The Speaker Walkabout

I knew it right out of my traineeship with Logica, I wanted to share my thoughts on testing related subjects. This blog will give an insight in the path I took to satisfy that desire that currently resulted in my opportunity to speak on EuroSTAR 2012 and TestNet Najaarsevenement.

As I mentioned, my desire started with my traineeship. I came to Logica’s Working Tomorrow program with the intent to work on a subject that wasn’t covered in school. First my attention was drawn to rockets and Galileo satellites but alas, those were a bit to distant from my education. Then my eye landed on one line in the paper subject list, Logica’s Test Management Method. We did cover a little on testing in my education, one hours worth of lessons mind you, so I knew it was an important part of IT. I researched the links between Logica’s Test Management Assessment and maturity models like CMMi and TMMi (the draft back then) to restructure the assessment and its results. The outcome was an assessment that was mapped on TMMi so that the outcome was represented in a way that the business could understand it. I was happy with the result and the grade I received but I was overjoyed with the prize I won – best Thesis of my year! So there you have it, maybe I wouldn’t be on this path without that moment in my life.

I started working for Logica right out of school and was immediately thrown into the deep end, Test Analyst at a health Insurer testing an Oracle system. The first year of my career was focussed on gaining experience and pimping my resume with certifications and such. But in the back of my head was that little nagging sensation that getting knowledge isn’t enough, I wanted to give as well. Seeing that I didn’t have any real interesting on-the-job experiences, I started looking for a way to give and get. I finally found that in teaching the foundations of testing to my colleagues. I was as much a teacher as a student. I felt it once again, the happy sensation I searched for when I could really give something to someone.

After I was pretty comfortable teaching, I started looking for a new challenge to take it to the next level. I tried writing a book on test automation with a couple of colleagues, but that didn’t gain enough momentum in my organisation and it died down. After that I tried to find all sort of things and then I found that we had a tradition of Special Interest Groups within my company. I joined some at first, and took the lead in a couple later on. The subjects where very diverse, from Test Automation to Test Knowledge Management to Quality Management. I still have a lot of fun when we come together and share our views and usually a pizza.

Last year was a highlight, I went to StarWest 2011 with Bart Knaack to run the TestLab in Anaheim CA. That got me into contact with a lot of authors, speakers and testers from all over the world. I had a lot of fun in the week I spend there, long day’s mind you, but it inspired me and gave my wish to share new focus. Talking with people like Dorothy Graham, Mieke Gevers, Martin Pol, Dawn Haynes, Erik van Veenendaal, Julian Harty, Michael Bolton, Dale Perry, Julie Gardiner, James and John Bach and of course Rob Sabourin gives a man food for thought. I went on stage twice during StarWest, both in the main hall just before the tutorials with hundreds of people listening. I knew it then, the next step in my travels, I wanted to be on stage with engaging eyes and ears, sharing my thoughts.

I knew what I had to do, answer the call for speakers from the bigger conferences. I knew that the jubilee conferences of EuroStar and TestNet where coming up in 2012, but what to send in… It took months before I was comfortable with my choice of subject and started writing my submission. My colleagues where a real help in reviewing my submissions – thank you all for your efforts. It resulted in the acceptance for both EuroStar and TestNet! I can’t describe how that felt, let’s just say that I had a grin from ear to ear for a week.

Now we have arrived in the present, the conferences are a couple of months away, and I am busy with the slidedecks and practising my English. Who knows what the coming years will hold, I only know I have fun sharing and hope you will be inspired to do so as well!

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