My brother and I are instituting a new award at the CAST conference on Monday: The Bach Brothers Legion of Testing Merit.

We will give this award periodically in recognition of certain testers who, we feel, deserve to be famous, but aren’t yet internationally recognized in the way they should be.

The first recipients of this award are:

  • Ajay Balamurugadas
  • Parimala Shankaraiah
  • Sharath Byregowda
  • Manoj Nair
  • Pradeep Soundararajan

The first four on this list are the founders of Weekend Testers which is a grassroots testing professionalism phenomenon. It is non-commercial, and in most respects is completely out of step with the Indian testing industry. The people who participate in it are going against the flow and ignoring the typical reward structures. Contrary to the trend of commercialized efforts at “testing professionalism”, such as ISEB and ISTQB, these people are actually doing the Weekend Testers not for glory or money or to maximize the chance they will be hired into safe boring job, but rather to achieve personal excellence in their craft.

We’re fortunate to have Ajay speaking at CAST, this year. Pradeep was invited to speak as well, but he couldn’t make it.

Pradeep Soundararajan is being given the award because, as far as Jon and I can tell, he has nearly single-handedly inspired the Context-Driven testing movement (in other words, the skilled testing culture) in India. The Weekend Tester founders credit him with inspiring them. Yes, there are other voices out there, too (Shrini Kulkarni and Meeta Prakash for instance). What makes Pradeep special is that he has suffered for his cause, enduring long periods out of work because he refused to do bad testing.

I wish I could say there was a large cash prize that goes with these awards, but at least there is honor. Jonathan Bach and James Bach honor them!

Now, go and save India, guys.

(NOTE: Do you see why we named this award as we did? We could have called it “The Context-Driven Testing Award” or some other neutral title. Why did we name the award after ourselves? Well, first, it’s not about ego. It’s about integrity. This award is based purely on the arbitrary and possible unfair opinions of two guys named Bach. The value of the award is nothing more or less than the value of our reputations. Hence its title. And this is why I keep harping about how testers must protect and build their reputations by refusing to knowingly do bad work. Here’s a question for you: if YOU were to recognize a colleague for his excellence as a tester, would that tester feel honored… or just awkward? The quality of your reputation determines the answer to that question.)