Mike Bland

Catching up

Despite the silence, I've had a few things going on since returning from Europe—and there's still so much to do!

- Alexandria
Tags: Rainbow of Death, Testing Grouplet, testing

I can’t believe my last post was in late June. Going by the frequency of my posts, you’d think I was dead, or at least lazy. Quite the contrary; I’ve been keeping fairly busy with a number of talks and a particular pet project since then.

Since there’s so much to catch up on, I’ll stick to my speaking updates in this post, and announce my new project in the next.

A fond farewell to Europe

For starters, the week after the Schibsted Testing Fixit, I finished my tour of Europe by visiting Krakow and Vienna, for a total of twenty-five talks in nine offices across eight countries—Spain, France, Italy, Norway, England, Sweden, Poland, and Austria—between June 6 and June 29 (all accounted for on [my presentations page][presentations]). Of course the travel was a bit intense, and I wish I could’ve spent at least a week in each country; but it was still an amazing experience, I’m ever grateful for the opportunity, and the ultimate impact was beyond my expectations!

I can’t thank enough Luis Peralta of the Eng Prod team for setting me on this mission; Sverre Sundsdal for putting me in touch with Luis in the first place; and Toni Lopez for being such a capable Testing Grouplet lead, Testing Fixit Walrus (Organizer), and engaging travel companion for most of the journey. And of course there’s Kenneth Ocklund, Fabyanna Eriksson, Nic Infante, Eric Lefevre-Ardant, Jakob Alander, and so many more incredible Instigators that made real change happen!

Speaking of beyond expectations, Agnieska Steczkiewicz, Robert Fijalkowski, and the Schibsted Tech Polska team in Krakow really went above and beyond in organizing my presentation of The Rainbow of Death for the first-ever KRK Tech Talks Meetup. The video evidence, announced in their follow-up blog post How Google implemented automated testing, speaks for itself:

Video of The Rainbow of Death from the KRK Tech Talks Meetup sponsored by Schibsted Tech Polska. Probably my favorite video so far!

I mean, they thought of everything! A backline matrix of high-def monitors! Top-notch video production! And local beer so good I couldn’t put it down, instead opting to leave my iPad Mini with my speaker’s notes on a table!

No rest for the wicked

You’d’a thought I’d’a been all talked- and traveled-out. You’d’a been right, but whenever I get opportunites to connect with fellow Instigators, I will always muster the will and make the time to do so.

A week and a half after my return, I delivered The Rainbow of Death, USPTO Edition at an internal DevOps event on July 11 for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, organized by resident Instigator and good friend Alan Kraft. Thanks to input from Alan, Simmons Lough, Terry Scalsky, and others, the talk became jam packed with so many good USPTO initiatives already underway, I could barely fit them into the talk—much less fit them all onto the RoD slide!

Goin’ back to Cali

Two days later I flew to Sacramento to deliver The Rainbow of Death twice: first at the Agile Government Sacramento Meetup hosted by the Hacker Lab; and the next day at the Child Welfare Digital Services office for their brown bag speaker series. Much thanks to Henry Poole and Aaron Pava of CivicActions for inviting me and making it happen!

Video of The Rainbow of Death from the California Child Welfare Digital Services brown bag lunch speaker series. First video with the Schibsted Fixit pictures, commitment model slides, and roles slide.

As noted in the caption above, for these talks I added slides containing pictures from the twelve Schibsted offices participating in the Testing Fixit, and slides talking about something I call the “commitment model” and about Fixit roles.

Just when I thought I was out…

The following Monday, I hung out as a volunteer at DevOpsDays DC at the CapitalOne auditorium in McLean, thanks to the kind permission of my friends Ramez Mourad and Nathen Harvey. It was a refreshing change to be at a conference for once and not be speaking—though, honestly, I do really like speaking a lot.

And sure enough, just like Michael Corleone, somehow they [managed to] pull me back in. That low-key gig turned into another speaking opportunity, as Victoria Guido recruited me to deliver Automated Testing—Why Bother? Part One: The Why at last night’s DevOpsDC Meetup, hosted at Excella Consulting’s Arlington Tech eXchange. Much thanks to Victoria and Peter Burkholder for inviting me and organizing the event!