My brother is well known for a silly joke that he told for years…..
Let me set the scene for you. There is a guy and girl sitting in the lower level seats at a sporting event. People are everywhere. The two are talking, having a great time, enjoying some nachos and cheese, and taking in the event.
All of a sudden, a guy several rows behind them yells “HEY JOE!!!!”. The guy stops talking, looks to his left, as far as he can see. Then he turns to this right, looking and looking. Turns back and starts talking to the girl again.
A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!’ same situation….
A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!’ same situation….by this time the guy is getting frustrated. He has stopped talking three times now, looked around, and tried to see who is yelling.
A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!’
The guy turns to the girl – with an angry look on his face – hands her the nachos and says “hold these for a minute!” and stands up turns toward the back of the ground and yells “MY NAME IS NOT JOE!!!!”
My brother used to tell this “joke” everywhere he went. It was not uncommon for someone in my family to say “HEY JOE” to my brother at family events, and he would turn around and say “MY NAME’S NOT JOE!!”. It is something that will stick with my brother for the rest of his life, I’m sure.
Whether you laugh at this ridiculously corny joke or not, there is a story to be told.
In his book, “The Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren opens with four simple words…..”Its not about you”. And there could be no more true statement. The young man in my joke was sitting in a whole crowd of people. As you are listening to the joke, I’m sure you were thinking that this guy’s name would be “Joe”. Why would you not? He kept looking everytime the guy yelled “Hey Joe!!”. But the punchline tells us the story. A story about a young man who assumed that everyone was talking to him, and that surely this guy must be talking to him but have the wrong name.
Now I don’t think any of you would do this at an event. If you or I heard someone yelling “Hey Joe!!”, we would just assume that this person was not calling for us (unless, of course, your name is Joe). But thing I want you to think about today is beyond this story. Are you living in a world where you think it’s all about you?
I’ll be honest….our society has evolved to the “me” concept. As much as I love Apple products, they put “I” in front of each of them (iPhone, iPad, iTunes, etc). We didn’t even have “selfies” until just recently. But now everyone is posting pictures of themselves on social media everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, everyone does it. And if you’re a selfie fan, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, or that you’re not a good person. It’s just an observation of how our society has changed.
I remember growing up – it WAS about me. I had to study to pass my classes, I had to decide what I wanted to study in college. I had to take that job so that I could pay for my expenses in college. I had to search and find that first job after I graduated, and I had to take care of myself.
But today I’m here to share with you 3 times that I realized it was not about me:
The first time I realized it was not about me, was when my son was born. The delivery was difficult, and the doctors decided to do an emergency C-section to bring him into the world. When he arrived, they handed him to me, and went back to taking care of his mom. I remember that day very well. The way he looked at me, as if to say “Are you the dude that is going to take care of me?”. They say when you become a parent you finally realize unconditional love. That was true for me. And that was the day I knew I had to take care of myself, my health, my finances, and everything else, so that I could also take care of him. It no longer was about me. I was about me and him.
The second time I realized it was not about me was when I became a manager: In 6th grade, I took a test on an Apple II/e computer and got my “computer certification” in elementary school. I remember going home and telling my mom, “I’m going to be a programmer and I’m going to do that all of my life!!”. Well, the first part was true. I went to school to be a programmer, I got a job as developer, and I loved it. But the true passion in my career came when I became a manager, and it was no longer about me. The situation was very similar to having that first child. I was now responsible for a “team” and not just myself. My decisions would affect them just as much as me. It was no longer about me at work, I was about the team.
The third time I realized it was not about me was when I became a speaker: We love meetings in the office. I participated in many meetings. I even led many of them. I had given advice and guidance, but in 2012, I realized a new passion that would change my future forever. I was asked to speak at a conference on software testing. Halfway through my 2 hour session, I started to notice something. People actually “WANTED” to hear me talk. They were listening to every word, and they were asking questions. They were involved. It felt like that moment, years before, when my son was looking at me on his “Day 1” – as if to say “are you going to take care of us?”. I have made sure that along the way, as I speak more at conferences and events, I try to give each and every attendee something to take away with them that they can never forget. It is no longer about me. It is now about EVERYONE.
I leave you with this challenge. Who do you meet often that you could make a difference in their lives? What can you do today to build those relationships and make a difference in someone’s life, career, or future?
But wherever you go…whatever you do…never forget, “It’s not about you”.
Calling all software testing and IT professionals. I need your inputs and questions that I will ask at the next STPCon software testing conference in San Francisco, CA from April 4 to 7, 2016.
I am going to be moderating a keynote panel with three well known names in software testing, and we will be taking questions from this blog, other social networks, and the audience at the conference.
Please take a look at the members of our panel, think of your question(s), and please submit your questions as comments to this blog post. I appreciate, in advance, any questions you submit, and I promise to try to ask them to our panel when we are live on Thursday, April 7, 2016.
