What the 80’s Taught Me About Software Testing – the Presentation!

Me in 1987!

Me in 1987!

Back in April 2014, I had the privilege of getting to present a keynote at STPCon in New Orleans, LA called “What the 80’s Taught Me About Software Testing”.  This was one of my most favorite presentations, and the research, the work involved in gathering all of the data to make this come to life was thrilling!  I had so much material that I could have talked for a whole day on the subject, but since it was a one hour presentation, I condensed it.

My question to you, readers, is this….if I were to put all of this into an e-book, would you consider buying it?  If so, please comment and let me know.  I think we could add at ton more material than even was in the presentation.

 

PacMan_GoodBut for now, I wanted to share with you the presentation, which, thanks to the Software Test Professionals team, is housed on their website for you to view the slides and listen to the audio file.  I hope you enjoy listening to it and following along as I did putting it together.  If you were actually THERE, there is still room to learn something new each time you listen to it!

Thanks for following and check out this link for the presentation:

http://www.softwaretestpro.com/Item/5929/Keynote-Address-What-the-80’s-Taught-Me-About-Testing/Testing-Trends

NOTE: You will need an account with STP to view the link.  However, there is a free version if you wanted to try it out first.

My Farewell Letter to Lowe’s

As many of you know, after 19 yrs 8 months, I have left Lowe’s on 5/02/14 to move into a QA Architect role with United Guaranty.

I wanted to leave my many friends and co-workers with a note that hopefully would last long after I was gone.  Below was my message to everyone as I left today.


I know…..another farewell email for your mailbox.  I apologize to anyone that doesn’t know me.  But I wanted to make sure I reached out to everyone in IT and that didn’t miss someone.  Even if you don’t know me, I might be able to give you something to remember about me today!

Being at Lowe’s for 19 yrs and 8 months has given me the privilege to meet so many wonderful people.  As you would imagine, I have witnessed so much change, watched our company grow from a small office in Wilkesboro (which is no longer even there) to the ‘mall’ location in Wilkes, up to the first offices in Mooresville, and then the IT offices later on.  I’ve watched us grow from a couple hundred stores to over 1700.  I’ve watched us stand up Lowes.com and watched it grow so fast.  I’ve lived through and witnessed several CIO’s and executive leadership changes, reorgs, “visions”, “roadmaps”, and many other changes.

I’ve had the privilege of working with some great mentors and leaders along the way.  Of course, I’ve also had some leaders that have taught me a long list of things leaders SHOULD NOT DO.  I’m equally grateful to both – because both have made me a better leader and employee.

I never expected that I would leave Lowe’s.  In my mind, I felt it would be the place from which I would retire.  But life doesn’t always let us assume the paths that we will take.  As Steve Jobs once said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.  So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.  You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.  This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

I honestly don’t know where my future will take me, and to be even more honest, I’m not scared of it.  I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities in my career.  I’ve gotten to be part of the lives of so many employees and contractors, and I hope that I have been part of the change and growth of their futures.  I have been in IT for so long, but I know that my passion is to tell the world my story, to write, to teach, to mentor, to coach, and to give the world something that they have never seen before.  Everything I do from this point forward will be in line with that goal.  And I hope that you join me in that journey and that we stay in touch always.

I leave you with some of my favorite quotes and thoughts – along with my assessment and input with them.

  • One of my favorite books is called “How to Become CEO” by Jeffrey Fox.  What an awesome book with awesome advices.  If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest you to.  Some of my favorite quotes from this book are:

o   “Be a Credit Maker, not a Credit Taker”

o   “The Concept Doesn’t have to be perfect, but the EXECUTION of it DOES”

o   “No matter what your job is, you can improve your company by teaching others what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and anything connected with your responsibility”

o   “Look for ways to make your boss look good and your boss’s boss look better.  Don’t’ let them make a mistake”

o   “when someone says ‘I think’ or ‘we believe’ or ‘its my opinion’, that means they don’t know”

  • “Never allow others to think you always have the best answers.  This will only make them dependent on you” – John C. Maxwell from Developing the Leader Within You
  • “Nothing Fails Like Success” – Stephen Covey from The 8th Habit — listen close to this advice.  What works today may not work tomorrow.  What keeps your head above the water today may not be enough to survive tomorrow.  Continue to grow, evolve, and stay relevant.
  • “The Drive-thru is NOT always faster” – Mike Lyles —- don’t think because it SEEMS easier or more efficient that it will be.  Sometimes when I’ve sat in the long lines at a drive through, I’ve found that it would have been faster to get out, go in the restaurant and get my food instead of wait in line.
  • “Be remembered for keeping calm” – Mike Lyles – this is hard advice…and I’ve not always followed it.  But people will respect you if you work toward the goal without taking it personal.
  • “Remember that you have 2 ears and 1 mouth” – and I think it’s by design — try to listen twice as much as you talk!
  • “People will forget what you SAID…People will forget what you DID…but they will never forget how you made them FEEL” – Maya Angelou.  Yes, that’s what SHE said.  Remember that long after the discussions or actions are gone, people will remember how you made them feel.  Be kind and respectful.

What is your five year plan?  Do you have one?  If not, you should.  And you need to ask yourself are you doing something every day that is getting you closer to that goal.  Don’t settle for being average.  You have the potential to be great… find out what it is you do best, and do it better than anyone else!

To everyone that I got to mentor and coach and lead – you must know that YOU taught ME more than I could ever teach YOU.

