I've seen it as an intimidating endeavour. A blog post might take an hour or two, but a book is a long term commitment. I didn't think it would be impossible, but I wondered whether I had enough to say or whether it would be of value to others.
For a while now, I've really wished there was a book about testing in a DevOps environment.
My current organisation is starting this culture shift and the material available for testers is limited. I have formed opinions on how to approach testing in DevOps, based on my own experience and heavily influenced by following the experiences of others in the industry. I thought that I could coach my team toward my thinking, but I wished for a book. Something that looked official and had weight. Something that aligned to my views and expanded on them. Something written by an authoritative source.
The New Year rolled around and a friend of mine, Lisa, posted about New Year's Resolutions. Her resolutions were brave, humorous and shared openly on social media. "What about you?" she asked, which made me realise that I hadn't made any.
Lisa got me thinking, and as I thought I remembered how a former manager, Noel, used to challenge me to dream in bold goals. I thought that it was time for a bold New Years Resolution: "the thing that you don't really want to voice because there's a risk you won't achieve it".
I decided to write a book. I decided that if I wanted a book on testing in DevOps, then I should write it. I decided to make myself accountable by telling people that I was going to do this:
I'm writing a book: "A Practical Guide to #Testing in #DevOps". Of interest to you? Details at https://t.co/RIcJ2HaYOp #NewYearsResolution— Katrina Clokie (@katrina_tester) January 3, 2017
And now it's happening.
I am still in the honeymoon phase of deciding to write a book, but so far it has been unexpectedly positive. People have been very supportive, both in my personal and professional life. I've worked out how to navigate LeanPub. My brain is cooperatively serving up plenty of material that I want to include, although occasionally at unhelpful hours of the day:
Deciding to write a book has opened a floodgate in my brain. Woke up at 6am thinking about Conway's Law. It's Saturday.— Katrina Clokie (@katrina_tester) January 6, 2017
I'm less nervous about failure too. Will I have enough to say? As I start to write, I've realised that I'll stop once it is enough for me. Will it be valuable to others? If no one else, I hope it will be useful to my team, which is why I wanted a book.
I've also remembered that "if you want something to exist, you should create it". This is a mantra I've used in the past. I wished there was an a discussion-based testing community, so we made WeTest. I wished there was a quality testing magazine for New Zealand and Australia, so we made Testing Trapeze. I wished there was a book about testing in DevOps, so I'm writing one.
It's scary to make a bold goal, but its also rewarding. I've already learned a lot, in just a few days, and I'm excited to see what the rest of this adventure will be like.
Writing a book. That's my New Year's Resolution. What about you?