Life With Ministry of Testing: Content Doesn't Write Itself
"I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil." - Truman Capote
Today, I saw a tweet from the BossBoss, which led me to her post about life at Ministry of Testing. She encouraged others who are involved to jump in and write about life and what it involves.
Rosie and I met at the 2015 TestBash in New York. I was inspired by a number of speakers there and the fact that Rosie decided it was worth it to "jump the pond" and get TestBash started in the US.
I hadn't thought how much that one conference would influence where I'm at now in life, but I can say that I was definitely influenced. The TestBash community has been a home for me and my ideas ever since.
I joined twitter, and then later started a blog. At one point, on one of the slack channels Ministry of Testing has, Rosie called for writers and I was invited to the writer's channel where folks were talking about articles they were trying to publish and who might be able to review them.
It was Maaret's article that I read through first. I follow her blog already, so this article was like getting a more in-depth blog post. I remember making a ton of suggestions and noting when I agreed with a point, or gave my own experiences as validation for the points she made.
After I finished, I worried I had over done it. I should have stuck to the grammar and the spelling. The feedback was awesome actually. Maaret and Rosie loved it.
About the same time Rosie and I started conversations about being a staff writer and what kinds of articles she would like to see on a regular basis. I didn't see a problem with that, I was trying to write more technical articles and continue learning how to craft a message with that article that would be acceptable for the MoT audience.
Then, September 2016, I was laid off from my job. The company had been bought out, and the new company was pairing down staff. I was already in the interview process for another job when Rosie heard the news and offered me a part time position on the Ministry of Testing staff editing content submissions.
I've been working with Rosie ever since, helping testers find their voice on the page, working to hone the message they want to deliver, and polish it with the right context and tone.
It's some of the most fulfilling work I've ever done. I've watched other writers bloom as they work through their first piece and then write their next one, improving each time. I've even been professionally jealous of one or two as I review their articles, wondering how they write their thoughts and put them so perfectly into words.
It's been five months since I started this journey and I don't regret it. There are times I've wondered if I bit off more than I can chew, but the writers, other MoT staff, and the community keep encouraging me nearly every day. I can't wait to see how the rest of the year will shape up and what content we publish next. Speaking of which, I have to get back to editing.