Your Board of Directors

Hello Fellow Testers,

The Association for Software Testing is holding its annual election this fall to fill openings on their Board of Directors, and I’d like to fill one of those spots. I’d like to tell you a little bit about why I think I would be a good fit and why you should vote for me.

I have been working in software testing for about 15 years, starting as an entry-level tester with no testing experience, to currently working as the Director of Software Testing and Release Management. I came to know about the Association for Software Testing many years ago and decided to join as a member to learn more about the testing community through conferences and meetups. After attending a few CAST conferences and speaking at one of them, I came to know the value that a community like this provides to us testers. I have gained many friends in this community and receive much support, encouragement, and help in my journey of growing as a tester, a speaker, and a member of this community. That experience has encouraged me to find more ways to contribute. Through experience, I have found that I am not much of a blogger, so I needed to find other ways to contribute like my peers have.

In 2016 I decided to get more involved in this community by taking the BBST Instructors course. I enjoyed sharing the foundations of testing with my co-workers, and I saw a way that I could provide value to other students of testing by getting involved in testing education. I am currently an Assistant Instructor for the Foundations classes and you can find me helping out the other instructions and students in this Summer’s class.

In 2016, I was also invited by the Board of Directors to join the newly formed Grants Committee, responsible for the consideration of grant requests from AST members for community events and meetups. I worked alongside other committee members to help establish policies and procedures for handling and documenting grant requests. By taking an active role in this committee, I have helped bring more organization to its processes and helped grant requestors receive responses in a timely manner. Ultimately, I am most proud to have helped our community promote testing by approving thousands of dollars in grant requests. I look forward to continuing my service and the good work of this committee and hope to help all of you by offsetting costs for refreshments or compensating a speaker or facilitator. Check out the AST Grant Program at https://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org/programs/ast-grant-program/

This year, I was approached by a member of the Board of Directors and encouraged to submit my name for consideration to the upcoming elections. I was and continue to be very honored that the board felt I would be a great contributor to the community by serving in this capacity. I have decided to answer the call and present myself to you now as an able candidate, ready to work for you.

One of the reasons I think I was approached was because my work in other aspects of AST were visible enough to be a demonstration of my skills and work ethic. I take initiative and get things done. I am organized, process-minded where it makes sense, and work well as an individual contributor or member of a team. One of the things I do well is identify an area or process that could be improved and work towards improving that. That might be through writing or updating documentation, removing cruft and old data, and often doing work that nobody else wants to do. I do it because it needs to be done. As someone who has moved from an individual contributor role to management, and worked on small teams, I have come to understand what it takes to get the work done. For these reasons, I think I would be a great addition to the board to help keep them on track, organized, and efficient.

I also have a few ideas that I would like to explore as possible improvements to our membership experience, although as history has shown us, implementing change in a volunteer-run organization can be difficult as we compete for time of our volunteers alongside their professional and personal lives. If given the opportunity, I would like to explore how we can document and preserve more of our community experiences and events. There are so many great takeaways that we can learn from other attendees, and I think it would be great if we had a central place to locate that – a sort of custodian of CAST experiences, tweets, photos, and learnings to be added to the video recordings of keynotes, CASTcast and CASTLive videos. Remember when you went to CAST that time and a speaker recommended a specific book that you now want to read years later? Try to figure out what that book was and I think you’ll understand what I mean. Can’t find your notes and started doing an internet search? Such a thing happened to me and after 30 minutes I found a list of book recommendations online that an attendee had created – what a great resource that could help so many people if it was easy to find.

I would also like to spend time learning more about the AST community members, what they want from being a member, and how I can advocate for them at the Board level. It’s one thing to tell you what I want to do, but I’m more interested in making your AST experience a more fulfilling and rewarding one.

I will be joining my fellow testers at CAST17 in Nashville, Tennessee this August. I welcome the opportunity to meet and hear from you in person, on Twitter, or by email, should you like to learn more about me or how I can serve you as a Board member.

Thank you,

Gary Miller

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s