Mike Bland

Live from Chattanooga

I delivered a talk Monday, am halfway through the automated testing workshops, and will be live streaming another talk Thursday at noon.

- Chattanooga
Tags: Federal government, Google, Test Mercenaries, Testing Grouplet, Testing on the Toilet

It’s been a busy week, but so worth it. The drive down through the Shenandoah and the Tennessee Valley this past weekend was picture-perfect and delightfully uneventful traffic-wise. Chattanooga is a charming, highly walkable little town, with a lot going on, especially in the tech realm. Meeting folks from the Tennessee Valley Authority and other local companies enrolled in my Unit testing in Node.js workshop at The Company Lab has left me impressed with the range of talent and the sense of local community.

On Monday, I delivered The Convergence of Wills (abridged) to a packed room at the TVA, followed by a lively question and answer session. Tuesday I began leading three classes’ worth of my four-day automated testing workshop. I’m definitely learning a lot about how I might improve the presentation, especially after realizing that many folks in the workshop have lots of frontend JavaScript experience and some functional testing experience, and work primarily in a Windows environment. They know a lot more than I do about frontend frameworks and tools, but most of the principles and techniques involved in unit testing and coding for testability appear new to many. It’s nice getting pushed out of my comfort zone a little, and watching a roomful of people similarly getting pushed.

I’m also realizing that going through every line of the tutorial in detail could take a month worth of workshop sessions. Despite it containing only 600 lines of code and 1200 lines of test, there’s a lot of depth and breadth to cover. As a result, I’m quickly skipping over some sections and giving everyone the liberty to focus on the parts in which they’re most interested. I’m hoping folks get something new out of the experience that they can use, even if they don’t get everything out of it.

On Thursday at noon Eastern Daylight Time, in between workshop sessions, I’m delivering a new talk called "Making the Right Thing the Easy Thing" at the Chadevs Lunch Meetup. The talk will be live streamed via the Chadevs YouTube stream, and will be archived via the Chadevs YouTube channel. It’s going to have a degree of overlap with my other talks, of course, but I’m going to focus mainly on the role of documentation and in-house training in producing culture change.