“Alan Richardson is creating Better Software Testers Through Mentoring.”
I create a lot of content on blogs and YouTube. Some of that may have added value to you, some might not. Because it probably wasn’t aimed at you. Some of that content was driven by questions that I had been asked via email. Some by topics that I want to explore. Some as marketing material. Some triggered by Twitter posts, etc.
It wasn’t content that was designed to keep testing at the forefront of your mind and to keep you focussed on improving your testing.
The mentoring content on Patreon is designed to do that.
I’m hoping that Patreon will attract people who are actively working on improving their testing. Are interested in seeing testing ‘everywhere’ and learning from as many disciplines as possible. My hope is that like minded people will be asking questions, providing answers to each other and helping steer the type of content that I create to help the group and the individuals in the group advance.
So “mentoring” because:
- I will share my experience of learning and implementing testing for over 20+ years
- I will share my experience of programming and Software Development for over 20+ years
- You can share your experiences and learn from the experience of others
The content on Patreon will be created to help the patrons improve and think holistically about Software Testing.
I receive a lot of requests via contact forms on my web sites from people requesting mentoring.
I’m going to do that via Patreon.
My current thoughts are, per month pricing:
- $1 access to some text Patreon blog posts and some unique content
- $5 patreon only posts, monthly live Q&A session recordings and follow up Q&A
Why join this community?
There are other testing communities and other testing groups. This is one of many. Choice is important.
Hopefully you are consuming the information that those other communities are sharing as well.
You should learn in communities that share your values, your passions and help you grow.
This community might work for you if:
- the Evil Tester blog posts have covered topics that interest you
- the approaches to testing I have explained at conferences or in YouTube videos appeals to you
- you share a similar attitude towards learning and testing as evidenced in Evil TesterSelenium Simplified, Java For Testers
If you want to improve your testing, and how you think about testing, then I want to help you do that. And that’s the intent behind the Patreon page.
How is this Different from YouTube?
Some of the content that I would have added to YouTube, I will be adding directly to Patreon and the type of content I release to YouTube will change.
Example: TDD FizzBuzz in Java - exclusive content, more depth
I recently created a “TDD FizzBuzz in Java” video and blog post:
- you can read that on the blog
- you can watch that (with ads on YouTube)
- I do engage in questions and answers on YouTube and Blog posts
I also added that video to Patreon:
- you can watch it without ads on Patreon
- you can engage in a discussion on the Patreon Post
- I made a mistake in the audio output on YouTube - I can’t fix that on YouTube, I can fix that on Patreon so the audio on Patreon for this video is slightly better
More content for this video is on Patreon.
- I have a follow on video added to Patreon which explores the example from a ‘testing’ perspective, how do we acceptance test this example
- I have a behind the scenes video exploring this from a more detailed testing perspective
Patreon supports can engage in more direct discussion, share their thoughts on testing the example, which is unlikely to happen or YouTube and the Patreon Q&A will be much more supportive than the type of discussions that can happen in YouTube comment sections.
In the past I would have released the other two videos on YouTube, but they are niche videos that would not get many views and would add value to a small subset of YouTube subscribers. They are much more likely to add value to the Patreon supporters.
Example: Exploratory Testing Session
I create an “Exploratory Testing Practice Session” blog post and YouTube video.
I also added this ad-free to Patreon and I also added a “behind the scenes” video discussing the test approach in more detail.
Patreon will have more depth
Patreon is not about helping me create more videos.
Patreon is about expanding on the content I create to add more depth and value for the patrons and creating content which addresses the learning needs of the patrons.
How is this different from the online training?
The online training is a structured path through a topic.
Patreon will have people:
- from different environments
- working with different technologies
- wanting to learn different things
Patreon will be a much more organic approach to covering testing and is not limited to the topic covered on the course.
The online courses are a path through a single topic that I think meets learning needs best.
Patreon is a community path through the broader topic of “Software Testing and Development”, and the path will be influenced by the patrons.
What content is there?
Patreon is a membership site - i.e. you ‘pledge’ money, the money is taken on the first of the month.
You can see all the current ‘public’ posts using this filter
Also, I’ve listed some of the content below because I didn’t think the Patreon GUI makes it easy to see the public preview content I added.
- 7th Feb 2018 - explanation of principle of “What”, not “Why”
- 7th Feb 2018 - bug fixing and Path Based Testing of a web app in more detail
- 7th Feb 2018 - video showing example of Path Based Testing of a web app
- 7th Feb 2018 - text summary of a recomended blog post on exceptions
- 5th Feb 2018 - Behind the scenes look at some conference content preparation
The types of content I have been creating so far are:
- micro courses - exclusive courses for testing and career support
- additional commentary on ‘news’ stories because these help us ‘see Software Testing’ everywhere and use the ‘real world’ as a trigger for improving our software testing learning.
- ‘how to test stuff’ videos - practical hands on videos - in the future these will cover topics that Patrons have questions about
- ‘testing thought processes’ videos - behind the scenes and ore in-depth analysis of the thinking behind the testing
- ‘how to automate stuff’ videos - small practical examples of tactially automating technology
- recommendations of blog posts - which addition reasons for ‘why’ you would be interested
Some of this is a spin off from the general practice and work I do to remain up to date, but I haven’t really documented this before, now I’m going to help the patron community develop the skills for ongoing learning to improve their software testing.
If you’re interested in improving your Software Testing and like the idea of regular prompt to material and ‘how to’ videos and explanation then this Patreon community could help.
And once you are part of the community you can help steer the content created making it add even more value to your learning and career.
Patreon has a lot of exclusive content, some of which has been organised into Micro Courses. I’ve listed the courses here to make them easier to navigate and make it easier to see the structured content available in Patreon. I will continue to add Micro Courses to Patreon, based on feedback and comments from the Patreon members.
Some of these courses are still under construction and are being released gradually to Patreon, with the chance to add comments which change the contents of the course so new material can be added.
Some are complete and are viewable with the Q&A comment section on each Patreon post used to answer questions. Sometimes these questions lead to new content.
- Overview Answers
- HTML Review
- Resources, Next Steps
Test Ability Audit
My half day and one day conference workshop - converted into Patreon form.
- What is Testability
- Testability as relationships
- Definitions and Philosophy
- The Technology Audit
- The Application Audit
- Automatisability Audit
- Test Ability Action Plan
- Final Audit
Get Your Message Out There
A guide to blogging, YouTube and conferences to help you improve your career by making your work and thoughts visible to the test community:
- Why Get your message out?
- Intro to Blogging
- What to blog about?
- blogging Lessons Learned Summary Tracking
- get started blogging checklist
Blogging Case Study:
Conference Case Study:
- Conference Case Study Intro
- Conference Case Study Idea
- Conference Case Study Mindmap braindump
- Conference Case Study Mindmap and structure
- Conference Case Study - The Silent Run Through Milestone
Some of the posts above are ‘scheduled’ and may not be listed on Patreon yet.
Exploratory Testing in Action
A mix of YouTube released content and Patreon exclusive content, this course will show Exploratory Testing from a hands on and practical perspective, with ‘theory’ explained as we go.
Here is a free preview of a ‘news and commentary’ video that I added into the $5 tier:
The real aim of the news videos is to think about what we can learn and apply to our own testing.