Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Why I Really Really Hate Spammers

For the last few years I've been helping moderate the Software Testing Club and earned the name The Terminator. Post some marketing bumf? Terminated.
Post a vague question easily Googled in 5 seconds? Post removed (and a helpful message sent about being specific and detailed so that you can get the help you need.)

Approving memberships has been another of my tasks to keep the site clean and useful.
Current membership of the site is 13,800 and still growing.
All memberships go through a manual approval to stop the spammers.

Recently there has been an increase in spam accounts, my mornings start with going through 30 applicants and only approving a couple of them, the rest are fake accounts.

Somewhat tiresome and frustrating and this morning I had an unfortunate incident where after deleting 10 spam accounts in a row I accidentally hit Delete on the 11th account which was genuine.

Which made me think about when I was starting testing and I found some of the testing sites on the internet, lurked for ages and then plucked up courage to become a member and start joining in.

So what if the account that I didn't approve was another me? Would they feel discouraged and not feel like being part of the online community which has been such a great help to me?

Sorry to whoever you were and I hope you try again.

And for the spammers?
I hope you get stuck in Chicago traffic for all eternity.
( in-joke for those people at CAST who got stuck trying to get to Madison)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Starting off my list

Was CAST2013 really just a week ago? Seems way longer, just one week ago I was sitting listening to the Keynote and looking around and seeing a lot of online people who were now offline connections and new people that were becoming familiar faces.

So now that the conference is over, what happens next? Carry on as before and just have fond memories of a good time with great people in a cool city? ( and nightmares of Chicago traffic)

That would be a waste so I am taking the lessons learned listening to Eric Brickarp and his Making Learning My Top Priority session.

  • I have A Big Ass Idea
  • I have several Smaller Ass ideas which I need to breakdown into even smaller ones
  • And some really small ideas which I will try and follow through on

First one is one I've tried before - commenting on blog posts:
Every week find some blog posts and leave some feedback on them - "nice post" and "great read" is not allowed.

At the moment this is easy as there are several people ( old and new ) blogging about their experiences at CAST so I can read their blogs and either leave a question for them and/or think about what their experiences were and if they match mine ( and if not, why?)

One bonus of this is that as some of the bloggers are new it will hopefully encourage them to keep going if they know that what they are writing is being read.

A further bonus is that they are also likely to be at CAST2014 and if this online connection is maintained it will be like seeing old friends again.

If you want to play along then here's a selection:

Jason Coutu
Clint Hoagland
Eric Brickarp
Isaac Howard
Justin Rohrman
Alex Bantz