Wednesday, 6 July 2011

SpongeBob TestyPants

Just read a good blog post about Sponge Learning by Alex Rosen who hangs around on Hacker News ( as do I ) and soaks up infomation from the posts and comments there.

Reminded me a lot about my first moves into testing where I lurked on SQA Forums and Testing Reflections ( when I was not reading books )
The soak possibilities have increased the last few years - the awesome Software Testing Club site, blogs galore, podcasts and I suppose it's possible to soak a few drops from Twitter.

Simon Morley recently ranted about being given a headache by some of the questions that get posted on the forums ( and he doesn't get to see a lot of the posts that get Terminated as soon as I notice them )

But, as Darren McMillan points out in his latest blog post An untapped sea of knowledge, once you move on from soaking to interacting and participating in the community there are some great rewards.

If you're reading this then chances are I'm preaching to the converted but I'll try and remember how much I get out of the community and restrain my Twitter rants next time I open up the STC and find a post
"Plz tell me the Best Practices and Tool for naming Sanity Test Cases in an Agile team"


Laura said...

I lurk a lot as well but it's because I lack the confidence that I see in others when they post.

When I post, I try to make it something worthwhile to all (i.e., not just the OP but to all who may read it); whether I achieve that goal or not, I am not sure.

If I don't feel I can assist the OP and hopefully others, I refrain from contributing.

Sometimes, the online SQA community can seem a little "clique-y" and this also causes me to refrain from posting.

If the questions and posts are not up to par with what more experienced, seasoned and knowledgeable test engineers prefer, I suspect it is because there are fewer of them, and so many of us normal testers working faithfully "head down, elbows up" on our projects who only ask questions when truly stuck. That ratio may be a wide enough gap they feel the absence of the kinds of questions they want.

I try to be transparent in my posts, and to be honest, a blog post such as this stirs in me feelings that my questions and posts are sub-par which naturally would lead me to not want to post or interact much. I suspect this is acceptable to the ones who crave above-par posts.

Having read Mr. Weinberg's "Why Software Gets in Trouble" makes me appreciate his wisdom on this very subject. If only all leaders could see the gaps and holes in this area that he does.

Rick Gebhardt said...

I've recently made the decision to try to move beyond just "soaking" and into contributing in my trade area (software QA). For a long while all I did was soak things up and, truthfully, even though I want to be more participatory, I still end up mostly soaking, which I don't think is bad at all. The conscious effort to participate has helped me to soak a bit deeper as I want to truly understand things so that I can actually have constructive and informed comments on the topic.

That and I want to expand my professional circle outside of my current and previous employer's personnel :-)