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:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What Matt has been up to

Woa. Some cobwebs on Creative Chaos, eh? Seems like Matt Hasn't been very busy, doesn't it?

Gosh, I sure hope you don't think that. Let me bring you up to speed:

a) I've split up my blogging into two places - here (always free, no-registration required) and for the Software Test Performance Collaborative - still free, registration required.

b) That blogging now includes recruiting, running and managing a weekly podcast "This Week in Software Testing" - also free for the new shows. To get the old content, you'll need to be a paid member of SoftwareTestProfessionals.Com. Don't want to pay? You can download every episode as they come out, or you can participate in various contests on the blogs. Or write an article for the magazine.

c) I'm still micro-blogging on twitter under the username mheusser.

d) I'm still producing a column for the magazine, now known as "Software Test & Quality Assurance" magazine, or STQA. After two years of writing a encyclopedia-style column were we defined key terms used in the "theme" of the issue, we decided to shake things up a bit and write an interview column. Each issue we'll gather questions from the community for a 'test expert' and have them answer. For the August issue we interviewed Michael Bolton; the extended interview is now available on-line. I'm at the point now where I need recruits to interview, and shortly after that, I'll need questions ...

e) Beyond working with the fine folks at STP, occasionally I get a bit of time to work with other publishers, including the folks at SearchSoftwareQuality. That includes a few podcast-style interviews, a tutorial on the Selenium IDE, a good place for classic testers to learn about Selenium, as well as a two-part tutorial on Selenium RC, which is a start for programmer-types. (Link to Part I and Part II here). I also just wrote a small piece on Effective Bug Reporting Techniques for SSQ.

f) We finally put the Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2010) to bed last night with a conference retrospective. We held it in Grand Rapids, Michigan in early August. Instead of presenting, I helped out with the local logistics, recruiting some sponsors, and organizing and funding the evening receptions. CAST 2011 will be in Seattle, Washington. With Jon Bach as the conference chair and James as the program chair, I suspect it will be amazing.

g) With one conference to bed, it's time for me to worry about the next one! STPCon is going to be October 19-21 in Last Vegas, Nevada. It starts the 17th if you grab a two-day pre-conference tutorial. I'm a "track chair" for the hands-on track sessions, I'm running one of the track sessions, running a panel on how to decrease costs in testing, and organizing a lightning-talk like session. Oh, and there will likely be a Monday night reception.

h) Day job! Full time as a member of the technical staff specializing in test for Socialtext. At least I managed to skip the commute, otherwise this stuff would be impossible.

i) It's about time for me to re-start teaching religious education for fourth and fifth grade at my Church during the school year, plus coaching soccer for this fall. (See, I have a life outside of work. Really. Occasionally. Sorta.)

j) I just wrapped up a two-year night teaching position at Calvin College. It was really great, but due to a-i, plus not commuting into Grand Rapids anymore, something had to give. I have small children at home; it would be nice to occasionally see them.

... and then I went crazy.

No, at least semi-seriousy. Based on a discussion on the LinkedIn Discussion list, I just signed up to be the lead editor on a collection of essays on how to reduce he cost of software testing to be published by CRC Press in early 2011.

We've got a good team. We had some solid progress before we signed the contract.

But I did just sign and email the contract last week, and our completed, publisher-ready draft is due Nov 1st.

More to come; at the very least, I'll try to blog pointers to interesting work elsewhere.

But forgive me if I haven't been blogging here much. As I hope you can see, I've been ... kinda busy.

And that was before I went crazy. :-)


Lisa said...

Wow, and I thought I was too busy! Congrats on so many accomplishments and thanks for so many contributions that help us all!

I'm still bugged by that "reduce the cost of testing" concept. It's the wrong focus IMHO. It brings up images of outsourced test teams. I'd much rather see "increase the value of the product".

Joe said...


Next time I feel like I have "too much to do", I'll re-read this post.

Matthew said...

Thank you for the kind words. One thing I think I can say about the "Reducing the cost book" is that it will be delivered with integrity -- which will /not/ look like the cliche you are afraid of.

Or maybe that's two things. :-)

DiscoveredTester said...

Wow, and I thought with Scouting back in my life that I was the only one going insane. Matt Heusser, perhaps we should grant you a title of Earl of Testing, or some such for all the balls you are juggling at one time. I know many folks appreciate the work that's resulted from your efforts, and the blogs and TWiST Podcast have been fantastic!

It's interesting that you also are coaching soccer. I bet those kids really get their kicks out of soccer too. As it happens I'll be coaching again this year (3rd year) in our Upward Program, but I have no idea no idea what division yet.

I share Lisa's concern about "reducing costs in testing", But perhaps the aim could be achieved, if you could increase testing's efficiency, by using more agile methods to have a whole software life cycle testing process? I look forward to reading whatever it ends up being though!

Michael Larsen said...

Matt, I know the feeling... and I know you know *how* I know (LOL!).

Your reality sounds a lot like mine, just add being a Scoutmaster and a Venturing Crew Advisor to the mix, and you have my reality (and a daughter playing soccer, and a boy starting high school).

Crazy is a good place to be... it beats being bored by a country mile ;).

Mel Bugai said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one juggling too much. Stay humble, keep praying, and remember what the word 'no' sounds like coming from your own mouth.

Joel Montvelisky said...

I will need to write WOW one more time here.

And now for the magic question(/s): How do you manage to do all this? Do you sleep at all?

Doing only about half the stuff you listed here I feel like I need to get a 32 hour day...

Keep it up Matt!

Matthew said...

Joel -

Did I mention I went crazy? :-)

Seriously, I'm at about 100% of operational capacity. That means if anything goes wrong, I don't have life energy for it. And Soccer starts tonight. :-)

I have learned a few tricks over the years. Might make a good blog series ...