March 9, 2009

5 Questions (Plus 1) for Phil Kirkham

5? (+1) for 

My friend Phil Kirkham's blog - Expected Results - is all about "Testing, managing, consulting, quality and the art of motorcyle maintenance". 

Recently, he has been writing a nice series of "5 Questions For..." posts.

So since he asked me five questions, I thought I'd turn the tables a bit and ask him.  And since I don't want to steal his idea completely, I decided to "improve" on it by asking him a bonus sixth question as well.

(Phil says he "didn't realise it was so hard answering them".  Now you know, Phil.  Now you know.)

1. Why did you start blogging and what were you hoping to get out of it ?
( and have you got what you hoped for ? )

Started it because the place I was working at at that time no-one was interested in testing so I had no-one to discuss ideas, concepts, theories with. It also seemed a good idea to help get my name known in case I wanted to move on. (sadly it didn't help, they were more interested in if I had the ISEB certification)

When I did start it I got a lot of encouragement to keep it going ( especially from Antony Marcano and the SQA forums people)
I've got way more out of it than I could ever have imagined - a lot of great contacts, a lot of encouragement and a great boost to my confidence as people seem to like what I write
2. What have you learned from doing your blog?
That the testing community is a friendly helpful place (apart from the occasional cat fight that breaks out) 
3. Do you track your visitors - if so, any unusual searches to find your blog ?
I do track them - my post about a 50 year old test gets a lot of hits - probably from people hitting middle age :)

as does my CSI testing one - I do wonder what people are looking for with that one
Or maybe I dont want to know
4. Do you have a favorite post that you have written?
I could keep adding entries to my list of test blogs that complain about testing being confused with QA

And the lack of quality testers still seems to be a problem

- especially now that I'm helping moderate the Software Testing Club and see the questions that get asked (but other readers never see !) 
5. Any advice to new bloggers ?
Do it !

Write about your experiences and thoughts - anything that reads like a cut n paste from a textbook or marketing hype isn't worth reading. The point of a blog, for me, is to share my thoughts and experiences and get feedback on them
6. Clearly, you read a lot of blogs. What do you like to see in a blog that makes it interesting for you, and makes you want to keep coming back?
Probably the same as outlined in the advice to new bloggers -
Someone writing about their experiences and ideas, new ideas , an opinion - basically anything that gets me to think, something I could use at work. I might not even agree with the viewpoint of some of the blogs I read - but they force me to think about reasons why I am right and they are wrong
And any blogs that have a good old rant that shows passion are always good to help keep me energised
Thanks, Phil!