before we begin

Ok here it is. I submit.

I’ve been bugged about blogging for years. “Where’s JW’s blog?” “Why doesn’t JW blog?” …and so forth and et cetera. Well, the blog is here and why I haven’t been blogging up to now is no longer relevant so I won’t bore you with it. Instead, here’s the blog and I’ll do my best to ensure that it’s worth the wait.

For those of you familiar with my writing I plan to update some of my more dated work (history of testing, testing’s ten commandments, and so forth) and preview some of the information that I will be publishing in paper and book form in the future. Specifically, I now (finally) have enough notes to revise my tutorial on manual exploratory testing: How to Break Software and will be embarking on that effort soon. This blog is where I’ll solicit feedback and report on my progress.

For now, here’s an update on what’s happening, testing-wise, for me at Microsoft:

· I am the Architect for Visual Studio Team System – Test Edition. That’s right, Microsoft is upping the ante in the test tools business and I find myself at the center of it. What can you expect? We’ll be shipping more than just modern replacements for tired old testing tools. We’ll be shipping tools to help testers to test: automated assistance for the manual tester; bug reporting that brings developers and testers together instead of driving them apart; and tools that make testers a far more central player in the software development process. I can’t wait!

· I am the Chair of the Quality and Testing Experts Community at Microsoft. This is an internal community of the most senior testing and quality thought leaders in the company. We kicked off the community with record-breaking attendance (the most of any of Microsoft’s technical network communities) at our inaugural event this past spring where some of our longest-tenured testers shared a retrospective of the history of testing at Microsoft followed by my own predictions for the future of the discipline. It was a lively discussion and underscored the passion for testing that exists at this company. In this quarter’s meeting we’re doing communal deep dives into the testing-related work that is coming out of Microsoft Research. MSR, the division responsible for Virtual Earth and the Worldwide Telescope also builds test tools! I can’t wait to ship some of this stuff!

· I am representing my division (DevDiv) on a joint project with Windows called a Quality Quest. Our quest is concerned with quality, specifically, what we need to do to ensure that our next generation of platforms and services are so reliable that users take quality for granted. Sounds like I took the blue pill, doesn’t it? Well, you won’t find us dancing around acting like our software is perfect. Anyone who has ever heard me speak (either before or after I joined Microsoft) has seen me break our apps with abandon. In this Quest, we’ll leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of why our systems fail and what processes or technology can serve to correct the situation.

So here it is: the start of a blog that I hope will allow me to share my testing enthusiasm with a wide variety of folks who both agree and disagree with my strategy and tactics. Perhaps, just perhaps, enough of us will join the dialog to help add to the collective voice of those who just want software to work.