New season, new job – must be time to start blogging again…

The weather is cooling, school has started, and the long, warm days of summer are starting to fade from my mind. It’s hard to believe that fall is upon us, but it is. It also means that my seemingly annual hiatus from blogging must end and I must get back to posting.

But before we move on, I suppose I should give a brief summer retrospective…

  • As usual, my family took a couple of vacations this summer. Around the 4th of July, we went to Ely, MN. Ely is a gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the home of the International Wolf Center. My 10 year old daughter has been very interested in wolves and, being dog lovers, the Behind the Scenes program at the center was pretty cool for all of us.
  • Summer in Minnesota was warm and dry this year, leading to record low number of mosquitoes and some great lake weather. We spent a week and a few weekends enjoying the family lake cabin.
  • On the Fantasy baseball front, my team has been a disappointment. My MBF powered RotoDrafter application helped me buy a team which had the best projected season in the league coming out of the auction, earning the team the name “The Paper Champions”. Unfortunately, analysis is only as good as the input data and it turns out the projections for my players haven’t been all that accurate. If they haven’t underperformed or been injured, they underperformed AND been injured. After spending most of the season near the bottom of the league, the Paper Champions ‘surged’ to the middle of the pack a few weeks ago. But I’ve been slowly sinking back down instead of making the next step up into the payout money. Oh well, there’s always next year.
  • Thankfully, my Minnesota Twins have continued to make the baseball season interesting. Can they hold on for a playoff spot? It’s too close to call at this point.
  • I started using my bike for my 23 mile round trip commute some this summer. In doing so, I managed to justify the purchase of a new bike to myself in August. I haven’t gotten to use it as much as I would like, but my Redline Conquest cyclocross bike is a fun ride.
  • Oh yeah, we did manage to get some work done this summer. We continue to flesh out our Customization story and checked in some cool functionality in the milestone that we are just wrapping up. I got to demo our bits to Steve Ballmer in August – a definite summer highlight!

Finally, there’s also the new job thing that I referenced in the title of the post. I’m just now transitioning to a new role as the Test Manager for our Dynamics Tools team in Fargo. I’ve done a fair amount of testing related activities in my pre-Microsoft days, so I’m pretty excited about this opportunity. It will bring lots of new challenges as it’s a bigger team with a different set of problems.

I expect my blogging will take on a decidedly more test oriented spin in the coming months as I come up to speed on testing a large scale project. What does it take to build a great test team? Can testing be done in an agile manner? I certainly hope so as I won’t be happy if it can’t! I’ll keep you posted as I go.