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Showing posts from September, 2017

Dear Writer: How To Find A Topic To Write

"The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning."  - A. B. Yehoshua
A lot of people want to write, but often have a problem getting started with an idea. Coming up with an idea is fairly easy, but figuring out if that idea is worth something to someone else is the hard part, because most people, including myself, stop themselves before they even write a word and discard an idea or a topic thinking it’s worthless.
Dear writer, don’t worry about the worth of the topic. Get past the idea that it might be worthless and write about it anyway. This will give you a few things to think about:
You gain more experience every time you write something, no matter how relevant or silly it might seem to you at the time. You could gain insight on how to approach another topic that does have more value, or more details, simply because you’ve written the “fluff” out of your system. You can always come back to the idea and make it better, expand on it, and grow it…

An Experience Report: TestSphere

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“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”- Benjamin Franklin

GeekNight, hosted by ThoughtWorks- Dallas, is pretty popular, and I jumped at the chance to host one as well as give the evening presentation on TestSphere, the testing game!

If you don't know anything about TestSphere, go check this out!

The short explanation is that it's a card game designed to get folks talking about testing topics. 

I started the session off explaining the different colors and basically what topics they were divided up into.

Lean TestSphere For the main part of the evening, I had everyone divide into groups of three and four. I explained how we were going to do a modified Lean Coffee style to pick topics and discuss the cards everyone pulled. 

Each person pulled a card from the deck and took it back to their group. Each card was given eight minutes of discussion time with the option to continue talking about the topic for a few more minutes before moving onto th…

Ready, Tester One? *GO!*

"I handed my passport to the immigration officer, and he looked at it and looked at me and said, 'What are you?'" - Grace Hopper (60 Minutes Interview)

The Grace Hopper quote above always makes me think about my job as a tester. Companies that develop software know they need testers, but they generally have hard time figuring out what testers are and what skills they need in the role. There have many discussions about how testers can be more technical and at some point, coding comes up in the conversation. My response on twitter contained a few things on a list I have, which I created for a client, so they could have a checklist of skills. This checklist was a guideline to determine the skill level of the tester applicant. This is by no means a complete list and I would be open to additions to the list. Feel free to add those to the comments or tweet them to me.

For clarity, I took the list of skills I had and broke them into levels. I like games and I like leveling u…