Mike Bland

A Song of Freedom and Responsibility

One more iteration on the Google Testing Grouplet story, this time tailored to Netflix's culture of "Freedom and Responsibility".

- Los Gatos, CA
Tags: Google, Test Mercenaries, Testing Grouplet, Testing on the Toilet

Yesterday I presented another iteration on the Google Testing Grouplet story at Netflix entitled A Game of Tests or, A Song of Freedom and Responsibility. Whereas The Convergence of Wills emphasized the need for organizations to serve their people and grant them autonomy, Netflix is known for its Freedom and Responsibility credo. Consequently, this talk emphasizes how Googlers eventually adopted common testing tools and practices willingly after the Testing Grouplet worked hard to convince them of their value.

Many thanks to Mike McGarr and Dianne Marsh for honoring me with this opportunity, and for their generous hospitality. I had a wonderful time hanging out with several Netflix folks for the entirety of the afternoon and evening, learning about Netflix culture and operations and cracking up over a couple beers at the end of the day. It was also great to see Noel Yap, another fellow ex-Googler, who’s been at Netflix for some time now—and who, in my recent bout of obsessive absent-mindedness, I neglected to contact ahead of time.

(I’ll address this recent obsession more fully in a future post, but to preview: I’ve revisited the ./go script concept, this time as a highly-modular, pure bash framework that I’ve posted to GitHub as mbland/go-script-bash. I also got sidelined for a day by my friend Brian Lefler from USDS, who innocently asked if, after my recent bash studies, I knew of a better way to implement grep -o $exp | sort | uniq -c to count unique occurences of strings matching $exp. This led me down a dark, yet enlightening path that I documented in my count-matching-lines.sh gist)

Today I’m taking a day to hang out in Los Gatos and Mountain View, retracing old paths, awakening memories that are surprisingly more pleasant than I remembered. I’m especially thrilled that Dana Street Roasting Company is still thriving. I’m about to meet Henry Poole from CivicActions for lunch in Sunnyvale (thanks to an intro from Rob Read), and I’m really looking forward to dinner with my old Testing Grouplet partners-in-crime Ana Ulin and Antoine Picard this evening. Then it’s back to DC tomorrow.

I never thought I would ever say this, but…it’s kinda nice to be back here.