Taking a break

I’m taking a vacation. usually people say a “much needed vacation”, or a “long overdue vacation”, but in my case it’s just a vacation. My new job is keeping me interested, engaged and I’m having fun – truthfully, I can’t wait to get back, but it will be nice to spend some time with the family for a few weeks.

I do think that I need a break from the blogosphere and twittterville. I’m immensely excited about the number of new test blogs and test tweeters appearing these days, but I’m sort of bothered by the lack of advancement in testing ideas – it seems that people just keep on talking about the same things over and over, and keep on rehashing old arguments or statements rather than exploring new test ideas. I get it – if you do stuff wrong, it doesn’t work. There are no silver bullets. Testing is hard. Don’t insult my intelligence by telling me those things again. Even if you use all caps or new metaphors, it’s the same statements again and again and I’m getting bored.

I’ve (almost) always taken a high road with my community participation. I sometimes see popular testers tell half-truths or exaggerate their accomplishments in their diatribes to the masses, but it doesn’t seem right for me to call them out and set the record straight (even if I frequently wish someone else would). I’m not about to make every post a rant, but may not bother to try to appeal to a wide part of the testing population either. I guess the point is that I’m not seeing what I want out of the community or my own blogging, so I’m hoping that by not reading or writing blogs or tweeting for the next few weeks that I’ll figure out what I want. If not, I’ll just take more time off until I figure it out.

Feel free to leave comments – if you haven’t commented on this blog before, comments may sit in the moderation queue for a while. The rest will go through unedited until I get around to playing with the internet again.

Edit – 3:00pm, July 19

It doesn’t matter who I’m referring to above – if you think I’m talking about you, I probably am not talking about you – unless you’re sure I’m talking about you, then you’re only probably wrong.

Also – I’d like to point out that I’m a huge fan of all testers actively engaging and learning about the craft. Groups like weekend testers and individuals who explore new approaches are high on my “love” list. Also note that many who think they are actively learning and engaging actually aren’t doing either. If this statement bothers you, please refer to the above paragraph.


  1. Very well put, Alan; I’ve been feeling the same way about the testing media in general for a while (magazines and the big testing sites as well as blogs) but, like you, haven’t figured out what I’d like to do about it. Maybe I should take a vacation too !

  2. I’m with you. That’s one of the reasons I organized the Writing About Testing conference a while back. Since then I also have taken steps to reduce noise in the input.

    There are people doing interesting work in software testing, but they’re being drowned out and generally not being encouraged to go further.

    Also: metaphors suck. I want to talk about real stuff, actually in the world.

  3. There is a lot of noise in testing right now. I’m also feeling a lack of depth, and it turns me off. Twitter seems as thought it was made for oversimplification and unqualified statements. I see a lot of concepts get trashed and I wonder how much the person trashing them actually knows about it or if they’ve ever tried using the concept they seem to despise so much.

    Good research skills, and the schools that teach them, have taken quite a hit this year. I don’t think that this is the way to better testing. It may not be necessary to have “the piece of paper” to be a better tester, but good research skills are not easy to come by and they cannot be found on twitter.

    Since I’ve been out of school, I’ve been challenging myself to hold on to the depth and focus I found before I graduated. It is not easy. I’m glad that you like your new job and I hope that you find some inspiration during your “break.” It will be somewhat tedious for those of us who enjoy your blog, but I definitely get what you’re doing.

  4. I like your disclaimer, Alan 🙂

    with respect to the testing community, I agree with your observation. I although see mixed response on twitterverse and umpteen number of blogs and magazines, and most hover around the concepts and perhaps recycle the same topics.

    Twitter is probably not a great forum to talk about in-depth research, experiences etc for the very reason of being in short messages. I feel this could be one of the reasons people lose interest in the conversation in a short period; but it certainly leads a way to catch up on conversations offline.

    Talk about if people really learning new ideas, concepts from these social communities? the answer is “it depends”. It depends on various aspects:
    what the individuals are looking for,
    once they find the information, are they willing to explore or research further and apply their knowledge or do they get side tracked and try to learn all at once.
    Do they engage conversations and proceed further with further brainstorming and add value thereby

    and several others…

    Do enjoy your vacation and see you when you are back.

    about ” I’m hoping that by not reading ” — At times I think it is a good thing, so we don’t channelized or get influenced with what is there but then do some research and mind-searching. I tend to get influenced with the discussion quite often and forget about my thought process with the concept.

    have a great time

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