What is your Legacy?

The Gift of Time

Recently at work I made a presentation regarding the Software Testing Department future direction. As part of that presentation I shared stories about a few testers who have made a difference in the field. The next day I attended a women’s conference that was focused around “What is your Legacy?” It was a fabulous conference that gets you thinking about how you live your life today forms how people remember you. It forms your legacy. For this posting, I wanted to share a few testers and leaders who are building or have built a great legacy! I hope one of your take-away from this posting is that you can influence change and make a difference. I bet when some of them started blogging on their ideas they did not imagine the impact!

Gerald Weinberg
Many of my readers will know Gerald Weinberg – many consider him the Father of Software Testing as he formed the first official testing department back in the 1950’s. He has inspired so many technical people through his writing, consulting, mentor-ship, and problem-solving training seminars. This short list does not do him credit for his influence in the tech world. For his 75th birthday a book was written to honor him called The Gift of Time that was written by influential testers and consultants to honor him regarding his contribution to Information Technology and how he influenced their careers. Imagine your legacy living on and people honoring you in such a way on your 75th birthday! Jerry writes for Tea-time with Testers and is involved with the content of the e-magazine and provides regular guidance. You can learn more about Jerry through his website.

Lisa Crispin
I have admired Lisa for many many years and was thrilled when we started to connect through social media. Lisa along with Janet Gregory were influential in helping testers find their voice as part of an agile team. I remember when the agile manifesto came out in 2001 and it was an exciting time since many of us worked in waterfall environments where it quite literally took years to get software to our customers. It was wonderful to hear that software could be delivered in smaller increments. But at the same time there was a buzz that testers were no longer needed on these agile teams. What did that mean for our careers? Were we destined to remain in the waterfall world with heavy documentation and long release cycles? Lisa and Janet both made a difference for us testers by finding our voice! I can only imagine how difficult this must have been since being a change agent is a very difficult role to fulfill. You will make sure that you read their book: Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams.

I am honored to be invited as a reviewer for their new agile book coming out later this year. I am inspired by the problems Lisa has tackled and how she freely shares this information to the community. Plus her dedication to travel around the world to speak and train at conferences. She works in my viewpoint, endlessly! You can learn more about Lisa by visiting her website.

Mike Talks

Mike is a wonderful story teller with the ability to view the world as if there is not any boundaries. As a former teacher, he provides a different way to approach testing problems coupled with his degree and knowledge of physics. I find that Mike will challenge your approach on a problem that opens up new avenues that you did not think about. I first “met” Mike through Twitter and his new years posting called: Let 2012 be the death of Superman! You can find that posting here. I used this posting as the starting point for my department’s start of the new year because there is nothing wrong with asking for help or admitting you do not know something. That is why a team approach is typically more effective than a silo approach. Often in the business world we can place too much emphasis on “solo superstars” instead of the integration of the team where you can still highlight your specialty.

Mike is a great mentor and I hope you take some time to get to know him. Mike’s ebook Software Minefield is a great book on his more than 15-years experience as a tester. It is written for experienced testers but there are chapters that are good for a new tester to read. You can learn more about Mike by visiting his website.

Ajay Balamurugadas
In 2009, Ajay was a co-founder of Weekend Testing designed to bring testers together for about 2-hours to test a web-based application focused on a testing charter to further develop their testing skills and knowledge. What I find amazing is this concept spread to Europe, US, and New Zealand. A small group of testers from India influenced testers throughout the world on a different way to progress their skills! I like their catch phrase: Test Learn Contribute. In the Testing Community it is about giving back to the community because we are stronger as a community if we each contribute. Ajay has written several e-books that I am pleased to say that I read before they were published. They are from a viewpoint of a new tester and are packed with a lot of great information! You can learn more about Ajay by visiting his website.

5 responses

  1. You need to add Glenford Myers, author of one of the first books on Software Testing and considered still a prinicple guide. A few others to include are Cem Kaner, James Bach, James Whittaker, Boris Beizer and William Perry. Each in their own rights by writing and advocating for testing as a discipline and profession. There are many more who over the years have added a significant piece to the testing puzzle.

    1. Thank you Jim for the additional testers. The list is really endless and was not meant to identify everyone who has contributed to the field. But my focus is on testers who are leaving a legacy but might not have the recognition such as James Bach and others. Those are the big names that everyone knows. I am really impressed by testers like Ajay who makes a difference by being a co-founder of weekend testing. Lisa Crispin is well-known and is someone I have respected for more than a decade and has influenced my life. Most likely I will have another posting or two but outside of Jerry Weinberg I am trying to identify the every day tester who is making a difference. I often think testers feel they need to be a consultant or run their own business to make a difference. But that really is not true, which is evident by so many great testers who are making a difference. They too can leave a legacy and that is the real purpose of these postings.

  2. […] trenches can influence change not only in their organizations but also in the testing community. In part one I discussed a few testers that I admire for different reasons. Of course this is an endless list as […]

  3. […] at one time. Today I would like to share a couple more testers that I admire. Do not forget to read the first part and the second part of this […]

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