Consider doing something different in 2007. Write a paper on a testing topic that you feel strongly about or a testing topic you have a great deal of experience around. And present at the Conference for the Association for Software Testing.
Presenting isn’t as scary as it sounds. The testing community may be filled with some tough critics because testers are more or less critics for a living but hey, we aren’t toastmasters and no one expects you to present like a marketing pro. True experience and interesting stories are a valuable contribution to the community. When you present to a community of testers at least you’re with a group of people who understand what you do for a living. Be a little brave.
Now during the cold dark days of winter (for many of us), is a great time to sit indoors and write a paper. The writing process and the thought of publicly distributing a paper will make you think clearly about a topic. Writing can help you solidify your thoughts. When you put your paper “out there” like-minded people will find you. I’ve met some amazing people because I’ve the courage to stand up and speak.
To start, all you need is an idea then submit an abstract explaining what you’d like to write and talk about. Take a look at the Call for Papers on the Association for Software Testing site. I’m working as a program co-chair for the conference so if you need more information, you can contact me. Envision this summer when you can be in Seattle and talk with like-minded people about software testing.