Meet Michael Larsen, Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at Socialtext. For Michael, software testing isn’t just his job, it’s a lifelong passion. So, when he was asked to contribute a chapter to a book entitled, How to Reduce the Cost of Software Testers, along with other passionate software testers, he readily agreed. He then faced the question: how do you write a book when you have authors from all over the world,who need to collaborate in real-time?
The authors knew that they needed a space where they could write, edit, and review the chapters, as well as keep track of their progress, so they decided to use Socialtext. Authors didn’t need any formal training to participate; they were encouraged to join the wiki and learn as they went. What ended up happening was that the entire book, from the initial author contract agreements, to the final review by the publisher, was completed on Socialtext.
Getting the authors to jump in and start contributing to the wiki was fairly easy. “Software testers rely on social media, like Twitter, to communicate with testers all over the world, almost like a 24/7 peer conference,” said Michael. The contributors were already familiar with the concept of using social media tools for business purposes, so they were eager to work with Socialtext.
Each author was tasked to write one chapter, and then review two other chapters. Using the wiki enabled this process to happen easily, as authors could post their chapter, review, edit, and offer suggestions on others’ work, and then review their own work based on feedback from fellow authors. Despite geographical distance and time zone differences, this process happened seamlessly and in real-time. The entire project was managed on Socialtext as well, with a frequently updated schedule, list of milestones to reach, and tasks still to be completed.
So, when Michael first interviewed at Socialtext, he was asked what he knew about Socialtext. “I’ve actually been using it for years, and even helped write a book by using Socialtext.” Now he adds his long-term Socialtext experience, and passion for software testing to help improve the Socialtext platform.