The Age of Reason

I just finished reading Measuring The World which is a wonderful historic novel about the world in the 18th and early 19th century. In many ways, the book explores the death of the Greek mythology and folklore and the beginning of science. Aristotle’s earth/air/water/fire theory is replaced by the periodic table of the elements, Carl Frederich Gauss works on astronomy, and Alexander Von Humbolt destroys the idea that the earth is cold at it’s core. The age of reason begins.

We are at a similar age in the world of software development. After being told for years by the gurus how we “should” do things, people are finally willing to challenge tradition and experiment – especially in the world of software testing.

To be charitable, let us say that I have a healthy skepticism of some of those gurus, and the lingo, maturity models, and certifications they often support. Instead of joining other causes, I am just about as likely to found my own – such as the Grand Rapids Perl Mongers, the Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC), or SW-IMPROVE.

When I do participate in groups, I tend to come off as an outsider. Perhaps it is personality, I’m not sure. I do note when a group has more than it’s fair share of bright minds, and tend to pay attention.

You’ll note that my blogroll, at right, isn’t about companies, it is about people – people I have personally met who impressed me. A disproportionate number of them are active, vocal members of the Association for Software Testing.

When I found out that the board of the AST was, more or less, the same people, I took a little more notice.

… and, yesterday night, I sent in my $50.00 and joined. Not on the accomplishments of the group (it doesn’t have any yet), not on the prestige of joining (uh, I paid $50, so what?) not on the benefits (no magazine, no discounts, no impressive certificates) but solely on my esteem for it’s leaders.

As I said before, we are just at the cusp of an age of exploration in software testing. I really don’t care about the name of the union I join.

I care about the quality of the people who are in my boat.

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