One last note before I introduce you to the panelists. I hope that you not only submit a question, but you also plan to attend. You can see all of the conference sessions, workshops, and keynotes at the official site for STPCon at this link: STPCon Official Site .
Now let’s meet the panelists. I will give you their biography and then share with you some additional information that I know about each of them:
Panelist #1: Smita Mishra
Bio: Smita Mishra is the Founder of PoolWallet – an online expense sharing app and is the CEO and Chief Test Consultant at QAzone Infosystems, which is a software testing organization. She enjoys problem solving. She supports her customers in identifying the risks their applications are carrying and / or passing on further to their end customers, through carefully crafted skills of product development and software testing. She also engages with different forums to assist growth for women in her field and otherwise too.
Smita will speak to the advances in the testing practice, where we are going with outsourcing and services, the changes for women in testing, and how organizations must realize the need for setting the context for strategic growth.
Additional Information: Smita is a well known testing professional across the globe. She has a great following. She has led multiple testing meetups, and recently held a major conference in India, called ThinkTest, where the conference sold out and was overbooked, and included James Bach as the headliner speaker. She was honored with an invite to be part of an expert panel for a Sheroes conference (Sheroes Website) where she spoke about her new product (PoolWallet – PoolWallet Website), women in technology, and work-life balance.
Panelist #2: Dave Haeffner
Bio: Dave Haeffner is the writer of Elemental Selenium (elementalselenium.com), a free, weekly Selenium tip newsletter read by thousands of testing professionals. Dave is also is the creator and maintainer of ChemistryKit (https://github.com/chemistrykit/chemistrykit) an open-source Selenium framework, and the-internet (https://github.com/tourdedave/the-internet) an open-source web application that’s used to help teach test automation. He’s also the author of The Selenium Guidebook (seleniumguidebook.com) — a concise guide that will teach you how to use Selenium successfully. He’s helped numerous companies implement automated acceptance testing including The Motley Fool, ManTech International, Sittercity, and Animoto. He’s also a founder/co-organizer of the Selenium Hangout (an entirely online Selenium meetup), Selenium Conf (the annual conference put on by the Selenium project), and frequently speaks about automated acceptance testing at conferences and meet-ups around the world.
Dave will speak to the advances in tools used for testing, how we have grown in the testing practice, our constraints and our opportunities, and how testing is complemented by the complex growth in tools to support the testing practice.
Additional Information: Dave has established his name to be synonymous with Selenium for several years now. His expert trainings and books have changed the way Selenium is used across the globe. He consistently looks for new ways to leverage the tool and to use automation to increase the success of organizations.
Panelist #3: Damian Synadinos
Bio: Damian Synadinos started testing software—on purpose and for money—in 1993. Since then, he has helped build better software and build software better using various methods and tools in numerous roles at many companies in diverse industries. During the past ten years, Damian has focused primarily on teaching and leading testers and improving processes. Currently, he is the enterprise quality lead of metrics and reporting at a large Midwestern bank, helping to answer questions and tell stories about quality with data. In addition to testing, Damian enjoys improv, golf, poker, gaming, acting, cartooning, and spending time with his family.
Damian will speak to leadership and mentoring of testers in today’s world, how we define measurement and metrics to accurately represent our progress and success, and how to work collaboratively with our stakeholders and partners.
Additional Information: Damian will surprise you with his acting and improvisational experience. When you hear him talk, its like watching a performance. He is engaging with the audience, and it is his belief that this is how you engage not only with audiences, but with your team. He has extensive knowledge in leading teams, and coaching others and his experience with metrics and measurement is extremely exciting to learn.
Thank you so much for your participation and I look forward to seeing your questions for this great team!
If you love software testing, a great conference awaits you in October! STPCon is holding our Fall 2015 conference in Boston this year, October 5-8. (Make sure you see the bottom of this article for a REGISTRATION DISCOUNT CODE before you leave!)
I began speaking with STPCon back in 2012. I have been privileged to be part of the sessions, workshops, and even a keynote. Over the past year, I have been fortunate to be part of a community advisory board (CAB) that has reviewed and selected great presentations for the last three events.
A few months ago, I was honored with being named the Director of Strategy for Software Test Professionals (STP). I will be involved in building out the future events for this conference, as well as non-conference events that are coming very soon! I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the conferences that I have been part of over the past couple of years, but there is a special place in my heart for STPCon.
If you are a software tester there is something for you at this conference. We have tracks for hands on testing, test automation, performance testing, mobile testing, and test management. Each track is packed full with great topics, great speakers, and a commitment to impress the audiences.
Just take a look at some of the great speakers we have with us in October:
James Bach will be giving a keynote on Thursday morning. But..wait!! There’s MORE!! James has agreed to spend the day with us at STPCon, conducting four 1-hour sessions across multiple topics.
