New connections

After about two years of my friends and colleagues telling me I should start a blog, I finally have!

The two events which (finally) prompted me to Just Do It both occurred at the recent London Tester Gathering Workshops. Firstly John Stevenson gave me an idea for something specific he’d be interested to read about (so my next blog post will be about how Carlos Ble and I collaborated on putting our London Tester Gathering Workshops session on Javascript together, across two countries – thanks John!).

Secondly Emma Preston encouraged me by telling me she’d been enjoying the comments I’d been making throughout the workshop, and that she’d be interested to hear more from me. Coming from a female tester this was somehow particularly inspiring!

On top of this I was listening to the Ruby Rogues podcast earlier this evening about Creativity in Technology. It discussed some similar ideas on creativity to those which John had put forward in his workshop, which were a bit of a revelation to me:

  • Firstly, that creativity doesn’t necessarily mean “artistic-ness”; just because I’m not good at drawing pictures or composing music, doesn’t mean that I’m not a creative person.
  • Secondly, that the definition of creativity can include forming new connections between existing ideas, as well as coming up with completely novel ideas. This is actually something I think I’m quite good at (spotting patterns between apparently unrelated items) and it’s definitely something that helps me in testing to try and reproduce bugs: “I was clicking around this part of the page, and this weird thing happened…” – then trying to come up with ideas for why A might have caused B.
  • Thirdly that testing, management and the other types of work I’ve been doing all require creative as well as critical thinking.

So both John’s workshop and the Ruby Rogues have inspired me to believe that I don’t need to be coming up with totally new ideas in order to be creative – and that perhaps my take on existing ideas can be novel enough in itself to be interesting. We’ll see.

I’m also keen to get feedback from readers of this blog as to what you would like me to write about – for example if I write a post and it inspires another idea that you would like to hear more about, please let me know.

Anyway, one other thing I want to do with these posts is to keep them relatively short, and not be a perfectionist but just get them published – so here’s to new connections, and the inspiration which getting together with other members of the community at conferences can give you!