Writing About Testing

I’m leaving early tomorrow morning for the Writing About Testing conference. I wasn’t able to attend WAT last year, but I’m looking forward to the trip, the meeting and talking with a group of great testers (who all enjoy writing about what we do).

I don’t think there was ever a point when I thought, "I want to be someone who writes about testing" – it just sort of happened. I began blogging just short of seven years ago (my first ever blog post is here), and originally intended for the blog to be a place to interact with customers of the product I was working on (at the time Windows CE). Over time, I began to write a bit more – honestly, what I wrote was mostly crap, but before too long, I recognized that blogging was a great chance to practice writing, and I’ve spent most of my blogging time since then trying to get better.

Sometime not too far after that, I submitted a talk on metrics for a STAR conference and Lee Copeland asked if I was interested in writing an article for Better Software. Never being one to turn down an opportunity, I said sure and took another step in my attempts to write something meaningful.

So, I kept blogging, and wrote a few other Better Software articles. Then, in a story I’m sure I have told before, I sort of stumbled into writing How We Test Software at Microsoft – I had no idea what I was doing, but somehow made it through the process and remain (mostly) proud of the work. Of course, I continue to blog (which is obvious if you’re reading this – right?), I’ve also made a recent effort to write more – mostly in an attempt to explore my thoughts to see if they go anywhere.Several months ago, I began writing at 750words.com (almost) every day. I passed the 100,000 word mark yesterday. I continue to be challenged by the practice of writing and constantly experiment with ideas on how to get my ideas across clearly.

As you can tell, I’m still working on that.

The point is that writing is never something I planned to do. Now that I think about it, testing was also something I never planned to do. Yet I do both every day and love both. I’m somewhat afraid to to discover the next thing I’ll love that I never planned to do.

I probably won’t blog from WAT, but will definitely share some thoughts next week. Hopefully (for all of us), I learn something new.


  1. Looks like, this is the best moment just to say thank you. Alan, I am considering your blog as one of the best blogs on Software Testing. Thank you very much for your video presentations.
    My colleagues, automation testers from Ukraine, and me love your posts.


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