Nevertheless, as I thought about the nomination I was surprised by my reaction.
At the end of a summer of
that left me feeling I never want to do anything like that
again, I find myself... wanting to do something like that
again. The "why do I want to serve" part of the position statement
below is heartfelt.
Linda Rising asked me to answer three questions. Here goes.
* Who am I?
I've been a programmer, tester, and line manager since 1981. I've been
a software testing consultant since 1992. During the 90's, my
colleagues and I articulated a style of testing that shares desires
with Agile development: a desire to respond well to inevitable change,
a desire to see working software soon, a preference for conversation
over documentation, and so on. Perhaps because of that, I was invited
to the Snowbird workshop that led to the Agile Manifesto and, later,
this non-profit Alliance. See www.exampler.com/testing-com for more, especially
* What have I done for you lately?
There's been a lot of interest in testing over the past year or
so. Much of that is because "test-infected" programmers have been
extending their enthusiasm to more than unit tests, but I've also
contributed to the buzz. I've cohosted a series of workshops on agile
testing (February 2002, August 2002, January 2003, and June
2003). Their goal was to bring together members of the Agile community
and Agile-sympathetic testers. They worked well to get many of the
right people talking to each other. I also cohost the Agile Testing
mailing list and give many talks on Agile methods to testers.
* Why do I want to serve?
After I visited an XP shop, I wrote some friends: "I am
optimistic. I've often grumbled about the, uh, loss of youthful
innocence in software, the loss of the sense of possibility, of
expansiveness, of craft as an ideal. Agile methods mark, to me, an
attempt to recapture that, tempered by experience."
That XP shop isn't around any more. Bad economy. So there's one fewer
joyful place to work in the world. But maybe, just maybe, if someone
at that shop had met the right person at a conference, they would
have gotten the right lead. Or if The Economist or the Harvard
Business Review or Forbes had published an article on Agile methods at
just the right time, someone with budget and a project would have
said, "Hey, I remember there's a local company that does that
This Agile Alliance is a tool for making those things happen. Since I
care about seeing them happen, I ought to put some work into it.
That's why I want to serve.