I didn’t see you at the coffee shop, today.

Where were you, tester who told me that you need “certification” because, unlike me, you don’t have a public reputation? Where were you, tester who fears the big machine won’t hire you unless you conform, head bowed, to some lowest common standard? How about you, tester who told me that you dare not stop bullshitting your management about test case counts because “he likes those numbers” and, unlike me, you don’t have the credibility (and therefore the power) to say no without being clapped in chains and thrown into the brig?

I was there as usual, with my hardcover Moleskine and my current favorite pens (the Pigma Micron 01 by Sakura Color Products Corporation and the Mitsubishi Pencil Company Unipin Fineline).

I was working on my intellectual property. What were you doing?

Okay I get it: you were busy with your day job. And when the day is over you are tired and you want to go home. Maybe you have children. Children are important. But don’t tell me you are powerless to change things; that you can’t upgrade yourself. You have the power, but it’s not yet a priority for you. If you have reasonable passion and ambition in this field, you will soar above the problems that so many others feel trapped by. You must take time to develop your craft; educate yourself. Punching the time clock is not enough to obtain a better income and better job security.

One place to start is the Konditori (that’s Swedish for coffee shop… sounds cool and kind of mysterious, don’t you think?).

(This photo, above, is one of two Konditori’s I worked at today, in Stockholm.)

I have to keep developing myself and my intellectual property. It’s the engine by which I feed my family. So, today I worked on Rapid Testing Estimation. I want to roll out my new estimation methodology in time for my next test management class, next week.

(Note: I mostly drink green tea, these days… but it’s Stockholm! You gotta drink coffee in Stockholm!)

But who am I kidding? I work in coffee shops, furiously scribbling in my little notebooks, mainly because I love it. It is practical and effective, sure. Mainly, though, it’s peaceful and… hopeful. I am thrilled to feel that, at any moment, I might experience a breakthrough. And you know those breakthroughs, when they happen, can lead to a new hour or two of cutting edge class material, for which people will pay handsome sums. Last year we had the first conference on Session-based Test Management. My brother and I invented that at a coffee shop (well, it was a Denny’s… that’s pretty close).

We can wipe out bad testing. We can dump commercial certification programs into the dustbin. We can create a powerful craft where testers are well paid and respected. And this is how to do it: Meet me at the Konditori. Bring your Moleskine.

(Only if you love the craft, please. If you don’t, geez man, get a different job!)