Anarchy in the AST

I’ve just finished doing exactly the same course. If I can adequately muster my thoughts on this, I’ll do my own write-up in due course (no pun intended). I think Geoff’s post is a great summation of it.


 This week I completed the Association for Software Testing’s “Black Box Software Testing — Foundations” course. (That’s a mouthful and a half.) I’d intended to weigh its merits beside those of the ISTQB’s “Foundations” course, but this is going to be a straight review instead, occasionally using the other for contrast.

First Impressions

Initially I found the BBST course to be massively overwhelming. The welcome email leads to Moodle, where there are all kinds of forums, tabs, documents, and links.  Students are buried in information and unread forum posts. Once I figured out where my weekly assignments were, I was able to get going. ( assignments are helpfully listed on a spreadsheet, because presumably EVERYONE is confused by the Moodle set up).

I started pulling 4 hour days, something I was able to do because of training time provided by work.  It was clear I wasn’t going to do all…

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A belated list of New Years Resolutions

“New Year resolutions are not by force but they help us forge on better, help us avoid the mistakes which tried to hold us back in the past.”
– Author unknown.  Source,

First off, an apology for not posting to this blog more frequently; I’ve been crazy busy with work, moreso than at any other time since I became self-employed as a Software Tester, so I’ve had very little in the way of free time (more on that later, honest guv).

I’m a fan of lists.  The very act of getting what I need to do down on the page helps to concentrate the mind and gets me focused on the tasks ahead.  The following are not stritcly speaking New Years Resolutions, as I’ve had these kicking around in the back of my mind for a while even before the start of 2013, but I feel they’re worth putting down nevertheless.

  1. Manage my time better.  There are only so many hours in the day, so I really do need to get the best out of that finite resource by making sure that I don’t waste any of it.
  2. Keep a sensible work-life balance.  I’ve had points in my working life where I’ve done nothing but work; while that resulted in the sense of a job well done, I had no energy or time left to spend time with friends and family, or even just flumping on the sofa watching TV as I was working long weekends as well.
  3. Make sure I can pay the bills.  While money isn’t everything, I need enough of it in the bank to at least pay for rent, food, travel, the odd night out and a bit of a holiday break (see point 2) now and then.
  4. Self-improvement should be an ongoing project.  I want to work on improving those aspects of myself that I feel need work, not just because some of them will make me a better Tester and thus better able to pay the bills (see point 3), but also because it will give me a sense of personal satisfaction.
  5. Track and re-evaluate my progress and my priorities on a regular basis. There’s no point making lots of plans and then not following through on them.  Life is a moving target, so there’s also no point aiming for something that’s no longer worth the effort or is now less of an issue than it was.

Five is a nice uneven number of resolutions, so I’ll leave it at that for now.  Given point 5, this all could well be subject to change.  I hope you’re having a prosperous new year and that continues onwards and upwards?  What did you set out to do this year and are you succeeding?