Voyage into the unknown

(photo by purpleslog @ Flickr creative commons)

“World of software testing, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the software tester aiming at excellence. Its life lasting mission: to explore strange new ideas, to seek out new ways of doing testing better and new people passionate about testing, to boldly go where no tester has gone before.”

I like Star Trek. I think it’s full of interesting characters (and comedy if you watch the old episodes from the 60’s). The most interesting character is though in my opinion James T. Kirk. There is even article about leadership lessons from him.

William Shatner as James T. Kirk. This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Author: NBC Television.

I also think that James T. Kirk has a personality of a could-be-a-great-tester. I will now reveal only one aspect of that personality (it’s mentioned in the article above), because I think it suits perfectly for the purposes of my first blog post. He believes in learning and this is how he frames it:

You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown– only things temporarily hidden.

Why should I as a software tester start my own blog?

To learn. That’s it. My main reason for writing these words.

I do not though believe that the learning is restricted to the process of writing itself. There is also possibility for readers challenging my writings. This most often leads to me rephrasing my message and/or even modifying my beliefs. Then there is also the time I randomly spend in thinking of what I should write about. And of course connecting with people! I tried to sum up these different aspects to a mind map (just love mind maps).

If you have checked the ‘About me’ -section, you have noticed that I also believe that excellency is defined by our daily actions. I don’t know how often I will post something new here, but it will be part of me as a tester from this day on.

Not so long ago I believed that in order to become really good in software testing, I don’t need to do blogs and write in Twitter (@al3ksis). But I realized soon that world is full of great testers and how can I become great too if I don’t interact with these people? I can’t! Growing as a tester is a two-way street. You need to get your ideas published, challenged and at the same time challenge the ideas of other people (if you feel it’s conflicting with your own thoughts). That way you can sculpture yourself as a tester toward something more beautiful than you already are.

Besides my daily work as a testing consultant and the time I spend in reading and interacting with people online or offline, I have some things I will do during next 12 months that I believe will help me to evolve as a tester. These are:

  • BBST Foundations 2.0 (starts in August)
  • BBST Bug Advocacy (starts in October)
  • Rapid Software Testing by James Bach (will be held October in Helsinki)
  • Let’s Test 2013 (will be held May, 2013 in Sweden)

If you have read my post this far, I would like to ask: Why are you blogging?
Otherwise, welcome to the voyage, I’ll do my best to make it interesting.

P.S. First one to guess which city is in that header picture (with cars) will receive free beer from me if we ever meet. << Colleague guessed right, the city was Damascus in Syria. I visited it in 2009 and took the picture then.