Tuesday, June 02, 2009

James Whittaker joins Google

By Patrick Copeland

I'm excited to announce that James Whittaker has joined us as our newest Test Director at Google.

James comes to us most recently from Microsoft. He has spent his career focusing on testing, building high quality products, and designing tools and process at the industrial scale. In the not so distant past, he was a professor of computer science at Florida Tech where he taught an entire software testing curriculum and issued computer science degrees with a minor in testing (something we need more schools to do). Following that , he started a consulting practice that spanned 33 countries. Apparently, fashion is not high on his list as he he has collected soccer jerseys from many of these countries and wears those during major tournaments. At Microsoft he wrote a popular blog, and in the near future you can expect him to start contributing here.

He has trained thousands of testers worldwide. He's also written set of books in the How to Break Software series. They have won awards and achieved best seller status. His most recent book is on exploratory testing is coming out this summer. It is not a stretch to say that he is one of the most recognizable names in the industry and has had a deep impact on the field of testing. If you have a chance, strike up a conversation with James about the future of testing. His vision for what we'll be doing and how our profession will change is interesting, compelling and not just a little bit scary.

Join me in welcoming James to Google!

8 comments:

  1. James is an amazing guy and it was a pleasure to share the occasional conference room with him. Go have fun :)

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  2. Congratulations on joining google! Looking forward to read posts from you

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  3. Does this mean Windows 7 is going to be a flop? ;-)

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  4. His vision for what we'll be doing and how our profession will change is interesting, compelling and not just a little bit scary.

    First, I hope this comment isn't removed because it looks like a criticism to you or your organization or the person whom you have hired?

    First congratulations to James Whittaker.

    Second, When I meet a tester from Google in future, should I ask him - "Are you testing as per the vision of one man your organization hired or you are allowed to have your own vision as well?"

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  5. Pradeep: "...looks like a criticism to you or your organization.."

    Pat: It's not intended as either, it's just a comment that James is a radical thinker (and we like that).

    Pradeep: "...one man your organization hired or you are allowed to have your own vision..."

    Pat: We have a number of strong personalities in the productivity area. At Google, all ideas are heard. James adds his voice to a larger chorus.

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  6. @Pat,

    We have a number of strong personalities in the productivity area. At Google, all ideas are heard. James adds his voice to a larger chorus.

    Fantastic. That must boost a lot of testers to continue dreaming a place in Google.

    The post from you sounded as though there is going to be special focus for what James Whittaker is going to say in Google.

    James Whittaker has been interesting and good many times but his charisma shouldn't over rule other testers within Google.

    If I were to be in Google and a part of such a hiring panel, I would have asked myself if there are people who can challenge JW within the company because if his thoughts go unchallenged, its bad for him, for your organization and maybe for the testing community outside Google.

    I trust there are testers within Google who would challenge his thoughts and also hope in James Whittaker's vision of the future, he has a point - to allow any tester challenge each other as a healthy practice.

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  7. I love Selenium!

    Wish I could get my head around this BDD stuff though :(

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  8. James is an awesome, open-minded, and yes at times a controversial player in the Software Testing community...

    As an evangelist for software testing James is integral to the industry as a whole and his forward thinking, innovative and sometimes controversial approach encourages the software testing community to question what they do along with how and why they do it.

    Happy Googling James :)

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