This month has been busier than the last few and I’m feeling the need to chill. Part of this busyness is having just wrapped up teaching an AST-BBST Foundations class, which is about equally as intense for the instructors as they are for the students. The other part is at work, we are through our biggest week of the year aka Valentines Day (did you order your flowers?). Oh and my 49ers lost the Super Bowl. It’s fine, everything is fine now. At least I’ve settled in with my team being second best in the league this year.
Come to think of it there are a few more things happened that are worth mentioning:
On March 20, 2020 I’ll be speaking at a new free online conference by Kobiton called Odyssey on the topic of How I Became A Test Automation Engineer. This will be an updated (read better!) version of the talk I gave at the OTC. The conference takes place March 19-20, 2020 and you can sign up for free!
I’m now the proud owner and maintainer of the Context-Driven-Testing website. This is the official CDT website created by Cem Kaner to share the CDT principles. Along with the principles comes a blog that I hope to add to over time. This is a huge thing for me as someone who takes a CDT approach to testing, to have this piece of history.
In some ways I consider myself a bit of a historian of the testing community, especially around the areas of the community where “I came up”, e.g. around CDT. If you saw last month’s update you’ll know I also manage the LAWST website, which although is about Peer Workshops, definitely comes from the CDT community. To me these are some prized possessions because they contain a lot of history, a lot of writings about the growth and challenges of software testing community in general.
It’s crazy to me that most of TestingConferences.org’s Sponsorships for the year 2020 are gone! I’m still working on a way to get Sponsorships set up here, but that’s on the long list of items in my backlog. Maybe next month I’ll get the time to do this?
My yearly tradition has been to summarize the most popular and important (to me) articles I’ve written over the past year along with some reflections and other forward-looking (and likely wrong) statements mixed in.
I joined BloomNation as a Test Automation Engineer in 2018 and in 2019 was promoted to senior role. The promotion was in part my testing contributions and hitting my goals but also the general impact I’ve had on the company outside of that role. During CAST I was telling people I had temporarily switched positions by taking on a Product Manager role until we could fill the vacancy. While temporary, I helped the company continue to deliver on a new core piece of the business and in turn it gave me some new experience and perspective. I plan to write about this experience soon.
Speaking of CAST 2019, this was my first year helping to organize and run a conference of any kind. I plan to write about this experience as well but suffice it to say this was both fascinating and incredibly hard.
I did some speaking in 2019, made my first and second podcast appearance and found what I hope is a sustainable model for supporting TestingConferences.org. I’ve started to become more serious about potential ways to support the things I do. In fact one theme of 2020 might be me figuring out how to balance all the things I want to do with all the things I’ve already committed to doing. Just like every year!
The Five Most-Viewed Articles:
How to debug problems on Mobile Safari – After showing a co-worker how they could debug mobile safari problems on their MacBook, I realized it wasn’t common knowledge. So I helped change that a bit but making it clear how to do it.
Participating in Code Reviews as a Tester – I’ve always liked the concept of helping testers push their technical understanding to reduce both risk and increase confidence. This post was based on a webinar of the same name and includes the slides and a link to watch the webinar.
How I Became an Automation Engineer – A talk based on my personal experiences of becoming an Automation Engineer and what my role looks like. This also became a blog post with references, slides and an embedded video.
It’s Easier to Write about Tooling – Whenever I go to conferences there is a heavy emphasis on what our tooling is. Even in my own writing there can be a heavy emphasis on tools and I think that’s just because it’s easier than writing about the decisions we took and models we made prior to choosing it.
Over 185k page-views in 2019
The first article made it into my top 10 articles over all, which is great. Traffic to this site continues moving up and to the right over time. In 2019 alone I had more than 185k page-views. That’s double the views in one year! Wow!
A Few Other Articles
It was the Creative Web that collapsed – The title of this post is a line from Edward Snowden’s new book, Permanent Record. It’s a great book, you should read it. I reflected on how Surveillance Capitalism is part of the world of the web and how I hope to limit that surveillance on all my sites.
Getting Paid to Learn was a reminder of how important it is to have the company you work for support your professional development. Making promises is one thing but taking action to do it has a positive effect on the people and the company culture.
These are articles were written because I was feeling the flow and when inspiration hits you take it. They turned out well, I’m proud to write consistently about topics that intrigue me and I hope there’s intrigue on the other side too.
The Future is already here
Predicting the future is fun and yet meaningless. But here are the things already on my radar for 2020. So much to consider and so little time:
CAST 2020 is already rolling with early bird ticket sales open.
I’m almost done teaching an AST-BBST Foundations course, my first in a few years and I’m constantly looking at the course with an eye for improvements.
Speaking of improvements, I’m still helping to redesign some aspects of the course AND of course trying to be a treasurer and handle all the financial things.
When it comes to writing I hope to continue the pace of 2x blog posts per month. It’s challenging but doable. More would be great but I want a constant pace to keep myself going.
Despite record setting viewership in 2019, I’m hoping to get better at self branding and sharing which should see page-views increase YOY again. I’ve already updated the newsletter to be less often so I can focus on driving readership for certain articles. I also intend to cross-promote on other blogging and reading platforms to gain viewership. So much to do.
I essentially did 3 presentations / talks in 2019 and I intend to do the same or a few more this year (especially for the online conferences). Hopefully I’ll also get around to making a few more podcast appearances because they are fun to do and fun to share.
Cheers to the rest of 2020! What will you be doing?