Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Online Testing Community

I have worked in the field of IT for a long time and seen many changes but none have been as significant as the one that has happened online. The rise in the number of fellow professionals now blogging and tweeting (or should that be twittering) is amazing. The online testing community is increasing more and more as testers take the plunge and start to write and debate about testing online.

We have online testing clubs:

magazines: (

testing knowledge exchange : (

Organizations trying to get more of the testing community together online: (

I would count myself as a late starter in this revolution only being brave enough to start twittering and blogging late last year. Why do I say brave enough? I am sure I am not the only one who feels that there are so many peers who we read about online and who we, deep down, admire. We may feel that we can never be good enough to write articles about testing or that what we write will be dismissed by the community. In my case I am well aware that my grammar is not the best in the world but all I am doing is writing down what I am thinking and I hope it comes across in a good way. There can never be enough of us online talking about our own opinions and valuable experiences. I had a fear that people would not be interested in what I had to say or worse still would think what I had to say is silly and I would feel rejected and humiliated. Surprising the testing community has not been like that.

I have had some wonderful debates and discussions on testing issues. I have been coached online by Michael Bolton (@michaelbolton) on using Exploratory Testing, in which he gave up his own time for free and is wonderful patience person who really makes me think differently. I have been introduced to such great testing thinkers as Rob Lambert (@Rob_Lambert) who has been a leading character in organizing the online testing community. I have had some great comments on my blog about subjects that I find interesting. I have found it a great outlet for my thoughts and ideas on testing that I once kept to myself, afraid that what I was thinking would not be of interest to anyone. I have also found it to be a wonderful resource for information and ideas about testing and how much people are eager to help.

I would like to say to anyone who is reading this and does not have a presence online to just go for it, start a blog, start a discussion on twitter or join the software testing club and start a debate. I have found it has given me a new lease of professional life, it has made me more aware that whatever problems I come across other are coming across the same problems. It has encouraged me to start writing about my experiences of testing and that I may have some useful information that others want to hear or read about. It has encouraged me to come out of my shell and talk to people about my passion for testing and that cannot be a bad thing……


  1. Bravo, John. I wholeheartedly endorse the idea that testers should tell their stories, engage their critics, build community, and learn their craft. You've got grammatical mistakes in your work, even just above. And so do I. That's not such a big deal. (And in cases where it might be a bigger deal, there's a way around it: get help in the form of a quick review by someone you trust. That is, get someone to test your work.)

    What is far more important is that we help as many people as possible to join The Great Big Conversation About Testing. Believe me, I've got as much value from our conversations as you have. And we've really only been closely connected for the last five months or so, since EuroSTAR 2009. Imagine where we might be years from now—and how much richer our community will be when others have joined us!

    All the best,

    ---Michael B.

  2. Nice post and glad that you are online and blogging.

    Funny you should mention Rob Lambert - in one of his old blog posts he credits the STC for re-igniting his passion - which in turn has ignited yours. A virtuous circle

  3. It's good to hear your thoughts on the world of Testing once more.