I am often asked why do I do what I do beyond my full time job. I could simply say it's my passion for software testing but I personally don't find that answer satisfying enough. It's hard to explain what exactly we get by doing certain things when we do it out of pure joy and satisfaction of simply doing it. But if I am to closely look at my journey with Association for Software Testing, I believe I have some answers to that.
Back in 2011, when we launched Tea-time with Testers, I started getting in touch with passionate testers and experts from across the globe mainly to collaborate with them for articles or work together with them to practice testing. Interesting enough, there was one thing common between most of these passionate testers (who have made significant contribution to the field of software testing) which was their association with AST. Knowing this was convincing enough for me to checkout what AST was all about and what it has been doing.
The fact that non-profit organisation for software testing like AST exists is itself a big relief. The purpose with which we started Tea-time with Testers and the mission and purpose of AST has some much in common. Knowing that back then was a great validation for me as a novice tester with passion for the craft of testing. The people connected with AST had already made big impression on me and there was no reason why I would not want to be part of it. Not only that but there are many benefits of being a member of AST which is why I did not have to think twice before signing up.
BBST student and instructor:
And from there my journey with AST started. Being a member of this great organisation brought me much closer to the craft of testing, the advancements, the principles, practices and ideologies. Everything has been too fascinating and convincing to ignore even today. I participated in BBST course and I passed. Needless to mention the learning experience was worth it and it never hurt to revisit the course content once in a while. I have always learned something new from BBST each time I revisited. Apart from the course lessons, the most important part was learning from brilliant testers from across the globe who took the class with me. And the connections I made back then are still serving me to become great at testing or in efforts towards contributing to the craft.
Later on I took BBST Instructor course and passed that too. Since then I have been teaching BBST classes with AST for once in a while. It makes me immensely proud when I see some bright minds, and star testers in the industry today who have shared their BBST journey with me. Some of them are my colleagues, some were fellow students, some of them have been co-instructors and some of them were students in the classes I taught. What more a passionate tester can ask for if he gets to experience this joy and happiness by giving back to the community in some way?
AST is a gold-mine for number of projects aimed at taking craft of testing ahead and for advancing the understanding of the science and practice of software testing. If you are passionate about testing, you will never run out of programs and ways in which you can contribute to it via AST. SiGs (Special Interest Groups) that existed back then in AST caught my attention and I participated in some of them with whatever contribution I could make.
Then came the time to attend CAST, the conference by AST. I had only heard and seen it from far away how great this conference was and it had been my dream to be at CAST one day. Volunteering for CAST conference and helping the organisers with conference efforts helped me be there, in person. Yes, I got to attend the CAST-2014 in New York and that experience will stay with me forever. The atmosphere, the energy, the discussions, the talks, the format of conference itself... all of it was worth all the efforts I made.
CAST conference has been the place where I got to meet many great testers in person, whom I had only known or interacted with via internet before. I have so many fond memories of meeting these people and getting a chance to confer with them, learn from them and get inspired from them.
My association with AST only grew stronger over the years since there was no reason why would I stay away from such a happening group of great minds. And nobody can deny the role AST has played in advancing the software testing profession in more than many ways.
Vice President of Education:
To extend my contribution to AST and benefit the organisation with whatever little I felt capable of doing, I decided to run for the elections and got an opportunity to look after AST's Education program as VP, and I am currently serving my term.
This has been challenging yet rewarding work and I am committed to give my best.
One may wonder, why did I write this all? Well, mostly to give a meaningful answer when they ask me why I like AST and what it has given me. From Member to Mentor and Volunteer to VP, AST has stood by me in this journey and has blessed me with more than what I could have asked for. All it asks of you is to have passion for testing and sincere desire to give something back to the community.
If you have it in you, and if my journey is anything to go by, think no further and be part of this great organisation.
Let your journey begin!
A passionate & thinking tester. Trainer & student of the craft of testing. Father, Foodie and dog lover. Chief Editor and Co-founder of Tea-time with Testers magazine.