My Stump Speech – Asking for your Vote for AST Board

Hello! My name is Eric Proegler, and I am Context-Driven.

I am writing today about my candidacy for the Association for Software Testing Board of Directors. I’d like to tell you a little more about me, and why I’m running.

I live in Mountain View, California and work for SOASTA. I have worked in testing for 16 years, and been engaged with the CDT community for 11.

Of the work I’ve done in the testing community, I am most proud of being a Speak Easy mentor. I’m also an organizer of a long-running peer workshop (WOPR, the Workshop on Performance and Reliability), and a member of the Community Advisory Board for STPCon. I have been a member of AST for several years, first attending CAST in 2010.

After last year’s CAST, I set out to form the AST Committee on Standards and Professional Practices to help AST engage with issues affecting our profession as a professional trade organization. This work, and my experience working with AST to get this Committee started led to me accepting a nomination to run for the AST Board.

I am asking for your vote because there are things I hope to accomplish for our organization, our community, and our profession as an AST board member. I believe I have a track record of getting things done, by digging in and doing them myself. I think that’s what we need more of on the AST board. With urgency, focus, humility, and willingness to iterate, we can accomplish a lot.

The ideas of our community’s founders and leaders changed testing forever. I want to publicize our school’s approach to testing as viable, respectable, and highly effective to the testing AND software development worlds, giving our membership support and resources for implementing modern testing principles. I also want to help solidify a launchpad for the next generation of our community’s leaders to lift off from. We have a bright, passionate, and diverse crop in our community that will shine very brightly when they get their turn.

I am sorry I won’t see so many of my friends and colleagues in Grand Rapids next month. During CAST, I will be speaking at an Agile Development conference (Agile2015). I plan to talk with that community about testing, and how “automating everything” is sure to miss many bugs. From where I sit in the heart of Silicon Valley, this desire to turn testing into checking is an even greater risk to our profession’s future than factory certifications and testing standards – and is not an empty house of cards like these economic tactics.

I will push AST forward as an organization by challenging the organization to improve as an advocate for all testers, whether they identify as a member of our community or not. AST should continue to proudly be a Context-Driven organization, but the business and profession of testing has been defined by large commercial interests for too long. We must present a credible, experience-based alternative to the obsolete, ineffective command and control processes recommended by those seeking to profit from marketing McTesting process and “expertise”. We will win with our superior ideas, demonstrating that in a world of faster development iterations with smaller teams, it’s our community that is moving the practice forward.

I hope to help AST do more for its membership. My first set of tasks are to help members to find and collect tools and links for self-learning, aid them with job posting and searches, help them connect with peers for advice, and provide them with practice references when they set out to improve testing in their organizations. A key task for helping this happen is to revitalize the AST website so that others can easily contribute their research, experiences, and voices to a common body of knowledge. I will ask the board to allow me to revamp the AST website towards community engagement, and I will personally do much of the work to make it happen.

I want to help AST expand its footprint internationally. While much of our membership is American, there are thriving communities in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and even Asia. AST can support and sponsor decentralized, loosely affiliated CDT conferences in places where there is demand and people on the ground.

Lastly, I will continue to work with the STP board to welcome CDT content and speakers into those conferences. If you take a look at our fall schedule, you can see that is going quite well.

To learn more about me, you could visit my blog here at contextdrivenperformancetesting.com, follow me @ericproegler, or chat with me sometime. I’d love to hear more ideas about how to increase AST’s accountability to the community, so that it can better earn the community’s attention and participation.