When the dog bites, when the bee stings....

I wonder if the software testing community has a collective consciousness ? So often I go to write a post on something that I've been thinking about and wham, some great blogger has posted it before me, expressing in far more succinctly than I ever could. So, really it came to no surprise that the wonderful Matt Heusser wrote a superb piece called Chocolate Rain, Carpe Dieum stuff. I really liked it for two reasons.

First he points out that no-one gets where they are because of luck (though some of it helps), its hard work and taking the opportunities that count.

Secondly, we are all human. We suffer setbacks, we get insecure about abilities or the future and we want to be respected by our peers and those around us.

This resonated deep within me. It's something I've been thinking about for a while.  It also got me thinking about what does inspire me?

So here is the list of things of some things that inspire me. Some of my favourite things.

1) Nelson Mandela.

What can I say? The guy is a living legend. Apparently he never actually read out this poem on his inaugural speech in 1994, and only alluded to it in conversation. Regardless, it was through reading about him that I discovered the poem which inspires me to look beyond myself and demand more out of who I am and what I can achieve.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God; your playing small doesn”t serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Marianne Williamson

2) Nature

There is nothing like going out for a walk on a beautiful spring morning. Nature inspires me to not give up, to persist even when its tough. Nature reminds me of other important things around me and encourages me to put perspective on whats happening and to appreciate my family more.

Interesting back to the topic of collective conscience, Jonathan Bach quoted Bob Dylan (Last thoughts on Woody Guthrie) in a recent twitter to Lanette Cream as something to read when feeling 'tested'.

3) Software Testers

Well, I call them the social workers of the software testing world, but really they are much more than that. They are people who have given their precious time and themselves to help build our great software testing community.

These guys inspire me on a daily basis with their encouragement and the way the share themselves and their time.

They are:

Rosie Sherry : Her tireless work supporting the software testing community, and goes out of her way to help people. Rob Lambert : His efforts to make our social community fun and 'real'. Scott Barber: His work with the AST - does the guy ever sleep? Matt Heusser: For his work ethic, his ideas, his openness to learning new stuff. Ajay Balamurugadas: His work with the weekend testers. I know how hard it is to get these things off the ground. Jared Quinert: An Australian tester who organises monthly software testing meetings in Melbourne, Australia.

To name only a few. I'm sure there are loads more people around the globe who I've left out in this hurried post. Feel free to suggest them.

Lots of other things inspire me, but those are the top three.