It feels like much less than a year since I was penning my review of 2021, but the calendar doesn’t lie so it really is time to take the opportunity to review my 2022.
I published just 10 blog posts this year, so didn’t quite meet my personal target cadence of a post every month. There were a few reasons for this, the main one being my unexpected re-entry into employment (more on that below). Perhaps due to my more limited output, my blog traffic dropped by about 40% compared to 2021. I continue to be grateful for the amplification of my blog posts via their regular inclusion in lists such as 5Blogs and Software Testing Weekly.
March was the biggest month for my blog by far this year, thanks to a popular post about a video detailing how testers should fake experience to secure roles. I note in writing this blog post now that the video in question has been removed from YouTube, but no doubt there are similar videos doing the rounds that encourage inexperienced testers to cheat and misrepresent themselves – to the detriment of both themselves and the reputation of our industry.
I again published a critique of an industry report in November (after publishing similar critiques in 2020 and 2021) and this was my second most popular post of the year, so it’s good to see the considerable effort that goes into these critique-style posts being rewarded by good engagement.
I closed out the year with about 1,200 followers on Twitter, steady year on year, but maybe everyone will leave Twitter soon if the outrage many are expressing recently isn’t fake!
For the first few months of 2022, I continued doing a small amount of consulting work through my own business, Dr Lee Consulting. It was good to work directly with clients to help solve testing challenges and I was encouraged by their positive feedback.
Quite unexpectedly, an ex-colleague from my days at Quest persuaded me to interview at SSW, the consultancy he joined after Quest. A lunch with the CEO and some formalities quickly led to an offer to become SSW’s first Test Practice Lead (on a permanent part-time basis). I’ve now been with SSW for about seven months and it’s certainly been an interesting journey so far!
The environment is quite different from Quest. Firstly, SSW is a consultancy rather than a product company and I’ve come to realise how different the approach is in the consulting world compared to the product world. Secondly, SSW is a small Australian company compared to Quest being a large international one, so meetings are all standard working hours (and I certainly don’t miss the very early and very late meetings that so frequently formed part of my Quest working day!).
I have been warmly welcomed across SSW and I’m spreading the word on good testing internally, as well as working directly with some of SSW’s clients to improve their approaches to testing and quality management.
As I announced mid-2021, I was excited to be part of the programme for the in-person Testing Talks 2021 (The Reunion) conference in Melbourne, rescheduled for October 2022. Unfortunately, I had to give up my spot on the programme due to my COVID vaccination status – though, surprise surprise, all such restrictions had been removed by the time the event actually took place. But I did attend the conference and it was awesome to see so many people in the one place for a testing event, after the hiatus thanks to the pandemic and the incredibly harsh restrictions that resulted for Melbourne. (I blogged about my experience of attending Testing Talks 2022.)
In terms of virtual events, I was fortunate to be invited to act as a peer advisor for one of Michael Bolton’s virtual RST classes running in the Australian timezone. This was an awesome three-day experience and I enjoyed interacting with the students as well as sharpening my understanding of some of the RST concepts from Michael’s current version of the class.
Two very enjoyable virtual events came courtesy of the Association for Software Testing (AST) and their Lean Coffees. I participated in the May and September events suited to my timezone and they were enlightening and fun, as well as offering a great way to engage with other testers in an informal online setting.
I had an enjoyable conversation with James Bach too, forming part of his “Testing Voices” series on the Rapid Software Testing YouTube channel:
Although I’ve interacted with James online and also in person several times (especially during his visits to Melbourne), this was our most in-depth conversation to date and it was fun to talk about my journey into testing, my love of mathematics and my approach to testing. I appreciate James’s continued passion for testing and, in particular, his desire to move the craft forward.
I didn’t publish an updated version of my book An Exploration of Testers during 2022, but may do in 2023. I’m always open to additional contributions to this book, so please contact me if you’re interested in telling your story via the answers to the questions posed in the book!
I made good progress on the free AST e-book, Navigating the World as a Context-Driven Tester though. This book provides responses to common questions and statements about testing from a context-driven perspective, with its content being crowdsourced from the membership of the AST and the broader testing community. I added a further 10 responses in 2022, bringing the total to 16. I will continue to ask for contributions about once a month in 2023. The book is available from the AST’s GitHub.
Paul Seaman, Toby Thompson and I kicked off The 3 Amigos of Testing podcast in 2021 and produced three episodes in that first year, but we failed to reconvene to produce more content in 2022. There were a number of reasons for this, but we did get together to work up our next episode recently, so expect our next podcast instalment to drop in early 2023!
Volunteering for the UK Vegan Society
I’ve continued to volunteer with the UK’s Vegan Society both as a proofreader and also contributing to their web research efforts. I’ve learned a lot about SEO as a result of the web-related tasks and I undertook an interesting research project on membership/join pages to help the Society to improve its pages around joining with the aim of increasing new memberships.
I really enjoy working with The Vegan Society, increasing my contribution to and engagement with the vegan community worldwide. It was particularly rewarding and humbling to be awarded “Volunteer of the Season” and be featured in the Society’s member magazine, The Vegan, towards the end of the year.
As always, I’m grateful for the attention of my readers here and also followers on other platforms. I wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope you enjoy my posts and other contributions to the testing community to come through 2023 – the first public opportunity to engage with me in 2023 will be the AST’s Steel Yourselves webinar on January 30, when I’ll be arguing the case for a testing phase, I hope to “see you” there!