Talent imitates, Genius steals
A very pertinent phrase for what’s been happening in the testing world recently. There’s been some high profile stealing or imitating of ideas and concepts but also some low key ones too. It seems we are in an increasingly competitive (and open media) world and those with the really great ideas are in grave danger of having them stolen. After all, there are too many testers and not enough good ideas.
But it really grates on me when the “theft” of ideas is so blatant, when it’s a straight copy, when little is done to even mask the fact it’s been nicked. Taking an idea and building on it, merging it, reforming it – fair enough I guess. Taking an idea and just running with it as your own – poor show.
Like the training provider that blatantly nicked Lisa Crispin’s and Janet Gregory’s Agile Testing book chapters for it’s course content, or the testing forum that nicked SQA heading ideas. But closer to my world is the “potential” borrowing of the Software Testing Clubs magazine content ideas. I say “potential” because it could just be coincidence.
Now, creating a magazine is not a fresh idea, there are loads of mags out there and there’s no harm in creating more of them. It’s a free world. It’s not a patented idea. But to steal the ideas, concepts and content of a fresh and funky new magazine and pass it off as your own idea would be just plain wrong. Right?
Now I do wish the peeps who appeared to have copied The Software Testing Clubs ideas all the best with their magazine.
I genuinely do. Because it’s a lot of hard work and it requires a lot of good content, good design, creative ideas and bags of enthusiasm. It also takes a lot of integrity to make sure the contents good and in keeping with the style. It could just be a coincident that their magazine forum post reads awfully similar to the STC magazine forum post. It could also be a coincidence that it also reads like one of my
articles, it’s got my style and language tone. Coincidence indeed.
And maybe it’s a bizarre coincidence that the content ideas are also identical to the STC ones. And maybe the publishing date being the same is truly a coincidence too. Small world and all that. It is funny how the testing world works. Great ideas appear to come along at the same time. Well, actually in some cases about 15 days after others 🙂 …. but let’s not quibble. Let’s not make any accusations. Good ideas are good ideas. And good luck to all who ride with them.
It will be an interesting January for the testing community. Two magazines with the same intended content. Oh how we spoil you guys. Oh how you have choice. And what a lot of great choice you have.
I’m really looking forward to the release of the STC magazine (January 2010). I’m well chuffed with the content; and the enthusiasm and hard work that’s gone in to it will show through in the end. The design is awesome, the contributors are perfect and the funny stuff is funny. Very funny. And a big thanks to all those who have contributed or been involved in some way shape or form. Even those who submitted blatant copies of other peoples work (it opened my eyes to how stupid and underhand some people can be…even to the person who tried with two different (copied) articles….I salute your persistence.) And if the other magazine is packed full of similar cool content then I’ll be over the moon. Yet more great places to go for testing information and a bit of down time.
There is plenty of room for both magazines, I’m just awfully glad we didn’t advertise on the forum some of the really really really cool features in the mag. phew.
2010 will be an interesting year and only time will tell who is either Talented or a Genius.
P.S – thanks to Faris Yakob for the title idea. http://farisyakob.typepad.com/