As another year begins, it’s a good time to look back on the last one and 2016 was another busy year for me professionally.
I managed 22 posts on this blog in 2016, well in excess of my (internal) target cadence of one post per month. My blogging was irregular, though, with not much activity in the last few months while I was travelling (more on that later). I’ve tried to focus on quality of posts over quantity and it’s pleasing to note that my blog received three times as many views in 2015 as it did in 2016, so hopefully I’m doing something right. (If there are topics you’d like to see me talking about here, please let me know.)
The testing community worldwide seemed to blossom during 2016, which was great to see. More and more meetups and other opportunities for testers to meet and discuss their craft can only be a good thing both for the industry and for the professional standing of testers too.
The first half of the year again saw me heavily involved in the TEAM meetup group here in Melbourne. Although I am no longer contributing to the group, it’s great to see how far it’s come from humble beginnings in 2015 to now being a very active and well-attended meetup. I hope it continues to provide an avenue for testers in Melbourne to come together and talk testing. (I blogged about these TEAM meetups here, here, here, and here.)
I also had the chance to attend an overseas meetup when I found myself in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in October. It was a warm welcome at the Belfast Testers Meetup and this young meetup group showed a lot of enthusiasm and passion for testing. (I blogged about my time in Belfast here.)
My last community event of the year saw me taking part in the invite-only Cambridge Exploratory Workshop on Testing (CEWT) in November. I was lucky enough to be in the UK at just the right time and readily accepted James Thomas’s invitation to be part of their peer conference. I always enjoy these small peer conferences as they allow for deep discussion and have always resulted in me making new connections with interesting testers from around the world – and this event was certainly no different in that regard. (I blogged about my attendance at CEWT here.)
2016 was a relatively quiet year for conferences for me, at least on paper, with just two testing conferences and one agile-centric one.
First up was the inaugural Australian Testing Days conference in Melbourne, for which I was a co-organizer. It was a huge amount of work pulling the conference together but also a lot of fun along the way and I’m proud of the great event that transpired in May. (I blogged about the experience of organizing this conference here.)
Next up was my first non-testing conference for many years, the Agile On The Beach conference held in Cornwall (UK) in September. It was interesting to hear talks of a more general nature and also on very different topics – and any conference with its group party event held on a beach has to be worth attending, right?! (I blogged about attending this conference here.)
Finally, it was over to California in October to attend and present at the massive STARWest event. As my only conference speaking commitment of the year, I was really pleased with how the talk went and it was an enjoyable week at the Disneyland Resort taking in everything this enormous event has to offer. (I blogged about attending and presenting at STARWest here.)
I was pleased to be asked to act as guest editor for Testing Trapeze magazine for one edition in 2016 and it was an enjoyable experience bringing the articles together, getting them reviewed, and then finalizing the content in the magazine. Katrina Clokie has put a great team in place to ensure high quality in every edition and hopefully “my” edition added to its legacy in a positive way. (I blogged about my guest editor role here.)
Apart from my usual business and conference travel, I based myself in Europe for the last four months of 2016 and this gave me the chance to do some of the UK events I’ve noted above as well as catch up with friends and family in the UK. There were also some Status Quo gigs and the tragic loss of our rock and roll hero Rick Parfitt during this time (but that’s a story for another blog post).
Here’s to a successful and healthy 2017 – Happy New Year to you all!