Warning: This has very little to do with testing.

Additional Warning: I’m about to gripe.

I attended the 3rd Software Testing Club Atlanta meetup Wednesday.  Some of the meeting was spent fiddling with a virtual task board, attempting to accommodate the local people who dialed in to the meeting.

IT is currently crazy about low tech dashboards (e.g., sticky notes on a wall).  But we keep trying to virtualize them.  IMO, virtualizing stickies on a wall is silly.  The purpose is to huddle around, in-person, and ditch the complicated software that so often wastes more time than it saves.

IMO, the whole purpose of a local testing club that meets over beer and pizza is to meet over beer and pizza...in person, and engage in the kind of efficient  discussion that is best done in person.  Anything else defeats the purpose of a “local” testing club.  If I wanted to dial in and talk about testing over the phone, it wouldn’t have to be with local people. 

I’m sad to see in-person meetings increasingly get replaced by this.  But IMO, joining virtual people to real-life meetings, can be even worse.  Either make everyone virtual or make everyone meet physically.

Yes, I’m a virtual meeting curmudgeon.  I accept that virtual connections have their advantages and I allow my team to work from home as frequently as three days a week on a regular basis.  But I still firmly believe, you can’t beat good old fashioned, real-life, in-person discussions.

Yesterday, a tester asked me how to get promoted.  I said, “start learning about your craft”.  They said, "but all the testers I know don't learn anything from testing conferences or books".


And this is what makes testing such a cool career choice for some of us!  It's full of apathetic under-achievers.  So if you want to be extraordinary, it's relatively easy.  You have little competition!  Come back from a conference and attempt to implement a mere three ideas and you've probably advanced testing at your organization more than any time in the past.

Why is this?  Maybe because we fell into this career by accident.  Maybe because it's a newish career with few leading experts.  Maybe it’s because we can still make decent money on a software development team by merely trying to act like a user.  I don’t know.  What I do know is, the more I study testing, the more I love my job, and the more promotions I get. 

This crumby little humble testing blog made it in a list of the worlds top 50 testing blogs for several years.  It’s not because I’m awesome.  It’s because there weren’t that many testing blogs!

Put a little effort into learning more about testing.  Maybe something good will happen.

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