My only request is that you remember all the great things we did together.  We’ve learned, we’ve grown, and we still have “miles to go before we sleep”.  There are so many ways to follow me, connect with me, and reach me.  I hope and pray that you do!

Mike Lyles

Email:                        mikewlyles@gmail.com

All About Me:           http://about.me/mikelyles

My Website:             http://www.mikewlyles.com

Twitter:                     @mikelyles

LinkedIn:                  http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikewlyles

Facebook:               http://www.facebook.com/mikelyles

I’ll be speaking at the SDLC Acceleration Summit in May 2014!

What a great opportunity and honor.  I have been invited to speak at the SDLC Acceleration Summit in San Francisco, CA on May 13, 2014!

I will be a panelist discussing the following topic “Game Changers: Best Practices for Development, Test, and Release“.

Read more about this conference at the following link:  http://www.sdlcsummit.com/

Read about the agenda for this conference at this link: http://www.sdlcsummit.com/agenda/

Read about our panel discussion at this link: http://www.sdlcsummit.com/schedule/best-practices-for-test-release-and-delivery/

If you’re in the area – please join us!

Don’t Miss these STP Testing Interviews!

STP has two interviews coming this week…..check them out.

 STP Radio Live:  What the 80’s Taught Me About Testing

With: Mike Lyles – Sr QA Manager, Lowe’s Companies, Inc

Get an inside scoop from International Keynote speaker Mike Lyles as he discusses his upcoming keynote presentation: “What the 80’s Taught Me About Testing

Mike is an STP Advisory member, performance tester, and passionate about organizational leadership. Rich Hand will ask him difficult questions like: “Who was you favorite 80’s band?” and other relevant testing questions. It should be fun!

LISTEN LIVE: Tuesday, March 11th – 5pm Eastern

Add To Your Calendar (.ics)

STP Radio Live:  Interview with Perf Testing Pro Mark Tomlinson!

With: Mark Tomlinson, Independent Performance Engineer, West Evergreen Consulting, LLC

Join STP Conference advisory member, performance tester, speaker, and testing pro as he answers probing and critical questions like: ” what is your favorite brand of scotch?” and other such interesting questions. Rich Hand, host of the upcoming STPCon in New Orleans will interview Perf Bytes host Mark Tomlinson and ask host type questions. It should be fun!

LISTEN LIVE: Monday, March 10th – 3pm Eastern

Add To Your Calendar (.ics)

How Did The 80’s Affect You? (please comment!!!)

KeepCalm80sIn the 1980’s, the world was introduced to so many new things: CDs, MTV, Sony walkman, Pac-Man, VCRs, PCs, the Apple Mac, and by 1989, Tim Berners-Lee was getting started on a new invention he called the “World Wide Web”.

With that said, I NEED YOUR HELP!!!! 

I want your inputs on all the things that stand out when you think about your memories of life in the 80’s.  I need your memories to be things that people remember (e.g. Alf, Pac Man, cassettes, Back to the Future, Rubik’s cubes, hair-bands, Swatch watches, etc).

I will give you some help as you reminisce:

  • What was your favorite song from the 80’s?
  • What was your favorite musical group?
  • What are your favorite electronic ‘gadget’?
  • What games did you like?
  • What was your favorite movie?
  • What is your favorite quote (either from movie, song, or book) from the 80’s?
  • What 80’s song/movie/title/quote most accurately describes your day to day life at work?

I’m pulling this information together to support an article and presentation I am doing this year.  Please comment below and let me know what you remember the most!!

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts with me!!!

One Day

Preface to this blog post:  I originally wrote this blog to submit to Jim Norman, the President of The Zig Ziglar Foundation, who in turn told me that I took too long to meet my submission committment.  He was right about that.  I procrastinated and didn’t follow my motto to “DWYSYWD” (Do What You Said You Would DO).  However, Jim also told me that it had no substance and that he wasn’t interested in wanna-be speakers.  My  hope is that this means more to you, my followers, than it did to Mr. Norman.

ONE DAY 

One day you will regret all the time you missed to spend time with your kids as they were growing up.  The potential memories you can build with them will go with them for years, and will very likely make them parents that share the same experiences with their children. 

One day you will regret the hours you spent at work doing little things that had nothing to do with your career or the growth of the company.  Examine your contributions, determine if you are helping yourself or your company, and if you think you are not, then rebuild your game plan.

One day you will wish you had spent time with your parents when they were younger and alive.  You will think of hundreds of questions you should have asked them.  And it will be too late to turn back time when you realize this.

One day you will wonder why you procrastinated on your dreams, and allowed other low priority tasks keep you from doing at least one thing every day to move you further toward your ultimate goals.  Have you been known to focus on all of the lower priority things because they are easier to do?  Don’t ruin your opportunity to do something magical and important by allowing yourself to procrastinate.

One day you will recognize the impact that you could have had in someone’s life.  Many people are looking for that one role model, that one example to follow.  Don’t let fear or lack of confidence hold you back from being the one that someone thinks of when they say “they changed my life”.  Leave a legacy.

But I have good news for you……

One day is all that it takes to change the time you spend with your kids.

One day is all that it takes to assess your contributions to your company and your career.

One day is all that it takes to call that parent, have dinner with them, or give them a visit.

One day is all that it takes to document your dreams and begin working on them in priority.

One day is all that it takes to show someone you care and give them a helping hand.

One day you will realize that every day is a blessing.  Zig Ziglar once said “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.  We all have twenty-four hour days”.

One day, this will all make sense to you.  Don’t waste your time.  Get started!