Endings and Beginnings

When I wrote my blog post a few weeks back celebrating 15 years in business, I had no idea that in a few short weeks I would be making sweeping changes. I knew I was restless in my current work, and also tired of being on the road all the time. But I did not realize how ready I was for a major change.

Hoo-boy, was I ready for change though. Rapid, sweeping change. Folks who follow me on Twitter know that in the last couple of weeks, I’ve: delivered my PragProg book Explore It!, to production; started a new job at Pivotal Labs; and closed down both Agilistry Studio and my consulting practice, Quality Tree Software, Inc.

I’ve posted farewell letters on both the Quality Tree and Agilistry Studio websites. You can read those for details about those closings. Eventually, however, I’ll be taking those websites down. This site will be my primary web presence.

I want to take a moment here to talk about what’s next for me.

My new job means that I won’t be training or consulting any more, nor do I intend to participate in many conferences for a while. There’s just so much for me to do and learn with my new job that I don’t have the mental bandwidth for anything else for the foreseeable future.

That said, I do intend to keep pushing the boundaries of software testing and overall development practices. I believe that the traditional software QA model is fundamentally and irretrievably broken. It’s time for new models. I want to figure out how to articulate those new models simply, and I hope that my work at Pivotal Labs will help me do that.

In the coming months, I might be writing here more. Or not. I’m not sure yet. We’ll just have to see how things go.

So that’s what I’m up to. What changes are on the horizon for you?


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21 Responses to Endings and Beginnings

  1. Michael Larsen December 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Congratulations on your new adventure, and thanks for letting me be a part of your previous one. It seems to be an era of new beginning for a number of people, myself included, and like you, i think there’s a certain “restlessness” in the air. I likewise feel that many of the old models are broken, and I’m likewise excited to explore different avenues and ways we might be able to resolve those issues.

    Looks like there’s at least two less lone guns for the foreseeable future ;).


  2. Jason Riley December 2, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    Good luck, Elisabeth! I’ve learned so much from you over the years, and I’ve never been a participant of one of your workshops or seen you speak at a conference. It’s all been from what you’ve published on the Web. Please continue to do so. Your practical, how-to advice has been indispensable for me; particularly your test heuristics cheat sheet and your new book Explore It!, which I purchased when it was in beta version 2. I’ve also enjoyed watching your passion for software testing and teaching in a number of videos on YouTube. Thanks for sharing your experiences, lessons learned, and practical advice.


  3. Simon P. Schrijver December 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Elisabeth, Good luck with your journey. I had the privilege to visit the Agilistry Studio last summer. It was a nice place to be. Hope to see you speaking on a conference in the future. For sure you will have have new stories to share to the community. But one thing, are the stunt hamster going into hibernation?

  4. David Greenlees December 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    “That said, I do intend to keep pushing the boundaries of software testing and overall development practices.”

    Phew… thank the lord for that!

    Good luck! We’ll be watching…

  5. Johan Hoberg December 3, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Good luck!

  6. Rosie Sherry December 3, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Best of luck with the new job, it sounds exciting. We hope you can share your findings and what works for you / Pivotal Labs. I do think startups can help lead the way in this.

  7. Nolan MacAfee December 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Good luck with the new job, but please keep tweeting! I’ll be very curious to see what new models you come up for QA. Congratulations.

  8. Paul Littlebury December 4, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    It’s a good time to explore – lots of interesting developments, especially in area of domain-specific modelling (and language). On the cusp of some far more positive evolutions, I believe. Good luck in your future direction. You always gave me things to think about, and hope you will continue to do so – it’s much appreciated.

  9. Bryan Oakley December 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Good luck with the new gig! We so thoroughly enjoyed having you come spend some time with us at kCura a while back. Publishing a new book, and turning a new chapter in your life. How poetic! If you’re ever in Chicago, lunch is on me.

  10. Rob Myers December 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Congratulations! I’m still speechless. Coffee?

  11. Dwarika December 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Good luck and as a student of software testing world , i would eagerly waiting for your new finding and ur new methodological model for testing products.
    I am as a toddler and only of just few years of my experience in industry i have learned that startups are the better lab to bring new thing after going restless with big company with big projects. Here we get the new rays of hope of innovation and research in just enought resources.

  12. Brian Wernham January 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I am glad that you will still be keeping this blog alive.

    We need more evidence that agile works (and where it doesn’t).

    My interests continue with examining what empirical evidence we have – both anecdotal and quantitative…

    My recent blog challenges the existing dogma and belief-driven adoption of agile – what we need is evidence-based adoption of agile:

    Read here:


  13. shabeer January 17, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    ” I believe that the traditional software QA model is fundamentally and irretrievably broken. It’s time for new models.”

    I agree 100% with you. I’ve been software testing for 9+ years and i too have realize that it’s fundamentally flawed, and there is an absolute need for scientific methods and modules.
    I’ve been trying on new models, but haven’t been successful so far.

    Keep up the good work !

  14. javier_83 January 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Congratulations in this new cycle on you life!! the best of the best!!

    Keep up the good work!!

    by the way i just pre order your book!! can’t wait to read it.

  15. Shanshan Pei January 22, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Congratulations! Actually I feel a little pity of your new change. I must let you know that I really like your tainings and presentations. And I thought that we may meet someday in other trainings or conference. But I am happy to see that you are focusing on more interested topic. Good Luck and can’t wait for your book and new models about QA.

    Best Wishes and Happy Spring Festival!

    Pei Shanshan @ Beijing, China

  16. Steven M January 24, 2013 at 8:27 am #


  17. Jitendra February 6, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    Hi Elisabeth,

    I really liked your post. esp the heading; Endings and Beginnings.
    Best Wishes for the future and the new role.

  18. Christer March 12, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    Hey, you’re writing good stuff in your book. It is very easy to follow! Too bad I have not bought it yet, but I always feel that I want to look things up before I really wanna deal with something. I am an unemployed tester who really loves to explore things in a way that can seem absurd sometimes.

    Well, I found a copy of some pages in what I believe is a chapter (Exploring a programming language) and started to explore programming as you do. I have never used JavaScript before so I decided to give it a go. It works with Komodo and Open the HTML-file in Firefox. When I came to where the real sorting of numbers takes action I simply copy and paste the text in Komodo as I do it here: [7,

    When I open the file in Firefox I surprisingly get:

    How can this happen? Can’t the language handle scattered code or is there something odd with this editor or am I, which I think would be excessive to say, violating the code?

    I think it is notable that the result is in the same order as written in the editor.

    Certainly I will try other tools but I’m kind of up late and should be sleeping now (I’m from Sweden and it’s small hours here now). Maybe there should be a codeline checker or something that prevents things like this to happen, or am I way off?

    But when I fix it to more readable code:
    [7,3,11].sort(function(a,b){return a-b})

    It gets right:

  19. JCD January 9, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    I have been to this page more than once. I recall seeing that post in 2012 and being a little sad about it. You and Steve Yegge had both stopped blogging. While Steve was a long time favourite, you were a more recent addition but I appreciated your work. I’ve never worked with you, but you are one of the few automation-oriented testers who wrote about your experiences. You did interesting work in jobs and I appreciated it. Well, I guess what I am getting at is I miss your writing and appreciated your work. I hope you come back… sooner rather than later.

    – JCD

    P.S. I wonder how you feel about QA now that you’ve been in a company for a while, with some stability. Has it changed your view?


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