After a lot of hard work the "tester types" eBook is available for you to download completely free from The Software Testing Club. (http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/page/tester-types-the-ebook)Feel free to download it and ping it around to your team, colleagues, mates etc. It's free for all, we just ask you abide by the copyright and reference the authors. The book is a joint venture between myself and Rosie Sherry at the Software Testing Club (thanks Rosie) and with some great sponsors on board it's been possible to take these tester types and put them all in one place ready for you to download. And whilst you're at the download page why not sign up for the Software Testing Club. It's a great mix of juniors, seniors, seasoned pros and big name testers but most importantly, it's got a friendly and fun vibe about it. I do hope you enjoy the book. There's some really cool testing projects happening at the moment so 2010 will be a good year for testing. Keep your eyes peeled for some awesome stuff. For now though, enjoy the holiday season and all the best. Rob..
At a conference I attended a few weeks back someone asked a simple question. In actual fact it wasn't a question, it was a statement. And an angry one at that."What you're talking about isn't new. There's nothing new at this event. Where's the new content?" He then proceeded to walk out in disgust. I must add that it wasn't me talking…or making the statement. At first I agreed with him. There wasn't anything new. There wasn't anything groundbreaking. But then I sat down and really studied what was said at the event. The talks were indeed a simple rehash of "common sense" things or ideas we've all heard somewhere before. It was indeed old stuff. But then 99% of the stuff about testing and methodology is not new either. It's been done before, maybe not in the testing arena, maybe not in the computing arena, but most likely done or said in some context before. But looking at it like that is missing the point. It's too simplistic a view. Most of the content I see actually is "new". It has to be unless someones just copied it word for word (some do by the way). The idea might not be new but it's bundled together in a new form. Therefore it's new. It's recompiled in to different contexts. It's repackaged, merged, renamed, tweaked, built upon, defined more clearly, analysed further and given cool and funky labels. So it is new. It's just a new version of something that's gone before. Like Die Hard 2, 3,12000 etc. They're all the same thing. Different location, different baddie, different time and place – same concept. New film. "New" theories may be made more palatable, more relevant, more concise, easier to understand or more intuitive to apply in real life. It may well be old but if repackaged well it can still be new. It can appeal to the new crowd. It can appeal to the people paying attention at that moment in time. In that context. Every once in a while someone does genuinely come up with something new, but to attend a conference and expect groundbreaking, never heard before content is optimistic to say the least. But I've come to appreciate that very few conferences have "new" stuff. It doesn't mean they are not valuable. I still learn things from conferences. I still go off afterwards and look things up, do some research or make some notes. New understandings or re-branding of old ideas is important at furthering our craft of testing. For spreading the word. Reaffirming ways we do things. Building on ideas. We can learn from the past. We have to. And no doubt we will go around in circles but that's life I'm afraid. Like the time when flared trousers came back in fashion. Or 80's retro games came back. It's a new audience (may be different, may be older, may be the same), with different outlooks on life all at a different time and place. Doesn't mean it's not valuable. Doesn't mean it's not new to some person or society or the testing community or me. Doesn't mean it's not acceptable. Doesn't mean we should walk out of conferences. Doesn't mean we still cannot learn something. I'm just waiting for shell suits to come back in fashion, I've got a cracking green and black one in the wardrobe. 🙂
2010 will be an interesting year and only time will tell who is either Talented or a Genius. Rob..
P.S – thanks to Faris Yakob for the title idea. http://farisyakob.typepad.com/
The new series of the Gordon Ramsay’s F Word is back on TV here in the UK. This series Ramsey et al are in search of Britain’s best restaurant by cultural cuisine type (i.e. Chinese, Thai, French etc).
I wouldn’t normally be referring to Gordon Ramsay or British TV except that something struck me about the restaurants, in fact more precisely, the chefs that make it in to the final cook-off on the F Word. The chefs all seems to share something in common……Passion.
Their passion is for cooking. But not just for doing the action of cooking but also helping other people to learn more about cooking as well as building their own knowledge during that process. Each of the chefs run very successful restaurants, with awesome food but more importantly from my view is that they all also run weekend or out of hours cooking courses.
In the testing world over the past few weeks there have been lots of discussions about training. Matt Heusser posted some stuff on his blog the other week about training (or lack of) http://blogs.stpcollaborative.com/matt/2009/11/18/you-say-you-want-a-revolution/. Selena Delesie posted about coaching testing skills http://selenadelesie.com/2009/11/25/coaching-testing-skills/ and twitter has been awash with talk of certifications and training.
So what’s my point?
Well, my point is that for those of us who are passionate about what we do it is inevitable that many of us will want to share and contribute to community projects and training. It’s not every ones calling and some people don’t thrive in social environments. But for those that do, training and coaching local testers is a really great way to share your passion for testing. It’s also a fantastic way of building on your own knowledge.
So maybe the time has come for us to get involved in promoting testing, cultivating testing, getting local community testing groups flourishing but most important of all; offering a place for people to learn more about testing.
Too many people sit back and complain about lack of training for testers. Instead, why not create yourself a community group, join a local testing group, build your network and try to get some local learning going.
But most of all. Enjoy it.
(picture courtest of Fernando on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernando/)
P.S – For those who don’t know about Gordon Ramsay, try watching an episode of F Word. Done.