End of an Era

MemoriesOfBrightonI compered my last Testbash on Friday. And today will see my last Testing Planet edit posted on the Ministry of Testing. It’s been a great journey working with Rosie and the rest of the Software Testing Club team, and to some extent I’ll continue to do so – but it’s time for me to move on to other things.

Working as the Editor on The Testing Planet has been a great learning experience for me, as well as an opportunity to do something that has hopefully been of value to the testing community.

The learning curve, as with anything, was steep in the early days. Particularly when we were still in print. The review, edit and print cycle was gruelling at best, and seeing errors creep through into the hardcopy version despite our best efforts to proofread them out was disappointing for all concerned.

Going digital made life considerably easier. We could deploy continuously and monitor production for bugs, as it were. But still, writers had to be sourced for articles, sometimes pursued relentlessly – as many who have been on the receiving end of my emails will be aware. Their articles still needed to go through the review/edit/publish cycle, all of which took time. Sometimes a great deal of time.

I want to use that time for other things. Those who know me well will know that I harbour interests in business and entrepreneurialism. That I view being an independent contractor with my own Ltd company as a platform from which to branch out into other areas. I plan to use the time that I used to spend on The Testing Planet to pursue my own interests instead.

It’s also time that I can use to hone my software testing skills. I delivered a performance testing workshop at Testbash, assisted by Mark Tomlinson (to whom I’m very grateful). I’ll be delivering similar material at ExpoQA. I’ve submitted material to 3 conferences this year and currently have a 2 out of 3 hit-rate (pending a response from the 3rd). I hope to do more track speaking and workshops, and will be using the time I’ve freed up to ensure that my material is good. Not to mention slightly off the beaten track.

It also seemed like the right time to hand over the Testbash baton. I’ve compered Testbash for the last three years now. It’s time for someone else to have a go. Probably, they’ll do a much better job than me – since it was never a role I was particularly comfortable with.

In any event, it is – at least for me – the end of an era. But as Stephen Janwaway quoted in his Testbash presentation:

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning. – Winston Churchill

- Simon

2 thoughts on “End of an Era

  1. The Testing Planet left a permanent mark on the Testing Community for years. No-one noticed the flaws, in all the awesomeness of having a community driven print periodical. I am both biased and honored to have been a part of it. Keep hanging around and thank your for all the fish.

  2. The bar has been set very high by Simon. It’s very easy for most people to say, “Yeah, I could compere TestBash” without any understanding the wide array of intricate and subtle soft-skills required to do it *well*. This was most obvious to me when Simon said a few kind, witty and reassuring words to the all the 99 second talkers before taking the stage. We were all nervous (I know I certainly was!) but somehow after Simon finished briefing us, I genuinely felt more calm and eager to get up there and do my bit. My anxiety could have so easily been amplified if less tactful words had been used at that point.

    A good compere is like oil to an engine. No matter how big or important the cogs, it’s the oil that keeps things turning smoothly.

    “Lang may yer lum reek”, Simon. We hope to see you in some other capacity at future dates.

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