Due to a recent fortituous change in my personal circumstances, I'm suddenly able to attend the Writing About Testing Conference if I'm selected for it. Here's the brief that I submitted.
I didn't set out to become a tester. I just wanted to make better software.
As a developer, I realized that there was only so much I could improve the end product by honing my individual skills. Being human, sooner or later I was going to make a mistake, and that'd yield a bug. Obviously something different needed to be done if I ever hoped to produce software with fewer defects than I (or any individual developer) create. That train of thought doesn't go very far before it pulls into QA station.
Landing a testing role with Ken Pier, Chris McMahon, and Matt Heusser at Socialtext was an incredible stroke of fortune. I got to jump in with both feet and learn from an amazing group of people; in fact, I sometimes feel as though I've somehow landed in the master class without having graduated from kindergarten yet. I've heard of enough different paths to becoming a tester that I don't feel exceptional in this regard.
I'm curious about how people end up getting into test, and what we do when we're new to the field (often transitioning from somewhere else). I'm interested in bringing my unique set of talents to bear in this field while avoiding yesterday's pitfalls. I want to write about my experience simply in the hopes that it'll be useful to others -- so they can see what I've tried, try it themselves if it seems to have gone well, or avoid repeating my mistakes if it didn't.
In testing, the notion of diversity (of approaches, of the team) is a powerful one. I hope I can stumble across and write about experiences that other people might not chance across, and that they'll do the same for me. Harnessing our collective diversity and learning from each other is how we advance the state of our craft. I'd like to take part.