45 Writing Tips

The wonderful Caitlin Lambert has written a post with 45 Writing Tips From Actual Writers. I am truly honoured that she’s chosen to include a writing tip that I suggested:

Try to write every day, even if it’s just for a minute. Next week, aim for five minutes, then ten, then fifteen. Good habits are difficult to get into but if you can write every day it will give you the best possible start.”

I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I don’t always follow my own damn advice. Some days I just don’t get around to doing it, or I’m just not feeling that the muse has struck me (or is stood behind me with a mallet threatening me with a beating if I don’t hit that keyboard), even though in those moments I should write about what it’s like to not feel those itchy writing fingers. Mea culpa, dear reader; despite any rumours to the contrary, I’m only human. ;p

This is me after five minute with Gmail's new layout

Writer’s block, thy name is evil.

State of Testing survey

A shiny new State of Testing survey is now running on Joel Montvelisky’s excellent QA Intelligence blog; I must confess I’d not actually read any of it until recently, but I’ve skimmed through a couple of several articles and it is now officially on my “to-read” list of blogs and articles related to QA and Software Testing.   The survey itself is a collaboration between the guys at Tea Time With Testers (a monthly e-magazine also well worth reading) and QA Intelligence.

I’ll be extremely interested to see the results of this survey, but that hopeful statement comes with a caveat.  Survey results are only as good as the final data set.  The more Testers and QAs who answer this survey honestly from more countries and companies of all shapes and sizes, the better a picture those crunching the numbers will be able to provide.  So, if you work as a  Software Tester/QA/Grand High Poo-Bah of Bugs[1] then please do fill this out.  Admittedly, there are issues around a self-selecting survey sample, but I’m assuming that whoever ends up doing the data analysis and commenting on the survey results will be taking that factor – amongst many others – into account.

If you want to help make the survey a success, do take heed of the suggestions already made by Joel, which can be summed up as blog about it, mention it to all of your tester friends and colleagues and generally plug it all over whatever flavours of social media take your fancy.

In a similar vein, Cole Henley has been running a survey for the last three years with a focus on Developers rather than testers, focusing on freelancer rates.  An excellent breakdown and analysis of the 2012 results are on Cole’s blog here.   The results on the 2013 survey are on the Mud Blog, which covers how freelancers work as well as how they charge what their rates are.  I hope that the State of Testing survey will be as thorough in its approach.

The State of Testing survey can be taken right here.

[1] Delete as applicable.

Death and Taxes

Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin

I’m sure that those currently scouring the grounds of Miskantonic University for the errant Schrödinger’s cat who departed from the Quantum Research laboratory would certainly agree with Mr Franklin’s assessment.   Another interested in the first certainty is the writer of the Blog of Death, which provides Obituaries of the famous, infamous and interesting unknowns.

For those with a more macabre sense of humour, there’s always the Stick Figure Death Theatre with more animated stick figure flash movies and games than even the greatest men of leisure have time to watch.  Just don’t get me started on taxes.