I have been back in Copenhagen a few days now after Anna Royzman’s excellent fall 2016 testing conference Reinventing Testers in New York during the week of September 25th to 29th 2016. This is the first of probably a few blog posts sharing thoughts and inspiration from the conference.
I am a test consultant. Helping solving clients testing problems efficiently and in meaningful ways is crucial to me. Reinventing and reasserting myself as needed, and staying critical to both my own preformed ideas and towards others’ is necessary.
I need to go to testing conferences. It allows me a break out of my daily social obligations so that I can better stay true to what I believe in.
It is about getting new inspiration, learning and sharing, and eventually about maintaining my performance as a tester and test manager.
During the Reinventing Testers conference, I had some very interesting discussions with James Bach about freedom. He and I agree that personal freedom is fundamental in testing.
“The human spirit should not be put under a hat,” he said at one point during the conference, and I fully agree. But freedom is also about relation.
I walked around Lower Manhattan on Wednesday, and in the window of a bank or insurance company of some sort, I saw a message on a poster: Feeling free is not worrying what your neighbors think.
The message disturbed me as I feel underlying it is a reassertion to the lonely and insecure that other people should not matter: That one is only free, alone.
This is obviously wrong.
True freedom depend on us becoming ourselves, but certainly also on relations towards other people: Shared and differing talents, perceptions, opinions, values, moral codexes.
People are different, but we’re tied together in so many ways.
In technology, freedom relates to safety and quality. I started writing this blog post on the way home on an SAS Airbus A340-300 which was at the time flying more than 900 km/h through the thin air, 12 km above the North Atlantic.
The flight was good and safe, and I was free to think there.
But only because people had worked to make it safe.
And this is important: A good deal of the work needed to make systems safe involves careful testing and as testers we relate to people: Clients, users, stakeholders etc.
We help make them free.
The conference had a special nerve, I think, and I think I can label it.
If you see something, say something, signs say in the New York subway. New Yorkers don’t have to all like each other, but it was obvious to me, that they know that they are only free, together.
And that is a pretty cool attitude to freedom, I think.