You’re reading a blog about testing (cheers!) I read them too, and in addition I try to find cheap ways to expose myself to material outside of the area as well. I’m looking for easy routes into content I might be interested in, that might be relevant to me or the technology I use or that my company develops, teach me something, provide a useful resource, make a connection, spark a new thought or sometimes just make me chuckle.

An efficient and productive way to do this, for me, has been to find a few trusted guides, guides that report regularly, with reliable quality and the breadth that I’m looking for, who consistently point me at content I wouldn’t otherwise have come across. Here’s a couple:

If I only read one blog in a day, it’ll be Four Short Links. One of the posts this week led me to Ray Dallo’s Principles (PDF)  in which he enumerates a couple of hundred rules that he applies to life and, particularly, management. These are extracted from his own experience and he says the most important of them is:

 Truth — more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality — is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.

Ian Jack in the Guardian  is always readable, knowledgeable and likely to set you off in direction you’d never looked before. Last weekend he mentioned in passing the Kirkaldy Testing Museum which commemorates David Kirkaldy, a materials scientist before there was a name for that kind of thing, and which records the motto he apparently applied religiously:

Facts not opinions.

I might have some problems with these two statements, at least when expressed this baldly, but finding them at the same time as I’m thinking about what I’m trying to do in many of my posts is interesting. I attempt to set down concisely, with context, things that I find useful and think others might too. Much of the benefit I derive from this is that it forces me to clarify internally what I value and why and find ways to express myself clearly.

And so, in the spirit of the quotes above, here’s today’s self-learning, inspired by the words of Grace Slick:

Feed your head.