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The Angry Tester

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I just got finished reading through the blog of one of the “Test Celebrities”.   You know the ones I’m talking about – they write the books, speak at all the conferences, etc.   I have to admit, I don’t like many of them.  I went to a conference once and watched three of them gang up on a poor speaker.  They all share one thing in common – believe as they tell you or else.  How dare anyone disagree with them?  Well I do, often, and I’m saying it here!

My experience also hit home – I never want to be one of them!  I’ll give you my 2-cents worth here, but it is just that….my opinion.  Take it or leave it.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  Please disagree with me – I encourage it!  I’m not the expert in software testing, nor have I or will I, ever claim to be.  Unlike my “colleagues” I would never publically humiliate a speaker.

Anyway – I digress.   This “Test Celebrity” is very angry.  There were two particular hot strings to follow.  The first is an ongoing feud between himself and another celebrity.  The second – someone had the audacity to question the expert.  How dare they!  The really sad part is that they seem to have followers who are just as angry, if not more so.

I disagreed with one of them once.  I was following a software testing mail list and made a comment (nothing  derogatory) about a task they were giving to the members of the list.  Basically they presented a test scenario and asked the members to write in describing how they would test it.   I had seen this tactic before.  They would typically provide a nasty response back to the group if anyone dared to think differently.  I wrote back simply saying that it might be a helpful learning experience if the “celebrity” told the group how he would handle it using their process.  The next day one of  the other “celebrities” added a post to the group publically ridiculing ME! Again, I’m open to disagreement and I have no problem if you disapprove of me or my ideas in a public forum.  But this was just downright nasty!  Something that would have best been delivered in a private email and not a public post.  He was also one of the culprits that ridiculed the conference speaker.  Needless to say, I have absolutely no respect for him or his ideas.

So who do I like?  Very few.  I can count them on one hand.  I read their stuff (books, articles, etc.) all the time and I’ve implemented some of their ideas.  They are not only entertaining – they know their stuff.  I try to never miss a chance to see them.  Three speakers to never miss:  Randy Rice, James Whitaker, and Lee Copeland.  The “always miss” list has 4 members, but I’ll keep that one to myself.  I won’t seek them out, but if they are at a conference I’m attending I’ll stop by for a visit.  Payback is a b%^&*!    GAME ON!   :o)



  1. I’m at a point where I’m recognizing the big names, but honestly, the blogs I read are more often are the blogs of people who read and comment on my blog.

    Respect is a big deal in my book, and public ridicule or disrespect is totally uncool. I haven’t seen this amongst the QA community, but if/when I do, I’m with you, Dave. I follow those that encourage, respect, and openly share information. We can learn from differences of opinion, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to disagree.

  2. A well-put post; I share your opinions of certain testing “celebrities” (I wonder if they’re the same people that you’re thinking of ? ;-)) The best way to push back against such arrogance is to lead by example and keep questioning; I like that you’re doing so.

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