Thursday, 26 February 2009

5 Questions For Bj Rollison

Butch and Sundance, Fred and Ginger, Laurel and Hardy - having asked Alan Page my questions I had to ask his sidekick William 'Bj' Rollison them as well. He took time out from a boring meeting to do so.

Bj Rollison has many names ( apart from 'Bj' ) - IM Testy and TestingMentor and is also one of the authors of How We Test Software At Microsoft

1. Why did you start blogging and what were you hoping to get out of it ?
( and have you got what you hoped for ? )

I started blogging in order to promote different perspectives of testing, expose aspects of Microsoft’s strategic vision of testing in the future, and to help people realize the testing is much more than simply sitting in front of a computer and questioning the software.

The blog is reasonable successful. Each post gets anywhere between 1000 to 2500 hits, and the feedback is mostly positive.

2. What have you learned from doing your blog ?

It’s a lot of work! Also, controversial posts tend to get more hits and feedback as compared to more technical “best practice” type posts. That being said, the controversial posts are a drain, and take a lot of effort because people who disagree with those posts tend to wander from the actual context of the discussion or introduce tangential topics.

3. Do you track your visitors - if so, any unusual searches to find your blog ?

On my blog I only track unique visitors

4. Do you have a favourite post that you have written ?

Yes…but, I haven’t written it yet :)

5. Any advice to new bloggers ?

If you don’t maintain it on a regular basis you start losing readership. Also responding to each comment is important. Don’t jump to conclusions when reading comments; before blasting someone for an out-of-context comment, twisting the argument, or otherwise going off on a tangent you should ask for clarification in a non-confrontational way. (In other words, don’t follow my example.)
Finally, if you really want an open forum that people feel free to express their opinions and provide feedback allow people to post anonymously and don’t censor the feedback. (Unless a post includes gross profanity I wouldn’t delete it. I might remove offending words or phrases, but if someone wants to make personal attacks, or express irrational thoughts…who am I to cover up, hide, or censor them. Let the other readers see them for who they are.

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