Next step is to spread the knowledge I've obtained and be a thinking practitioner who can hopefully do what James once did for me.
I wrote that sentence over 4 years ago, before any tester outside Linköping knew I existed. So I took a moment just to reflect.
"Spread the knowledge I've obtained"
I've been teaching students in Software Testing at a vocational university for 1,5 years, I've given numerous lectures, presentations and workshops on various topics at conferences (national and international), meetups and at my workplaces and I'm now test coach at Verisure, a role in which I'm basically paid to share the knowledge I've acquired so far. Finally I've, for most of the period, been a fairly active blogger.
"Be a thinking practitioner"
Transpection Tuesday, my blog, my peer conference appearances, my many dinner discussions with top notch testers (most recently Göran Bakken), my (former) activity on Twitter all add to the "thinking" part while my testing and test related experiments at Ericsson, Verisure and Zenterio, as well as my effort during Software Testing World Cup all add to the "practitioner" part.
Most important though: The two are not separate processes. The best example of this is probably Transpection Tuesday. During Transpection Tuesday, Helena and I often discuss a challenge one or both of us have, together we work out potential solutions or experiments to run, we go back to work to try these solutions/run the experiments and finally we share/ask for help to evaluate the results at a second Transpection Tuesday. Like I said, one process.
"Who can hopefully do what James once did for me"
After graduation I got emails from two former students, both made me feel I've accomplished exactly this...
... hmm, is it raining inside or why are my eyes moist all of a sudden...
On top of that other former students, testers and other colleagues (most recently a developer) have all helped me understand my efforts to inspire, guide and mentor have actually made a difference.
It's not without pride I say: In four years I've wildly exceeded my own expectations based on my memories of what I hoped to achieve 2012. Not just my expectations for the next four years but potentially for my whole career. Shit... I need a break.
... pause music...
What's my "next step"
Took quite a bit of thinking but here's my updated "next step", or mission if you prefer that:
I've presented to, spoken with, inspired, coached and mentored testers in testing and quality. I want to continue this but to a broader audience, in ways different from what has been done before and inspire others to present, speak, inspire, coach and mentor as well.
Broader audience refers to e.g. developers, students (not studying testing), managers etc.
If you happen to read this in few years, do remind me to report my status, please.