#NottsTest - A Chapter Ends

That chapter, is my chapter. I am relocating to Hampshire, due to work for both me and my partner. Therefore I have hosted my last #NottsTest :(

It has been an absolute pleasure hosting this meetup, there has been nine NottsTest I have hosted running from May 2nd 2013 to 6th November 2014, I want to thank all the following people for speaking at these events:-
  • Andy Glover x2
  • Bill Matthews
  • Tim Munn x3
  • Simon Knight
  • Stephen Blower
  • Julian Higman
  • Jonathan Roe
  • James Salt
  • Me x3
  • Johan Atting
and of course a huge thank you for all the people that attended these events. It's hard to run a meetup without people! Also a huge thank you to all the sponsors of NottsTest, keeping speakers and attendees feed and watered, well I say watered.... we all love a beer!

Hosting NottsTest really has been all the things I set out wanting it to be. I wanted an event for the testers of Nottingham to network and share their experiences, I would guess at least 50+ people have attended, so we most definitely achieved this!

I also wanted to create a platform for people to feel comfortable sharing their ideas and experiences, a platform for people to practice talks with an eye to submitting them to conferences, or doing dry runs of conference talks. We certainly achieved this, Tim and Jonathan did their first talks at NottsTest, and well as you can see Tim certainly got a taste for it!

I wanted to form friendships, I wanted others to form friendships, I wanted to strengthen friendships, all these happened. People have been successful in finding jobs via NottsTest, which I personally think is awesome!

I am sure this won't be the last meetup I host, it's an incredibly rewarding thing to do. The networking can be really beneficial, seeing people do there first talk is a great feeling and well, all being said, they are just really really good fun!

But am confident this will also not be the end of NottsTest, I am really confident someone will pick up from where am I leaving and continue this awesome event. If that person is you, then please do get in touch, I am more than happy to help you with your first few meetups. 

So once again, thank you so much to everyone who has been involved with NottsTest, its been a great chapter in my meetup book and the NottsTest book, but neither one of these books is complete.

The Negative One

I am having problems at the moment; I am being labelled the negative one. Why? Well I am asking a lot of questions. Probably not asking them in the right way I guess. So why am I asking so many questions.

I want to go deep. People use to tell me their plans, their ideas, they sounded great, and I had even seen a lot of them work in other companies, other contexts. But instead of playing along, now I ask questions.

  • What problem is this solving?
  • Why do you think this is a good idea?
  • Have you considered this?
  • I am not sure that is a great idea because of X & Y, what do you think about X & Y?
  • I disagree because of X & Y, no? I added this as I recently said this. Writing it and re-reading it, it isn’t asked how it could be. E.g. Ok, but what about X & Y, could you see them impacting this idea?
  • How did you get to this idea?
  • Many more…

Why go deep, not sure I am yet to reflect a lot, just had the urge to write something. I feel it may have something to do with experience, I have a lot of experience now, I feel like I can add to most people’s ideas, I guess. Ask the questions now before its implemented, see if they really understand why they think something is a good idea or force them to go deep to ensure they have really questioned themselves. Questioned their own ideas and understandings, are they biased by their own experiences? I am not questioning them to tell them they are wrong, I guess I am trying to see how much thought they have put into it, how deep have they gone. I am not setting out to be negative, more inquisitive.

Learning. Sometimes I have questioned ideas that I think are great, ideas that fit my understanding, and ideas I believe would work. But I still question. I want to learn from them, I want to understand why they think it will work. Have they picked up on something I haven’t, have they considered the same things as me, the things I think make it a good fit. How did they answer the questions that immediately came to my mind, did they answer them the same as me, did any questions even arise for them? If they did, what caused them to ask those questions, what experiences or insights made them make these queries?

Why do they feel I am coming across negative? I guess in most recent cases it’s because they feel like I am “raining on their parade”. They feel like their idea is really going to solve something. They feel like this is the best idea ever. They feel like their idea is perfect, they have done their analysis and are content. Many others I’m sure. But then I come a long and ask similar questions to the bullet points above. Perhaps they are thinking; What is this guys problem? Who is he to question me? Don’t question me, I have done all the analysis this is full proof, no chance I am listening to him. Because labelling someone else negative is an easy way out of going deep? I don’t really know, and something I am going to ask the individuals over the coming days. Something I intend to study and get more insight in with your assistance.

If you have got this far, it’s probably clear to you that I don’t know much about this. I stated on twitter that I was going to write this blog post. People have responded with various things such as: -


So, if this makes sense to anyone, hopefully it does.
Can you please comment suggestions below on things to read, watch and study? I would really appreciate it, because I am not purposely being negative, my aim is to understand their thinking, compare it mine, learn from them, teach them, find a mutual foundation to build on.