Nine and a half years ago I wrote a blog post, offering a black-belt test challenge. Markus Gaertner, who I knew of and was about to know well, got heavily involved and asked about the system – what does it mean to be a black-belt exactly? I got my belt from JCPenny, so Miagi-Do was born.
More seriously, Miagi-Do Software Testing was the intersection of a few ideas. First, a few of us were excited about the idea of testing puzzles and challenges that simulate real problems, but are constrained and scoped to something small, usually a physical object. Second, it was an opportunity to do personal development and mentoring with a very small hurdle – you have to do the work.
This also created an opportunity for a few people. So you say you don’t have the money to pay for consulting or training? I get it. You can’t afford to go to a conference? Okay. You can’t even buy a book? FINE. If you are willing to do the work, I’ll work with a few people. Not surprisingly we eventually had belts which allowed us to focus on developing people at different career levels. We had a mailing list, even, at one point, a blog and domain.
The mailing list still exists, although google search has made it remarkably hard to find the yahoo group. (It was nine years ago.)
Back … To The Present
First, thank you for voting me in to the board of the Association for Software Testing. This years CAST was about much more than that. It was a time to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, talk about testing, and learn.
The old hunger for excellence is still there. In fact, most of Miagido is still there. All three of the new members of AST were former members of Miagido.
There’s those pesky words. “Were” and “Former.”
I had the chance of facilitating a talk run by Aleksander Lipski, a former Miagido member from Poland, speaking at CAST for the first time.
Rachel Kibler asked me “What’s the Migido thing?”
What do I say? “Well, it was …”
Was. Were. Former.
The reality is that I have time and energy to do the sort of peer mentoring that Miagido was created to do. For that matter, the greatest musical disappointment of my life is probably that John, Paul, George and Ringo never got the band back together.
So here goes nothing.
Time For A Reboot
I would like to continue the peer mentoring program commonly known as Miagido. Around the CAST time period, I took on two new students. Having done this a time or two, it may be time to formalize and document our system. For time being, I’ll use the old, familiar Miagido terms and methods, but what we create might be new.
Then again, it might not be. There are plenty of people who thought that Miagido was silly, goofy, unprofessional. The name was chosen on-purpose both as a movie reference but also so it could never be commercialized. This is work done for the benefit of the test community, and the benefit of those willing to do the work.
Excelon does have a wider, broader community called Software Delivery 24/7.
It may be time for a smaller one again.