I wrote about goals at the beginning of the year. One of mine this year was to write more. When a fellow tester tweeted about wanting to collate, collaborate and create a book of testing stories I jumped at the chance.
I had until the end of March but I started that weekend. For the first time ever when writing anything, I set out headers and themes for the sections for what I wanted to write. I made some progress and then entirely forgot about it until it was March.
The same week I was made redundant I also got a reminder that my story needed to be in by the 31st of March. Both these deadlines were exceptionally motivating.
In between scattergun applying for any testing job with merit, I also ploughed on with turning my slightly non-existent story into a cautionary API tale of adventure and mischief.
My rather bare-bones WriterP file got moved into a OneNote first. Then, everything was being compiled into GitHub for this project. I hastily knocked up the second .md file of my life and googled various kinds of styling to dress up my story (.md files take unicode emojis, such joy)
Next, I made my first ever pull request to GitHub on to a shared branch and totally merged way before I meant to. So far so failing forward, huh?
I saw other testers had also merged in branches with stories needing reviews and I was all over it like a rash. I realised I was actually getting advanced previews of other testing stories and quickly got addicted to code reviewing their files and applying comments.
Here I need to apologise for anyone who suffered one of my code reviews. I live in an en-GB world where American spellings of British words make me actively twitch. I spent a lot of time over the years checking content that was prone to having Americanisms even though business language at the time was en-GB and have a literal NOPE policy on them. I have a similar furious reaction to Oxford commas. Seem to be specific age group which was taught and & commas don’t live together.
“Who gives a f**k about an Oxford comma?”
I do, Vampire Weekend! I do. Anyone I raised these very specific bugbears to was a total sport, actually listened to me and inspired me. I had power but learnt to be less verbally insular. I have no idea why some developers don’t like doing code reviews. Totally loved it but I am a sucker for process. It was also influenced by the context of the kick-ass book I was lucky enough to be involved in.
This was an awesome extra to an already incredible project. Other testers testing other testing stories. Raising bugs, making suggestions, raging about Oxford commas (only me, I know) and most of all encouraging each other. We had a fantastic Slack group where everyone was super responsive, supportive and happy to help.
Wading through having been a solo tester for 6 months and trying to find direction for my career in the din and the dark, Testing Stories was a beautiful beacon of amazing just at the time I needed it. I am thankful to every tester who is a part of it and we’ve really made something special.
When my own story for reviewed I was so happy to have great feedback and each comment helped me shape it into a shippable work that I’m proud of. I have since had such lovely comments from testers who have read my story.
I’ve yammered on for an age and I haven’t even given you a link to this fabled tome of testing triumph, intrigue, adversity, heroes and villains. Great battles with Poll Tax, Pyramids, Agile, Automation, APIs and Ourselves. These sagas built to inspire, caution, instruct and marvel all. It is a pay-what-you-want system (with a minimum currently) and the proceeds are raising money for this perfectly themed charity.
Thanks for reading both this and hopefully Testing Stories ❤