2012 Recap

As 2012 comes to a close, I thought I’d recap the year. I think this little exercise is mostly for me, but I suppose new blog readers (or people with too much free time) may find some points of interest.

Some more from the non-Microsoft front follows.

My most popular blog posts from the last year are (were):

As I look at those topics, something tells me I should write about testing more, and skip non-testing topics (like year-end recaps, for example).

I spent most of the year close to home, hanging out with my family, and focusing on my job. I’ve been on the Xbox team for just over a year now, and I’m still having a great time. It’s a fantastic place to work, and I’m surrounded by more brilliant hard-working and passionate people than you could imagine. I will see if I can share some more stories and insights about the team in 2013.

I was visiting my parents this summer when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I had committed to three speaking engagements in the fall, and in between those, work, and heading to my parents’ house every weekend to help out, late summer and fall were exhausting.

I was honored to be invited to be part of the STANZ tour of New Zealand and Australia in September put on by SoftEd. I can’t say enough good things about the SofEd staff – they took care of every detail before, during, and after the event. It was a fantastic experience, and I hope I can get myself invited again some day. I had planned to take an extra few weeks off to travel after the conference, but given my mom’s health, I headed back early.

In October I gave a talk (that I thought wend quite well) at Intel in Oregon. This is my second time speaking at Intel (I spoke in Israel last year), and would speak there any time.

My next speaking event wasn’t planned. I was at my mom’s side when she passed later in October, and I gave the eulogy at her funeral a few days later.

A week later, I was on a plane to Amsterdam to give the opening keynote at EuroStar (slides are in my previous post). The staff and program committee at EuroStar were well-organized, and the conference ran (from my view, at least) quite smoothly. In the end, I’m sorry to say that I delivered a flat (by my standards) presentation. I was thrilled that some people said they liked it, but I wasn’t happy with my delivery. Given everything going on at home, I flew home before the conference ended and began trying to get back into a more normal routine.

The “normal routine” for me these days is work, family, and when I can find time, a bit of Xbox gaming (gamertag: A Weezil). I may start blogging regularly again in the new year – or I may not – I don’t know yet. I’ve committed to one conference next fall, and may do one other one. And that’s about all I’ve figured out.

I’m thankful for all of the new people I’ve met this year (I met too many testers at conferences this year to list their names), and for people I got to know better. For the first time in years, I have a bit of excitement about where testing is going (although some readers may not like where I think testing is going…). If you’ve read this far, I wish you luck in 2013 (and for the rest of 2012). I hope to cross paths with many more of you in the months to come.


  1. A number of great articles during the year. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences like this. Many of them have been very valuable, and I have used them as reference in my daily work.

    Hope you have a great ending to 2012.


  2. Hey Alan,

    Thanks for posting the recap, gives me a chance to catch up on some of the key articles I missed. It looks like the Exploring Test Automation link is giving back a 404.


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