It’s been a long time since I wrote a post that wasn’t a Five for Friday, but this may be my last chance to write a decade-end post.
Ten years ago, at the beginning of the decade, I was wrapping up a tour of duty in Microsoft’s Engineering Excellence group where I was a Director in charge of trying to educate and unite Microsoft’s army of nearly 10,000 testers (spoiler – they’re all gone now).
How We Test Software at Microsoft was just two years old, and still sort of relevant. I think that Microsoft recruiting bought more copies of that book than anyone else – they used to mail it to nearly all of the SDET candidates we were bringing in from Universities. That was probably the biggest impact the book had on the industry.
Early in 2010, I joined Lync (which was then called, Office Communicator, and then later changed to Skype for Business). There were a lot of great people on that team, but when the opportunity came up to join the team building (what became) Xbox One, I jumped on it. That job was probably the last time I wrote code as the majority of my job, and afaik, a lot of the tools and console code I wrote are still being used today.
In 2010, I also gave a keynote where I talked entirely about collecting customer data to understand how customers are using your software. While not even new back then, that topic is borderline boring today.
After Xbox, I followed my manager and worked briefly on a science project to make Android apps work on Windows Phone. It worked really well, but I knew from day 1 that it would never ship (I was sort of wrong, because the linux system on Windows came from that effort). I used the role as a Kata for learning Java, Linux, and Powershell (only the latter two were useful long-term). It was during this role that I took a month off to travel in Australia, and then two more months to hang out in the south of France.
Somewhere in the middle of my time on Xbox, Brent Jensen and I began our podcast together, and eventually sort of made a thing of the Modern Testing Principles (which, as we often say, aren’t very modern, and have nothing to do with Testing)
Then I had to get back to work, so I worked on Microsoft Teams for the remainder of my Microsoft Career. That story (as well as the rest of these) are well documented in this blog.
Finally, just short of 3 years ago, I gave up on Microsoft (The Breakup is worth reading) and joined Unity – first as a director of quality for Unity’s services, and more recently as a delivery director for Unity’s monetization business.
The 2020s will undoubtedly bring more change. There’s a very reasonable chance I won’t be working (at least full time) by the time this decade closes, and there’s probably a more likely chance that most of what Brent and I talk about today regarding “Modern Testing” is irrelevant or so obvious that a list of Principles seems redundant.
And I’m sure there will be a lot of surprises as well.