About Me

Who is Michael Larsen?

Michael Larsen, 2021
Michael Larsen, 2021

"The TESTHEAD", by Tomasi Akimeta.
(c) 2015 Studio TOA. Used by permission.

"One For the Road", by Aaron Scott
(c) 2012 TwoLeafClover.net. Used by permission.

I retired from a career as a rock and roll singer to pursue software testing full time at Cisco Systems in 1992. After a decade at Cisco, I've worked with a broad array of technologies and industries including virtual machine software, capacitance touch devices, video game development, and distributed database & web applications.

I have, for the better part of my 30+ year career, found myself in the role of being the "Army of One" or "The Lone Tester" more times than not. This unique viewpoint, along with ideas and advocacy regarding continuous education and learning/re-learning for testers, is frequently the grist for the mill that is TESTHEAD.

Some additional details for those interested:

  • I am a black-belt in the Miagi-Do School of Software Testing.
  • I am a founding member of the "Americas" Chapter of "Weekend Testing". You can follow our progress and tweets at @WTAmericas or email us at  WTAmericas@gmail.com. Currently, this project is on hiatus.
  • I and a number of other software testers contributed a chapter each to a book devoted to "How to Reduce the Costs of Software Testing", which was published by Auerbach Publications in October 2011.
  • I and a number of other software testers were actively involved in the development of the Software Testing materials being developed for SummerQAmp, a nationwide initiative to train a new workforce in tech skills and create tech jobs for America's youth.
  • I served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Software Testing from 2011-2015. I was their Treasurer and then their President. Currently, I help teach their Black Box Software Testing classes.
  • I was the producer of, and a regular commentator for, the SoftwareTestPro.com podcast "This Week in Software Testing" (hosted by Matt Heusser, podcast ended its run in February of 2013).
  • I am the current producer and regular commentator for the monthly Qualitest podcast "The Testing Show" (hosted by Matt Heusser, this podcast started in 2016 and is ongoing).
  • I actively present at a variety of conferences, notable examples being PNSQC, STP-Con, CAST, and others. Areas I talk about regularly are Accessibility, Testability, and Automation. If you would like to ask me to speak at your conference, please feel free to get in touch with me.
  • In the past several years, I have written a variety of articles for online publications such as IT Knowledge Exchange, Logigear, Testbear, and other organizations. I at present have an agreement with Matthew Heusser of Excelon Development as a writer, so if you'd like to have me write for you, contact Matt :).
Outside of software testing and my family, my greatest loves of life (or at least the ones that consume the majority of my time) are my involvement as a Boy Scout Leader, a Festival Re-Enactor & Performer, and Snowboarding. Additionally, since October 2015, I have been the lead singer of Ensign Red, a San Francisco Bay Area hard rock/metal band.

Glad to make your acquaintance, hope you'll stick around :).


Anonymous said...

Its good to know that you all have ""How to Reduce the Costs of Software Testing" taken that initiative forward.I am looking forward to have a copy of that book.

- Kiran Badi

Michael Larsen said...

Kiran, not sure if you are aware of it, but the book is now available! Get a copy and please, leave a comment and let me know what you think of it :)