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Bridging communities

I love communities, hanging around smart people that have their main interests of which they are really passionate and also often very good at. Personally I prefer blending into different communities, getting some of many different things rather than to delve very deep into something in particular. I think its my curiosity and kind of systems thinking mind that wants to stay up to date with a lot of things. I also like to keep my spectrum broad with regards to the knowledge I take in, and then I can filter the good parts myself.

Some communities overlap more than others. Some of the communities in my professional life include Context driven testing globally where CAST and Lets Test has become a natural gathering points and on the local level there is SWET and soon ConTest. The other Swedish test communities SAST and Testzonen also get some share of my time. Then there is the Agile (Agile conference) and Agile testing global communities and Agile Skåne locally. Our own conference Öredev has its community surrounding it with the very open motto “Sharing knowledge” as well as my company Jayway, not only with the employees but also the networks surrounding with events like breakfast seminars. Through different connections I spent time with the Entrepreneurial community of south Sweden and Startup Weekends and experienced crazy ideas coming true. Also I have worked on my facilitation and leadership through Innovation Games, Gamestorming and PMI Sweden communities.

Then I could also mention some from my non-professional life that quite a lot influence how I think and act, The Swedish Scout Association and Value Based leadership network InSpirea greatly inspire me to do good work and think of the leadership from other standpoints than in my job.

Of course, there are plenty more I did not mention. They all have it in common that I have some time been active in debate, meetups or engaged other members of those communities in some way.

So where do I want to go with this? Well, what I am seeing way too often is that the people that are involved in all of these communities (and of course there are plenty that are not involved at all), are trying to solve the same problems as the others. But they way too often don’t know or care about each other.

I really think people from different communities need to reach out to other similar communities, at least every once in a while, to see if the similarities in ideas can complement each other and create bigger things than in isolation. Because “Innovation happens when two ideas have sex”, a lovely quote from Jurgen Appelo.

People are just not bothered about leaving their comfort zone in their community, solving the problems of those in isolation instead of trying to solve bigger problems together with unknown people. I hope to publish more on this topic the next couple of days, in regards to agile testing and how this concept has taken very different forms when it comes to different communities and people. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, did you consider your own context and how your thinking is affected by your communities?

  1. December 18, 2012 at 12:52

    With the good things of the www, we also got flooded with information,
    And there is a limit to the amount of Tweets, Forums and Blogs one can constantly track – Not to mention conferences which require actual travel.

    I guess what we need are places which concentrate all these types and sources of inputs, (properly filter “noise” of irrelevant messages), and allow further discussion over them.
    I have tried to push for that direction for quite a while now, but with not much success – since the required infrastructures are not there.
    People who develop things like wordpress, linkedin and twitter just don’t see that need.

    One way is building RSS Aggregators to collect information (and we have several good ones for the testing field already), these can already be published in easy to read formats like paper.li .
    Yes bringing the interesting items into discussion forums, is yet a manual job,
    And bringing the vast majority of testers community members into these forums – is even harder!

    @halperinko – Kobi Halperin

    • Sigge
      December 19, 2012 at 23:38

      Hi Kobi, thank you for your comment.

      I understand what you are saying, but I dont completely agree with you. Of course, it is always possible to solve these kind of things with tooling. You are talking about tooling to gather all that information. That is good when we in the future can just upload everything into our brain. If you would create these tools, a very big risk that I see is that people will become even more narrower in the type of information they learn about. Imagine if everything written about testing is in one place. What are the incentives for you to go exploring unknown places?

      I think the problem really lies in the nature of lazy human beings. It takes more effort to explore unknown territories. Also, there is a big part of curiosity needed as well as creativity to evolve the information available into useful tools in the own context. This is where I think communities together might be able to share knowledge in ways so that members get good enough and inspiration from diverse knowledge sources.

      Stay tuned for the coming posts around this subject.

  1. December 19, 2012 at 06:49
  2. December 19, 2012 at 23:30
  3. December 27, 2012 at 19:47
  4. December 28, 2012 at 17:14
  5. January 3, 2013 at 01:19
  6. January 15, 2013 at 22:58
  7. February 1, 2013 at 00:12

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