Somone once told me that if you speak about something you are interested in and passionate about, then someone else will always be interested in what you have to say. We all move in different social and cultural circles, and whilst it is true to say that there will always be someone out there who wants to hear what you have to say, you need to pick and choose your audiences carefully.
If I speak about my favourite movies and tv shows in front of a bunch of art critics or zooologists, it will probably fall on deaf ears. Unless of course they are shows about art or natural history. I have two active Twitter handles for this very reason. Not everyone wants to know what I thought of last nights football match or the latest episode of a TV show.
Last nights Sheffield Tester Gathering afforded me the chance to talk about Security testing. It’s an aspect of testing that I am very passionate about, not only because it is complex and varied, but because the challenge of it seems almost endless. There is lots to learn; lots to share with other people.
The people who I was speaking to were other testers, test managers, managers who test (thanks Peter Nairn for that one). There were also one or two developers, and also testers who do some development. They came along because they wanted to learn something new, explore an idea, or speak to other like minded people.
Peter Nairn spoke to us about ‘The Ideal Tester’, which was his notion of what a tester should be. He wants testers to be; part of the community, passionate about their craft, learning new skills and sharing them with others, use humility and honesty in their approach but also celebrate their achievements. A whole host of other behaviours and capabilities were on the list. Too many to list here. He also that the ideal tester does not exist.
Blogging by no means makes me an ideal tester. I love sharing, talking and being part of a dynamic team. But some of my colleagues, and certainly my wife might agree that I can’t stop talking…usually waffling about some irrelevent trivia. This is part of the challenge I face on a personal level…how do we share our passions, creativity, knowledge and ideas without coming across like Hermione Grainger (look, another pop culture reference) or even worse…Jeremy Clarkson.
At one of the many warm up events and gatherings before TestBash this evening, I’ve gotten to meet some really passionate testers who I’ve never met before, some who I’ve been following on Twitter, some folk that have been on my testing radar for a long time. All of them have different stories to tell, varied experiences to share, and different goals they want to achieve.
Meetups, conferences and gatherings are my absolutely favourite way of generating ideas as well as sharing them. Without events like this, and pioneers in the test community to organise, promote and champion them. We might not be ideal testers, but we are all making changes, engaging and learning so that we can be the best testers we can be. And that has to be worthwhile.
I hope that those of you going to TestBash this weekend have a great time, take home some learning from it, maybe meet and talk to some interesting and influential people. And don’t forget to have fun. Just like Rosie here.