Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Joining the ISST

Some weeks ago I was asked to join the ISST (http://commonsensetesting.org) as a founding member. The group was presented as a force for the spread of context-driven testing* - it's mission and objectives were something I saw as a force for good. (* I've never called myself a context-driven tester - and some may think I have my own cdt principles - anyway….)
Why Join?
I didn't know who else was in the organization more than the board - it wasn't sold to me as though, "Hey Dave Merenghi is joining so what about you?" - so why did I join?

I knew the board, I liked the mission - and I knew that these were probably guys that could achieve that mission - that was a differentiator (for me).
No brainer...
Yes, working for these causes was a no-brainer (for me), but as in most things I do, I occasionally let my tester brain off the leash. I asked questions about the mission, key differentiators for the organization, fees (their use and what a prospective member might get for it), how members and founding members could contribute and organizational structure
Good enough...
I got answers - and answers that satisfied me. But the key part for me - I could be in this organization and so help drive the direction of it. 
Got a question?
I think the board has been very open about answering questions from members and potential members. Need an answer? Try the contact page: http://commonsensetesting.org/contact/
Free lunch...
The fee? Well, it's a non-profit organization and - as I understand it - the fee will be used to facilitate work attached to the mission and objectives. I know the board, so it's maybe easier for me to accept that than some that don't know them. I've yet to see a real free lunch though - there's always payment (or an agenda/politics/favour) somewhere. I joined and paid (technically, paid first) so I can be on the journey.
Positive, not negative...
Do you want to win the lottery - well you have to be in it to win it. Do you want to engage and work for something that can be hugely positive - I'm in - I'm not going to bash anything non-cdt, I'm going to work for good testing - rooted in value advocacy for testing skill.
Knowledge work -> original problems...
I want to be onboard for the journey - the route is not mapped out -> just like most original problems. 

The board, founding members and new members (I've seen via twitter so far) comprise a great set of minds - I want to work with those testers in tackling some of the key problems that testers have today -> whether that is highlighting the importance of tester skill, helping communicate the value of testing to higher execs and so relate tester value to business value (as well as vice versa) [BTW, who else is working on that today?] Or why not introducing a bit of common sense along the way…. 
My take on one outcome I can envisage -> Reframing the testing problem, reframing the business problem and see how testing and testers can help the business - an exec might call that "good common sense".

In the next year, I want to commit to the cause, be part of the energy that everyone joining brings. The organization needs the energy of the members to help achieve its mission and objectives. I'm in. 
Crystal ball time...
If this grouping hasn't achieved anything in one year's time then it could be called a failure, but right now, I'm confident with the people on board - and there's room for other intelligent testers that are maybe not part of it, yet - it won't be.
Already joined?
If you're part of the journey too, I'd be interested in your take.

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