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Reluctant Twitterer finds golden IT links, mentors

Are you a software developer, tester, quality assurance manager or Agile/waterfall expert? Then I’d like to follow you…on Twitter, that is. In this post, I’ll introduce you to some of the smart software experts I follow on Twitter and share my experience as a reluctant Twitterer.

Exactly when I began writing about Twitter, I couldn’t get on the site due to a denial-of-service attack. That the attack was made indicates that Twitter has arrived. That I was mildly put out because I wanted to tweet shows that I’ve become a Twitter.

I started as a reluctant Twitterer. Email, phone and IM communications keep my day hectic enough, I thought. I asked myself and others: “What meaningful communication can take place in 140 characters?” That said, I do write about information technology, so I figured I’d give it a trial run. Maybe I’d be able to write a scathing review. Well, two things have won me over to Twitter:

  • Twitter lets me keep up with interesting people I don’t talk to daily.
  • The links those people share have taken me to top-notch IT content.

Since I’ve been a computer industry journalist since the 1980s, I’ve covered many beats, ranging from desktops to operating systems to e-software (remember that?) to virtualization to software development. Twitter gives me an easy way to catch up with and continue to learn from my mentors and friends in fields I no longer cover, as well as the new beat I follow now. Here are some examples of both types of people whom I’m following now:

  • Bernard Golden is an open source software expert I met when I helmed SearchEnterpriseLinux.com and who also moved into virtualization about the same time I led the launch of SearchServerVirtualization.com.
  • Burton Group senior analyst Chris Wolf was and still is my virtualization mentor. He’s actually just about everyone’s virtualization expert, and he knows his way around virtual labs, too.
  • I was just introduced to Matt Heusser”, creator of the dev/test blog, Creative Chaos, Now I read his blog daily, and I hope to be working with him soon.
  • I read this chapter of Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility, which led me to reading the whole book in one day. Then, I got the inside scoop on the book from and began following co-author Pollyanna Pixton.
  • After doing keyword searches on Twitter, I began following software testers and Agile experts Anne-Marie Charrett and David Alfaro. In last week’s blog post, Testing blog digest, I wrote about Charrett’s blog tip on discovering software bugs. Almost every day, Alfaro tweet links send me to super-informative articles.

I enjoy reading about the lighter side of my band of Twitterers’ days, too. A few minutes ago. Chris Wolf’s update said: “Driving up 95 to NJ. My son sees an oil refinery in Baltimore and asks ‘Is that New Jersey?'”

Finally, I’m forced to admit I’ve grown to love the 140-character tweet limit. Not only does the limit make me boil things down to the real nitty-gritty, it saves me from having to read long-winded posts.

Care to join my Twitter community? I tweet about software testing/QA articles I read, my conversations with experts and more. You’ll find me on Twitter as jlstafford. Please invite me to follow you, too.

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