Thursday, May 31, 2012

Writers Need Feedback

I recently received an email containing the following paragraph:

"A tester peer of mine here in town recently told me a great story of how your book, Perfect Software, helped save one of his tester's jobs. He gave the book to his Manager and it changed the manager's mind about testing and the need for good testers. I've encouraged my peer to contact you with the story in more detail and will keep doing that."

I love to hear stories of how my writing is influencing real people to change their world (for the better, I hope). I specifically intended Perfect Software and Other Illusions about Testing for the purpose of educating managers and others who require a better understanding of software testing if they are to do a better job.

Do You Have a Story?

I'd love to hear your story of how one of my writings helped you do a better job. I'd even like to hear your story of how one of my writings led you to do a worse job. I need this kind of feedback if I'm to do a better job myself.

In fact, I'd even like to hear stories about how other authors' writings helped or hindered your work. Or, even better, about writings that helped improve your life. Or made it worse.

I suppose I should give an example. Okay, like many smart people, I used to use my intelligence to think of reasons I should be miserable. That kind of thinking made me a rather miserable person. Then I read Bertrand Russell's little book, The Conquest of Happiness. Russell's words showed me that I could use my intelligence to be happy, not miserable. They changed my life.

They say that the pen is mightier than the sword. Well, we don't use pens much any more (or swords, for that matter), but there's still plenty of power in our keyboards. With all that power, we need to know if we're using it to people stronger or to lop off their heads.

So, let me hear from you, and I'll try to pass your feedback on to the whole world of writers.