If you’re a fan of test automation, you will not want to miss Jason Huggins, the father of selenium, as well as Elfriede Dustin, who both will be providing keynotes on Wednesday.
Workshops take place Monday and Tuesday with the following highlights:
The popular test automation track returns with multiple presentations throughout the two days from Joseph Ours, Dave Mamanakis, Benjamin Lamb, Geoff Horne, Ahkil Patel, and Doug Hoffman.
STPCon brings back premier speakers to the event once again:
Smita Mishra delivers two workshops – her tutorial on “Implementing Business Context to Test Heuristics Model”, and “Who’s Your Data” – a new workshop that covers the topic of Big Data, Enterprise Data Warehouse, and the ETL Process
Eric Proegler will give us insights on “Interpreting and Reporting Performance Test Results”
Andy Grabner gives us his popular “Applications Performance Clinic”
Dawn Haynes returns to STPCon to speak on “10 Things Your Stakeholders Need to Know About Testing (but don’t)”
Leonidis Hepis brings back his workshop on “Personality Types: Understanding Ourselves, Understanding Others”
I will be presenting my latest topic “Visual Testing: It’s Not What You Look At, It’s What you See” as a workshop on Tuesday.
We also introduce new STPCon speakers to the workshops: Johanna Rothman, Mary Thorn, Carsten Feilberg, Ilari Henrik, Ben Kelly, and Robin Goldsmith.
One-Hour Sessions take place on Wednesday and Thursday. There are so many great speakers lined up:
James Bach, Paul Grizzaffi, Smita Mishra, Damon Synadinos, Mark Tomlinson, Jim Trentadue, Melissa Tondi, Matthew Eakin, Mary Thorn, Andreas Grabner, Doug Hoffman, Michal Stryjak, Carlo Cadet, James Sivak, Wayne Ariola, Joseph Ours, John Ruberto, Manoj Pahuja, Dave Mamanakis, Justin Rohrman, James Pulley, Bradley Baird, Jessica Ingrassellino, Bob Small, Silvia Siquera, Craig Ayres, Terri Chu, Bill Nicholson, Geoff Horne, Anthony Kless, and Alexander Podelko
I have been speaking at conferences and events for several years now. But this past week (Aug 4-6, 2015) was an awesome experience.
I was honored to be invited to speak at two conferences during the same week. At both of the conferences, I shared my topic “Visual Testing: It’s Not What You Look At, It’s What You See”. In this topic, we reviewed how that our eyes sometimes see something that our brains do not notice. Many times these things are right in front of your face, yet you don’t see it. We talked about how the brain works, and how that testers can improve their skills by noticing their “Inattentional Blindness”.
I started my week in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the CAST 2015 conference. After speaking there on Wednesday, August 5, I then jumped on a plane and headed to Washington, DC, where I would then speak at the Agile 2015 conference on Thursday, August 6.
If you’re interested in what I was speaking, you can view the slides on slideshare at the following link:
Has your organization ever considered replacing a tester that did not write, for example, 15 test cases per day? Is the testing team blamed if defect leakage is greater than 5% into production? What drives decisions like these? The common thread in these examples is “Test Metrics”
Test Metrics… Everyone has an opinion about them. Some believe they are the most valuable way to communicate the results of testing. Some think that they are useless, misleading, and damaging to the communication of test results. Some believe that without measurement you are not managing the effort. And some believe that bad metrics are worse than no metrics at all.
Where does your organization fit in the metrics and measurement debates? Is your team aligned? Do you agree with the team? Do you use a reporting process for test results? Are you forced to report on metrics you don’t believe are valuable? Do you have dozens of metrics that you are reporting periodically that no one looks at, and when they do look at them, there is room for misinterpretation?
In this webinar, Mike Lyles will challenge a panel of experts to discuss the topic of metrics and measurement, review multiple viewpoints on the topic, and address many of the questions that organizations have today around metrics and measurement.
Join us as we open for questions from the webinar audience in a highly interactive webinar that will benefit all skill levels from beginner to expert.
Top metrics that are misused or misunderstood in most every organization
What metrics should you get rid of ASAP?
Best and Worst metrics – based on opinions of the panel & audience
Metrics that everyone should use – and how they compare to your organization’s metrics
Tools and processes that can help your organization better measure your testing
4. How can you help me?
I am working on a conference presentation on this very topic. And I would like your input on the questions that we asked in the webinar. If you have some examples, or inputs to this, please provide them as comments to this webinar, or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are the questions i need your help on:
What Metrics do you feel are misused or misunderstood in most every organization?
What Metrics do you feel are good and that everyone should use in any organization?
What Metrics should organizations stop using (if they are using them today) immeidately?
What tools and/or processes have you used or seen used successfuly for assisting with measuring testing?