayed the same as well. seriously, though, this blog was a jumping-off point for a lot of things. this blog first got me involved with the Miagi-do school of Software testing, which led me to get involved with the Association for software testing to take classes and then to teach them. I took my early blogging skills and was able to become one of the collaborators on a book called 'How to Reduce The Cost of Software Testing". In that process, I began editing, then commenting on, then co-hosting a variety of podcasts over the past decade. I was invited to attend my first testing conference in 2010 (the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference) in which I interviewed individuals for podcast segments). From there, I started speaking at Software testing and Software Development conferences, some of which have brought me as far from home as Malmo, Sweden, Dublin, Ireland, and Pottsdam, Germany. I was given the chance to serve on the Board of Directors for the Association for Software Testing, as well as serve as its president for a year. In my work life, I went from being "just a tester" to being a build manager and release manager as well as developing a focus and advocacy for accessibility and Inclusive Design. I also had the opportunity to help develop initiatives in Weekend Testing and in the Bay Area Software Testers meetup. 

As of late, I will confess the blog posts have been more sporadic, in part because, frankly, ten years is a lot of writing and there's an awful lot of articles on this site, so much that I can feel as though I am merely repeating myself. Still, I know very well that waiting for the next big amazing thing that nobody has ever heard of before rarely happens. Best I can do is really try to embrace that last sentence of that first post and know that, if I want to see this blog thrive into a second decade, I'm going to have to get back to doing what I may not necessarily do best. I vowed that this would be a site where I would learn in public. I was very eager and willing to do that a decade ago? I'm going to do my level best to keep that going forward. Here's hoping you all join me going into my awkward tween years and beyond :).

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