In 2009 I was in the process of winding down the small business I had started teaching drumming and music in general, mostly aimed at drummers in pipe bands but also other forms of drumming. In early 2010 I shuttered the blog I had on drumming, and in fact had not posted anything in since July of the year before.
The "downturn" in the economy in 2008 had played havoc among small pipe bands, from whence most of the students attending workshops or taking lessons came from.
This left me with a pile of time on my hands, and I found myself diving headlong into software and testing conferences. I had a new gig in 2008 and was helping folks find learning opportunities around software. One thing led to another and I ended up taking my boss's place at a conference in Toronto where I met loads of people whose work I had read and been influenced by.
Fiona Charles, Michael Bolton and many more people I learned from and mentioned over the years in this blog, I met for the first time at that first conference. I determined to attend and participate in more. I determined that I had a message to give and I could share what I had learned, even though I was not a famous guru.
An immediate outcome was creating this blog.
In my very first post, Good Morning Tester Land, on May 1, 2010, I wrote this:
What are rhythms? They are patterns - ideas and concepts that can be found in the expression of music. Like any form of pattern, they can be found in other places as well. Typing on a keyboard gives a specific rhythm that can be identified. Seams in the pavement while driving to work gives an audible rhythm that sometimes mixes with the windshield wipers...
My intent, therefore, is to use this space to talk about testing and other topics related to software, and the patterns and rhythms I see and hear and participate in around me.
I have tried to do that. I still talk with people about patterns and rhythms. Over the last 10 years I have spoken at many conferences, made many friends and learned far more than I knew existed to be learned.
I have made many friends and found deep wells of wisdom I cam call on when needed. I try and share what I have learned openhandedly.
At the same time I offended people. I never intended to cause hurt and I know I did. For all those things I apologize and renew my annual intent to be a better person t-an I was the year, and now the decade, before.
While I have done a fair amount of speaking, I intend to reduce that significantly going forward. I have some writing I want to do and I am looking at other means of sharing ideas and lessons.
I want to find a way to work with individuals and small groups to help them discover how they can improve themselves. This might be in testing, things "agile," or even getting their own message out.
These are things I have wrestled with and made a point to remember my early struggles, I still remember how hard it was to learn some things and I try to draw on those memories when helping others.
I get called an expert a fair amount these days. Frankly, I get called that more than I feel comfortable with. I explain I simply have experiences and perspectives that I can draw on to help people.
Am I the same person I was 10 years ago? No. Far from it. I have learned a great deal. I have tried to teach and share what I have learned.
I try every day to be better than I was.
Thank you to everyone who participated in my journey of learning.