Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fear Not True Belivers! Testing Heroes Are Out There

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/hero.html
“A Hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
- Christopher Reeve

This year started off with some tremendous growth for me in my work-life. I have been learning how to consult with clients, getting the hang of new technologies like Docker and Rancher, and even learning more subtle uses of JavaScript for automation.

All the while, I've been working with wonderful writers through Ministry of Testing, watching each one of their articles come to life and represent them in the best possible way in the community. The writing community itself has taken on a life and I see all the people involved doing amazing things.

Another contributor to that community, Gem Hill, asked me to be on her podcast. That was a great experience. I realized how much I missed being on the radio and working on a podcast. I contend that I tend to write better than I speak on most occasions and Gem did wonderful editing magic and even managed to get three podcasts out of our conversation. If you are wondering where the third podcast is, it's on Patreon.

The community is doing so many wonderful things and there are so many of us interconnected that I feel I have more support than ever from these heroes of testing.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi and her group of dedicated organizers wrapped up another year of the European Testing Conference. Watching the tweets and information pour out of that conference was exciting. I missed being there this year and have set my sights on going next year when it's held in Amsterdam.

Ministry of Testing: Test Bash is still going strong and ever-widening it's locations. There are, at last count, six conferences happening. Five in Europe and One in the US. Rosie Sherry and Richard Bradshaw along with many other folks who volunteer their energy and time to organizing Test Bashes have my profound respect for all they do to make the community more visible.

Lisa Crispin and I were scheduled to do a workshop at Agile Testing Days in Boston this year. Because of the political climate in the US right now, it was cancelled. I can understand this decision. I even respect it on some level. For me, I feel it was a missed opportunity to show what diversity at a conference looks like. I saw more women slotted to speak or give workshops at the ATD US conference than other conferences of the same size and scope.

I know Angie Jones and Ash Colman were also planning to speak. Two women of color who represent the testing community with a fierce dedication to their skills and craft. My hope is that I'll be able to see them speak at Test Bash Philly again or another conference very soon. They are inspiring, thoughtful speakers and I hope if you have a chance to see either one of them speak, you take it.

It's easy to be negative right now. 2017 hasn't made it easy to be positive with the political climate in the states or around the world. Many of us have been affected in small ways where before we might never have been.

Our community is getting stronger and it's growing more diverse all the time. There are folks out there working to make it so. My hope is that I am one of them, and in continuing to contribute, I can help that diversity along and our community can be a supporting pillar of what tech communities should do towards reaching for diversity in their communities and their work environments.

My personal challenge to you reader, is to write about your testing hero. It could be someone you work with or someone you've listened to or read. It could be a group of people in your community or a mentor that led you into your career in the first place. Post it somewhere. Post it here in the comments if you like. Talk about your testing heroes. We need them now more than ever.

 “My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones. Some succeeded, some failed, most had mixed results... but it is the effort that's heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I admire those who fight the good fight.”  ― George R.R. Martin