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Monday, January 26, 2009

James Whittaker - 19th & 20th March 2009

We're just putting some of the finishing touches to the plans, but I am able to confirm that James Whittaker will be visiting TCL on the week of 19th March, 2009.

As part of his trip, James will be doing two events with TCL:
  • Thursday 19th March 2009, Harrison Building, University of Exeter -> public forum, all welcome
  • Friday 20th March 2009, Hotel du Vin, Bristol -> Private function. Invitation only.
These are both great opportunities to hear James speak, and I believe his topic will be a Testers view on the future of software.

I personally find James to be a very inspiring speaker, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing him again.

I'm particularly passionate about what we are trying to do with the Thursday event at the University. We've invited some local schools as well as the University and of course local businesses and people we know that will be interested. This should hopefully give a great spectrum of perspectives.

If you want to be involved in either of these events then please drop me a note, or speak with our lead organiser: Clare Batter on +44 (0) 845 869 6070.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Is Citizenship dead?

From the business world I have read a number of articles about corporations being the 'new religion'. These articles propose that for a large portion of the western world religion is no longer what keeps the fabric of our society together. They surmise that corporations now take this space and that corporate & social responsibility is all about companies being active participants in the community and bringing benefits and taking responsibility for what they do.

Jack Welch, the former GE Chairman and CEO states a very clear case for the benefits that successful companies bring to society - and in his drive and ambition there seems to be a great deal of personal commitment to this, even when making redundancies and closing factories. His belief is that to be successful brings more benefits than perhaps a more 'European socialist model' that might favour 100% unemployment regardless of productivity. (Jack Welch)

Plastered across the news though are plenty of examples of bribery, corruption and fraud. People and corporations exploiting opportunities for individual gain and significant cost to others.

Weak enforcement of regulation and controls around these sorts of activities have enabled things like the Parmalat scandal, ENRON, the
recent issues with a fund managed as a kind of pyramid scheme with hundreds of millions being plundered. Articles like: bbc news really bring it home.

So what would it mean to be more of a citizen? Our friend wikipedia gives us some insights: Citizenship and of course also a bit of a role model.
"Active citizenship" is the philosophy that citizens should work towards the betterment of their community through economic participation, public service, volunteer work, and other such efforts to improve life for all citizens.

I think that the key thing to emphasise there is to improve life for all citzens.

I take a look around TCL and I see some great citizens of the company and I see people that are great citizens in general (usually the same people). But I look further afield and I see a lot that doesn't look like citizenship, a lot that isn't helping everyone, a lot that isn't giving back and a lot that is just plundering.

If corporations are the 'new religion', this doesn't look so great. It makes me wonder: is citizenship dead, dying or maybe just not getting all the press it deserves?

***** Post comment Video *****

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Off to the US of A - 28, 29, 30 Jan 2009

Well, its official! I'm off to the USA on 28th, 29th and 30th of Jan 2009.
While I am there, I am hoping to do a number of things, of which I am most excited about going to Boston University and running a PEST event there on campus :)

There are a new set of scholarship students to meet - and I am hoping that these people will also be part of the internship programme in the summer. There is also a chance to meet Prof. Scolaroff for the first time (face to face), who has been so supportive of the TCL initiatives in the US.

TCL USA is a personal ambition of mine - something that I hope to see restarted in the next couple of years. We've maintained our commitment to the Mass. region and to BU in particular, because its part of our overall vision to be part of the tech community in the US. I'm not sure that the economy is going to allow us the opportunities to restart things this year - but who knows.

One things for sure, I spent an entire year without visiting the US - even for holidays - and it felt a bit weird, so I am very pleased to be heading back there so early in the New Year.

If you are around the Boston area on the 29th Jan and want to come along to the PEST event, then you can read more at:

Things went very well at the last event we ran in Bristol and also the event at the SIGIST (thanks very much for coming along and introducing yourself Phil). I hope we can do everything as well this time!!

Sessions like PEST are brilliant in my opinion because they help bring software testing into a new phase. One where people share information and knowledge without boundaries and commit to the solving of problems and the development of all involved. We need this kind of participation in the software testing community and we need to see people move the industry forward.

Take a look at what James Bach has to say on such stuff:

We need to see software testers testing software - not just sitting around taling about it. It always seems weird to me that as testers we do stuff, we break things, we play with software, we get involved in designs and architecture and code and gubbins of all sorts and we help solve problems and we find new ways of doing things and we are part of the creative cycle that is software development but when we go to conferences there is a lot of sitting and talking and listening and slides and well where is all the doing????

Anyways, enough ranting, except to say that PEST combines a lot of stuff (practical)(theory)(coaching)(mentoring)(experience)(doing) - into one big bundle behind this motto: none of us is as smart as all of us.

Boston! Here we come!

Happy New Year & Welcome to 2009

Happy New Year to everyone :)
Hope that you have had a super Xmas vacation and have enjoyed yourselves.

With our New Year first days back came a chance to pull together a short movie/introduction to TCL.

Take a look at:

Well done to Clare for pulling this together.


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