James Bach on Cover: February 2014

If you are a software tester and you happen to care about software testing outside your day job, you probably have heard about ‘Testing Circus’ magazine. If you haven’t, read on.
Testing Circus is a monthly software testing magazine I started in September 2010. It is a magazine solely dedicated to software testing and software testers. It is almost 5 years we have been regularly publishing monthly edition of this magazine.

Why I started this magazine?
In 2010 there were few magazines which were based on software testing. There were some regular magazines but they are not monthly. Some magazines used to be monthly but they stopped publishing after a while. Another reason was most of the magazines were targeting testing gurus only publishing high buzzword articles and philosophical topics. Those topics were useful for delivering a lecture in a best practices conference but were not useful for beginners who wanted to read new things about software testing and wanted to connect with other software testers. Testing Circus started as an attempt to solve those problems. Initially the magazine was aimed at beginner level testers. We published test ideas and quizzes around testing. Some of the features that we used publish in our initial edition still continues such Interview with testers, testers to follow in twitter and tips and tutorials on one tool/technology/domain. Testing Circus still serves to both beginner as well as seasoned testers in fulfilling their monthly appetite for testing reading.

How did we do so far?
We never missed an edition in last 50 months/editions. This is not a big achievement for any kind of monthly magazine. Thousands of magazines publish regular editions. However, Testing Circus is a fully volunteer dependent magazine with no full time or paid employee. Our volunteers spend few hours a week collecting articles, reviewing and designing the magazine and maintaining the website. This is how we publish our magazine every month. Thank you Srinivas, Dwarika, Pankaj, Sanath and other who volunteered in the past.

I would like to thank…
When I was planning to start this magazine, many people came forward and helped me putting the pieces together. One of them is Vipul Kocher. Without Vipul’s encouraging words the Testing Circus would have never came out. When you are working a new stuff and a little extra motivation helps like grease in a jammed machine. Vipul just did that with our first edition.
After the first edition came out, many testers who had read the magazine suggested many ideas. One of them was Pradeep Soundararajan. Pradeep kept me pushing to make the design and content better. Pradeep can be a disruptive force like a hurricane and I was pretty much caught in that in the initial few months of the magazine.
You will need a very supportive spouse to do this kind of activities. Bharati who I am married to for over 8 years now has been very supportive in running this magazine. I do steal lots of family time to accomplish the monthly editions.

Why you should read it
You should read it because –
1. There is no difference between those who do not read and those who cannot read – software testers included.
2. The only way to survive in this ever changing world is to steal other’s ideas. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just read how they invented it and make your own or use it. Testing ideas included.
3. It is free.
4. It is my magazine.
Well you can ignore the last one.

Going forward –
I need more serious volunteers and good articles and ideas to be able to continue this magazine’s journey. Someday we plan to hire a full time employee or start paying for the articles when we start earning enough from advertising revenue. Till then volunteers are our backbone and article writers are our investors.
I hope you all will continue to support us by writing articles for us. Testing Circus is about to celebrate 5 years/60th editions in few months from now.

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