The Future of Membership in a World Driven by Technology

Membership is about people; people sharing ideas to improve their personal and professional lives, opining on the latest issues, building personal and company brands, and yes, utilizing technology.

My goal here is to listen to the "world" on where membership fits in these fast changing times, and deliver the services needed to get people to "buy" into membership organizations.

Membership is deeper than community. Membership is more personal and takes more effort. It is built on trust.

Stop by often and find out what's happening in the world of Membership... Thank you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Getting Ready for Software Test Professionals

We have been feverishly preparing to launch the new “Brand” Software Test Professionals, Software Test & Quality Assurance magazine, and Software Test Professionals Conference & Expo here at STP. We are taking what were simply a magazine called Software Test & Performance and a small conference called STP Con, and turning them into components that will make up what we hope to be the most trusted place to be by the Software tester and quality assurance professional. We will become people focused in the tradition of great associations. We will be launching so much throughout 2010 to support this new focus, and the speed of delivery will depend on how quickly this community embraces the concept. I have outlined a few points of focus for the new membership offering.

Our new membership focus will be to:

• Provide a framework for members to learn, share, and build their reputation.
• Provide the recognition and awards, developed by the membership to validate the achievements of individuals and organizations.
• Provide opportunities to publish works, methodologies, and information to the broader community through white papers, magazines, newsletters, and books to increase the awareness of the overall commitment of these individuals to the profession as a whole.
• Gather the membership together at conferences, local interest groups, and training events to share and recognize the professionals within an industry and their commitment to learning and developing themselves and the industry as a whole.
• Provide a voice beyond the immediate community where other professionals can reference the work being produced by the association’s members. Increasing the overall reputation of the industry.
• Validation of the profession; American Medical Association, American Bar Association; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Help Desk Institute are examples of associations that validate the role and function of an industry into a profession by providing all of the above.

We are chomping at the bit getting ready to launch the “face” of our association, the website, and today are choosing the 10 testers from nearly 60 that volunteered to make sure when we launch you get a quality experience when you visit the new website. We hope it will be user ready by June 1st!

That’s not all we are working on. We are accepting proposals to speak at our fall conference to be held October 18th – 21st at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. It will include a true “hands-on” track so testers can truly test not just talk about testing. We have a great key note line-up and most importantly a cool party for the attendees! It will shake up the industry, and the experience we plan to provide will be one that we hope will confirm in your mind, that this is the place to be if you are a software tester or quality assurance professional.

The newest edition of ST&QA (Software Test & Quality Assurance Magazine) is being edited as I write this Blog posting. It has articles explaining the new brand and “ community model” along with a great article by James Bach called the “Omega Tester” and a couple of new features, “Ask the Tester”, where Matt Heusser has engaged Michael Bolton to answer some excellent questions from software testers in our community. We have part IV of the Six Sigma article series by Jon Quigley and Kim Pries, and a couple of other features on load and performance testing you will not want to miss! And finally we have added a cartoon feature by Andy Glover who has a great Blog at

We have planned, created, and are about to implement the newest community for software testers and quality assurance professionals. It will only work if we are embraced by you. We are about people sharing with people. We are about promoting you and your knowledge to benefit the community. We are about publishing and vetting the latest and hottest trends in our industry you are discussing. We want to provide Local Interest Chapters around the country, the best conference experience bar none, and the best website infrastructure to support your ability to connect to other trusted testers and quality professionals.

We hope the industry is ready. We hope you are ready. We will be ready June 4th.

Rich Hand
Director of Membership & Publications
Software Test Professionals