I think that Aaron Scott over at Two Leaf Clover must have been feeling the need to help me make an announcement today (LOL!). It’s the only way I can explain how he comes up with certain comics right when I need them.

So, I know some of you have noticed these posts where I say I’m trying to identify “buddies” and that I’m writing letters to myself at 17, and that these can’t be a coincidence. More to the point, you might want to ask me “why does this seem to coincide with an initiative that was recently written about, one that you initially commented dis-favorably towards? Surely there has to be a connection!”

Now I can tell you all that, yes, these are all interrelated. To put it plainly, I had some mixed emotions about the initiative called “SummerQAmp“, and I commented on it. I suggested that we were doing a disservice by telling kids that they can do QA apprenticeships as a gateway into programming. Don’t get me wrong, many people rise up through the testing ranks to become production level programmers,and I have nothing whatsoever bad to say about that. What I was lamenting was the fact that there is an industry and a craft that is noble unto itself, that of the software tester. Why are we trying to sell kids on it being a stepping stone? Why not encourage those with the aptitude to be testers to actually be testers, and enjoy the process? Like our intrepid friend standing and staring at the cube, he’s got the temperament of a tester. The guy on the couch? Not so much. How can we get the guys (and girls) with the instincts to “punch the box” to see that those very skills are so very needed?

I’m happy to report that the people who are leading the SummerQAmp initiative listened, and they reached out to me, and to AST. We have reached an agreement to create content (lesson modules, but possibly other materials) geared towards helping intern aged students (those 16-24 year old) who might consider a career in the world of software development, and would like to try an apprenticeship in software testing, that we are looking to give them incentives to consider software testing a career in its own right.

Sounds like a monster initiative, doesn’t it? It is! Sounds like an awful lot for one person to handle. You’d be right again, and there’s no way in the world that I could do it on my own… but as I said, in a previous blog post, “I know a buddy who…” and I know there’s a lot of you out there with experiences in many different industries. So what do you say? Are you interested in helping be someone who encourages the next generation of software testers? If there are areas you would have wished people told you about, would you share them? If there are situations and practices you would avoid like the plague, don’t you wish someone had warned you when it could have been helpful? Well, here’s your chance. Note: all ideas belong to their respective contributors. You create them, you own them, your words will be your own. Your copyright will be yours. Come help me find the people willing to “Punch the box”. They need us, and frankly, we need them!