Monday, December 8, 2014

Voices From The Past 1: Introduction

Over the last couple of weeks we've been doing a garage and storage clean up.  I know we're not alone in storing personal items way past their "sell by date".  Hence it's time for a good clearup of items, some destined for sale or for dumping.

"What kind of things?", you ask.  Well I've found some VHS cassettes (we don't have a player any more), boxes of video games we kept "just in case" (we don't have the original game system), some old computer bits and pieces (128MB memory anyone?) and a text book on Fortran 90 (yeah Fortan ...).

What I was really excited about though were a set of old exercise books that I found which have various ages on them.  The oldest date back to when I was 13, some are from University, and others "relatively recently" after the birth of my son.  Sadly there was a couple I'd hoped to find, but they may well be MIA.

Some were short story attempts, some were lab notes (with poems in the back), some were role playing campaign designs.  I'm happy to see them all and reconnect in different ways with my past.

Most interesting to me though are the journals I've tried to create, and often been unsuccessful.  This wasn't helped by me keeping a diary during high school which got stolen, and basically the details passed around.  Ironically these days through this blog I probably live my life much more openly than anything I'd ever put into my diary back then - probably because age has taught me to not be afraid, and I realise sometimes you need someone to come out and be open about some of the key subjects I've chosen to talk about (thinking here about my mental health series).

Looking back at anything you've written over a decade ago has an element of fear around.  I know in testing over the 4 year life of this blog I've found my own attitude and understanding of testing has changed.  I'm sometimes tempted to go back and change or even delete some entries - I found this recently when I reposted The View From The Test Manager's Gallery which was originally published in Testing Circus in 2011.  There are subtle changes I'd make to that piece, especially the slight emphasis of metrics, whereas today I'd call it "reporting".  We live ... we learn.

But to my surprise there are things there that I've really enjoyed writing, and even worthy of looking at on this blog.  And hence this series where I look back at some of my writing from the past and either repeat it, or else analyse how it impacts me in the present.

What has surprised me reading - although I've only been writing about testing for 4 years, I've been trying to explore the big picture of "what is important, what matters, what is truth?".  These are good questions for testers - testing is about being the philosophers, scientists and explorers after all of the digital world.

Enjoy ...

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