Schedule and Events

March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
July, 16-18, 2012 - Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2012), San Jose, California
August 2012+ - At Liberty; available. Contact me by email:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

An update from Matt's day job

My last company was really top flight. I enjoyed my time at Priority Health; it's a good company. Toward, the end though, I had this odd experience. I struck up a conversation with a guy in the lunch line, and he said "My name is Mark, and I am in IT."

That was totally obvious to me. In fact, the guy sat diagonally from me, one row across and one cubical over. He had been with the company a year.

How is it possible that Mark not only did not know me, but he didn't even realize what department I was in?

Somehow, I had access to people, names, faces, and expertise that he did not. I had a /tacit/, /implicit/ network that was not publicly available. Even if he read the wiki we used for team collaboration extensively, he probably wouldn't know what I looked like. And even if he did, it's doubtful that he could connect to me when he thought of say, automating testing of large database recordsets.

It turns out that the tools we lacked at Priority are the same tools you might get from Myspace, or FaceBook, or possibly LinkedIn. But there's no way way to get those tools inside a company ... yet.

So I went to work for Socialtext.

Last week at the enterprise 2.0 show, Information Week Magazine interviewed Ross Mayfield, our president and chair of our board. (He gave a keynote speech at the show; Socialtext suffers no slobs.)

In the interview, which is up on Youtube, Ross shows off our latest product offerings here.

It's a great time to be a tester.

More to come.


Anonymous said...

This is an aside from your main point, but even with the best social networking tools available, I will still make the same awkward introductions as Mark. Some people just aren't wired the same way, and we don't easily recognize faces. Instead we have to rely on other clues like voice, hair color, glasses and context.

I met you at GTAC and see your picture on this blog every time you post, but my chances of recognizing you next time we meet are slim.

Anonymous said...

I agree that video is the most engaging form of online media today, and it only looks like it is set to get bigger. It seems though, that the concept of using social networking and video for businesses to increase engagement and enhance collaboration, both externally and internally, has not really reached its full potential.
This seems like a step in the right direction but it is true that social networking tools don't automatically mean you will recognize someone on the street as the web is virtual and may never constitute to forging real relationships.

Patrick said...

My team has gone through some major changes in the past few years. We now work from home more often and we are responsible for client endpoints for both our domestic and international business units. We have leveraged desktop video conference, VoIP, IM, SMS, etc, to stay more connected when we are working with remote business partners. But technology is only a tool and the largest hurdle that we face is our own limitations on meaningful connectivity when not physically together. Almost my entire job can be done from home but there seems to be a physiological disconnect between my team mates if we do not meet together at least once a week. I think that this is a personal limitation because there are others that work in other states that I work better with remotely then team members that are physically next to me.
I think that the next generation will have far fewer issues with physical isolation while still maintaining a social connects since this is the world that they grew up in.