It's good to be back! I am just recently back from Colombia. The good folk at SQA flew me down to talk with their clients about testing software. I took some vacation time as well, to ensure that my wife and I would have time to do some sightseeing.
The Colombia of today is not the Colombia you might have heard of in the past. We found Bogota (altitude some eight thousand feet and population about eight million people) and Medellin (altitude some five thousand feet and population about three million people) to be not much different from any other big city anywhere else in the world (like, say, Seattle): people with lots of money, people with no money, shopping malls, billboards everywhere, and horrible traffic.
Actually, the traffic is one difference from Seattle: it's...umm...loose. Taxis weave in and out of traffic like the worst sort of Type A driver. The motos (motorcycles, dirt bikes, and scooters) are even looser, driving between vehicles (on all four sides) as a matter of course. It seemed chaotic to me, but I saw only one accident the twelve days I was in country. (Once again, context comes to the fore...)
Talking with SQA's clients and employees was a lot of fun. They had many of the standard questions (e.g., "What is the correct proportion for testing time versus development time?"), to which I gave my standard answers (e.g., "It depends on context."). These appetizers merely whetted our collective appetites, however, and their thoughtful questions helped stimulate good discussions about testing. Which will turn into lots of business for SQA I'm sure! <g/>
Talking testing was fun, but my wife and I got some exploring in as well. I won't force you to sit through all those pictures (drop me a note if you would like to see them). I do however want to give a shout out to a few people who made our visit extra enjoyable:
- Alejandro Betancur, for instigating this trip by recommending me to Susanna. And also for showing us the best nighttime Medellin eating spots.
- Susana Correa of SQA, who not only coordinated my trip but also showed us around Bogota and Medellin. (And watched me eat an entire Tilapia!)
- Translator extraordinaire David Almario, who saved my audiences from my not-so-hot Spanish.
- Microsoft MVP Miguel Mendoza, for showing us around and a great supper at Club Colombia.
- Edison of SQA, for chaffeuring us between engagements and not laughing when we saw how huge the Bandeja Paisa was.
- Tester Ivonne and her friend Maria for translating the Museo de Antioquia for us.
- Felipe and Ricardo of Colombia Quest for being The Best Tour Guides Ever!
- And all of the SQA testers for being the mostest funnest audience I've had!
Would you like me to come talk testing with your clients/management/teammates/Mutant Hamsters From A Planet Near Mars? Let me know: Michael dot J dot Hunter at microsoft dot com.