Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Software Tester Pays it Forward

Recently I've been thinking about the fact that I run in to so many Software Testers that have never heard of people like James Bach, Michael Bolton, and Pradeep Soundararajan, as well as so many other Test gurus.  Some of these same Testers have also never heard of groups like AST (Association of Software Testers) and the Software Testing Club.  They've become such a integral part of my professional life that I just assumed other Testers will know of them as well.  And sadly, that is not the case, not by a long shot.

I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of most of these people and groups myself until I made a decision a little over a year ago to immerse myself in Testing.  I was at a crossroads in my professional life and realized that I needed to challenge myself and dig deeper in this profession of mine, Software Testing.  I started with baby steps by Googling about Software Testing, which led me to one article, then to another, and then to many others.  It was while reading one of these articles that I stumbled upon a Testing coach, Anne-Marie Charrett.  It was Anne-Marie that really opened my eyes to a whole world out there that I had no idea existed.  I started to learn about heuristics, oracles, different training courses, and other Testers.  It was Anne-Marie that suggested I start my own blog as well as take the AST’s BBST Foundations training course (which I did and passed!).  I also started following people on Twitter, then more on Twitter, and even more.  Twitter changed everything.  I started realizing that Testers communicate a lot through Twitter.  I would learn about different Testing groups, blogs, articles, books to read, trainings, and other great Testers to follow.  I hooked up with other Testers all over the world.  I took Ajay Balamurugadas’ first online training course he taught and got a new friend in Ajay in the process.  I learned about and joined the Software Testing Club, as well as other groups.  And then recently I became one of the co-organizers of Boulder Colorado's first Software Testing Meetup groups.  And most exciting, I will be attending my very first formal Test training this summer, RST (Rapid Software Testing), with none other than James Bach. And my journey continues to grow every single day. 

But my journey wouldn’t have begun unless I took that first step to explore what was out in this Tester’s world of ours.  So, instead of wondering why other Testers haven't heard about some of our great Test leaders and mentors, trainings, groups, and articles, I'm going to do my part and do what others have done for me this past year.  I’m going to make sure that I'm passing along the good stuff!  Pass along those nuggets of wisdom that come my way like others have done and continue to do for me.  This blog post is my first step.
Whether you’re a new or experienced Tester, do yourself a favor and start following different people or groups on Twitter, then start taking a look at their websites, then start reading their blogs, articles, and trainings they've written.  And if they've written books, add them to your library and start reading them. If you can get to a conference they'll be speaking at, go.  And if they have a training you can get to, go.

So here you are, fellow Testers.  Follow these folks, learn from them.  There's much to learn and it never, ever ends.  And it will keep you busy for the rest of your life!

The following are just a few people and groups to start with.  There are many, many more, so my apologies in advance for leaving a long list of people and groups out, but this is just to get you started on your own journey of discovery.  There are a lot of great people out there doing a lot of great things.

Anne-Marie Charrett: - @charrett
Elizabeth Hendrickson: - @testobsessed

Weekend Testers Americas: - @WTAmericas
Europe Weekend Testers: - @europetesters


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