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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Why I added Lisa Crispin and Gojko Adzic to Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an encyclopaedic store of knowledge about the world, the people and events that have shaped it in the past and are shaping it now. The wonderful thing about Wikipedia is it contains knowledge about groups in the world, one group is the software testing and development profession/industry. This is relevant because software testing and development is at the heart of how the modern world is being shaped. The world and even those things we send out of this world all run on software. I want you to realise the significance of this and the importance of software testing before I gone on…

We are in the computer age and it’s as historic a moment for the world as the steam age and industrial revolution was. Yet, are we recognising this and ensuring we capture our knowledge of those that are shaping it?

Software Testing People

If you look at Wikipedia there is a category called “Software Testing People” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Software_testing_people) and it’s a pathetic list of 15. (16 as I’m there, my user page is labeled to appear). We rightly see James Bach and Cem Kaner. I recognise Rex Black, Boris Beizer and Brian Marick. The rest? Never heard of them and I question whether they are really ‘testers’, but that might be showing my lack of ‘education’.

That aside, are you telling me that’s all the people who have or are causing paradigm shifts in the way we think about software testing? In how we approach it and re-shape the profession? Can you tell I’m offended and getting precious about my beloved profession? .

That’s why I’ve added Lisa Crispin and Gojko Adzic, I’ll be adding Michael Bolton too when I get time, please go ahead and beat me too it! These people have literally affected the entire profession. They have on their own and in combination with others (and the test community) caused a paradigm shift in the way we think about and do software testing (and from it, development). They have been around for years, are known and respected globally. Will be quoted, emulated and recognised (along with Bach and Kaner) as thought leaders and pioneers for as long as this profession exists.

You bet they should have Wikipedia pages!


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Testers coming to London

I get about 2 emails a week via the www.testhats.com site from testers looking to come to the UK, asking how best to do it. I also get emails about sitting ISTQB exams but that's another post.

I'm of the biased opinion the best place in the world for a testing career is London. If you are serious about a successful career in testing, then making the move there is a wise choice. One problem you will have though is there are many testers in London and some of them are very very good. Some of them are crap too, but you don't need to worry about those.

Therefore you need to do two things:

• Make it easy for potential recruiters to find you and learn about you.
• Differentiate yourself by becoming ‘known’ for your testing knowledge and views

In order to prepare yourself for arriving in the UK, you may have done this already but in case you've not here’s some things I’d suggest;

• Head over to http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/ and start interacting with the test community, it’s mainly UK based so will get you exposure
o Join relevant groups and interact: http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/group/uksoftwaretesters, http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/group/uklondon
o Set-up your blog there if you don’t have one, post at least once per week

• Join http://weekendtesting.com/ and the sister activity of Week Night Testing, then participate.

• Set-up your Linkedin profile - http://www.linkedin.com/ and get connecting to people
o Link-in with me: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6436250 (Choose that you’re a member of STC)

• When in London be sure to attend the London Tester Gathering and meet the London test community
o http://www.linkedin.com/groups/London-Tester-Gathering-2656070

• Get a twitter account and follow other testers. Start to see what people are talking about and join in the conversation.

The most important thing you can do is participate in the testing community, either online or in person. The second most important thing is to start formulating a clear idea of your views on testing. For that you’ll need to study and practice, read and debate, then share your ideas.

You own your career and are to be congratulated on your determination to further yourself as a software tester. Please remember the correct order of things is Family > Work > Church and pay attention to them in that order.

Finally, I'd wish you good luck, but as I concur with Seneca who said "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity", I'll simply say "Get ready, then get on with it!"