100 posts in the blog – reflections, thoughts, and insights on blogging as a tester.

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The last blog post I added was the 100-th blog post I’ve wrote for mrslavchev.com. I wanted to take the time and reflect on that event and blogging in general – first for myself, I like to do that, second – I hope I might inspire some of you to try blogging, too.

How it all started?

The reason for the existence of this blog is quite trivial. Before I started working in IT, I was attending an academy for software development, one of the tasks in one of the disciplines there was to start a tech blog. To me that sounded nuts, a tech blog, by me, what the heck was I supposed to write in it, I knew nothing. This was back in April 2013. I created the blog as a free wordpress.com blog, with very limited capabilities.

In the beginning I was writing all kind of techie stuff (because I really knew none) like a fun fact I got to know, some homework from the academy, etc.

Later I found out that one of my passions – Linux was bringing a lot of readers, so I started writing more frequently about Linux.

Year later, I got a free hosting account for a year and decided to move it to self-hosted WordPress installation with full capabilities. Right about that time I had my first job as a QA, it was stressful and packed with new findings, so I decided it might be a good idea to share what I learned in testing, since I still had no fkin idea what to write about 😀

The first signs of success with the blog was when one of my colleagues told me she read some of my stuff and they were really interesting. That turned into a theme btw, in all companies I worked for since then there was at least one person who read something I wrote, which was so cute and it made me feel like I am doing something meaningful, I guess that’s what carried me for 10 years.

100 posts for 10 years, what a lazy ass!

If you are thinking that, I totally agree with you. In fact it wouldn’t be a challenge for a frequent blogger to do 100 posts in a year, even surpass them.

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I think I’m a terrible blogger – I don’t post frequent enough, I’ve picked up series I never ended, I promised I will write about stuff, and I never did after that, there was period where I didn’t post for a YEAR. There were people coming to me at conferences asking like – are you planning to post on your blog in future? There was even a guy that wrote me an email like “dude, you are not posting, are you still well and alive” 😀

Bottom line being, I don’t know what I did to deserve my audience, but I’m really, really, deeply grateful that you are still here, reading my reflections and putting on with my shit. Cheers to all of you! I can perhaps, in the name of the inspiration that you are for me promise that I will write more frequently … but the thing is I can’t 😀 … but I will try, I can at least try.

What did I achieve blogging for 10 years?

I can list some of the craziest achievements I got being a blogger:

  • I got absolutely out of fkin nowhere people telling me they’ve read my blog. Like a colleague of mine when I was working at Siteground met an old acquaintance of his which is in accounting (not even remotely close to testing), she asked him where he works, when he mentioned where, she was like ”Ah, yeah I know Viktor Slavchev from your company, I read his blog”.
    One more – the son of an ex-colleague of mine, she has nothing to do with testing or IT, the kid was like a teenager, also read my blog.. and on and on.
  • There was a woman named Olga, from a forum called https://software-testing.ru/ that was translating my articles in Russian and posted them in the forum – that felt totally amazing, I felt like I was some big writer being translated in other languages 😀
  • Not only many of my colleagues read some of my stuff, but from a moment onwards, interviewers knew who I was because of my blog or read it previously, which is crazy. I don’t want to brag, but it is like a portfolio that you can offer to your future employer and say like – here’s what I can, here’s what I think, so they come prepared to the interview. I also believe, you seem to do pretty well if you persuade employers to come ask you to work for them, not the other way around.
  • I got published in a couple of issues of testing magazine called Tea time with testers, which again made me feel amazing and let me meet some wonderful people.
  • I met my beautiful wife because she read my blog and came to introduce herself to me after a lecture. I mean, none of the rest can top that, but yet I’m going to list them. 😀
  • I started into conference speaking because I already had enough exposure being a blogger.
  • I was offered from one of my ex employers to make a review for their testing tool on my blog, which I refused, since it’s kind of controversial with my creed. But that’s common – tool vendors reach out to me every now and then, wanting me to write review on their tools. I might turn this into a sponsored section some day, like posts being marked with big heading “SPONSORED” so people know to skip it if they aren’t interested. Yet, I am not completely sold to the idea for two reasons -first, I don’t believe they want me to write an honest review on their tools, but rather praise them and lie to my audience how great they are, second – they don’t like paying cash, they mostly offer subscriptions for their tools, as if I’d turn into a dragon that hoards subscriptions for shitty automation record-replay tools.
  • I did make money out of my blog once for displaying a banner for a month, it was 200$ and it felt totally awesome. I lost like 5% of it due to PayPal’s stupid converions rates. So, f**k PayPal. 🙂
  • And let’s not forget the tons of people who stopped me at conferences or events, reached out to me in company Slack, LinkedIn, email, the contact form of my blog, telling me they read my stuff and they liked them, tons of new friends, acquaintances, lovers and haters
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In the course of my career, being a novice person in IT and QA it was a great endeavor to have my own hosting and blog to deal with, as it helped me to learn so much about the inner workings of a product and all the hurdles a dev team might face when releasing software. Some of the weirdest bugs I found were reported by readers of my blog, and I bet my career on it, no automation tool would find that, as they were to frikin specific. Want an example, here’s one:
I used a theme that had comments displayed in colored boxes, for some whatever reason, and because I can, I had added a custom CSS to make the text in them white. Few years later, after I changed the theme and totally forgot about what changes I made, a colleague of mine reported that he wasn’t able to write a comment, like he was typing and nothing happened.
I looked at it tried typing and found out the cursor was actually moving to the right, wtf! I selected the comment area with Ctrl+A and found out that the text was in fact there, but it was white color on white background (my new theme had them like that). So, I found the custom CSS, deleted it and cursed on my self for a while. This helped me realize two things:
Quirkiest of bugs are often caused by your own stupidity or misunderstanding of something in the past. Don’t be harsh to developers, they are human beings like us, they do mistakes, if you’d be responsible for their job you’d do them, too. Just be happy that they fix them or at least they are open to listen.
No possible automated test would catch that. May be a visual test that types a text and verifies it, but visual tests are a pain on their own.

My greatest achievement of all.

My greatest achievement being a blogger for a while is that I got undeserved amount of exposure which skyrocketed my career more than ever imagined. Plus a bonus – every time you face a stupid, stubborn pundit that has a totally opposite opinion to yours, and he asks you why do you think like that, you can always bombard him or her with tons of articles from your blog, each of them 2k words long, so they are like…. “Ok, uhhh see you in a week”. It feels amazing, like that scene from Avengers Endgame where Thanos hits Iron Man with a moon! 😀

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All jokes aside, I believe my greatest achievement is the audience, and for that I thank you, my friend for reading this and keeping up with my weird sense of humor. I really enjoyed the time together and I promise more!

Now, enough sentimental bs, if you kept reading until the end, you might want to help me with some insight – what article did you find most interesting on my blog OR what do you want me to write more about? Or both! 😊 Cheers!

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Mr.Slavchev

Senior software engineer in testing. The views I express here are mine, they don't represent any position held by any of my employers. Experience in mobile, automation, usability and exploratory testing. Rebel-driven tester, interested in the scientific part of testing and the thinking involved. Testing troll for life. Retired gamer and a beer lover. Martial arts practitioner.

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2 thoughts on “100 posts in the blog – reflections, thoughts, and insights on blogging as a tester.”

  1. I read some of your posts and they taught me things that in a year as a QA I didn’t learn. Thank you for the precious teachings

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