I’ve decided to try an experiment. For at least the next month, I’m going to hold virtual office hours. Right now, they’re from 3-4PM Central Time on Fridays. Each hour is split into 3 sessions of 20 minutes each, and you can sign up for a session at http://ohours.org/andytinkham. We can meet over Skype, the phone or in a Google+ hangout. The goal is to talk about technical software testing topics, but I’m open to other subjects if you want to talk about them, too.
I’m doing this for a number of reasons. I’ve been fortunate to learn from a lot of smart people freely sharing knowledge over the course of my career, and I want to give something back to the industry & help others. I want to meet new interesting people and learn as much from them as they do from me. I’m a firm believer in Jerry Weinberg’s admonition that consultants should give away their best stuff, and this is a chance to try it out in a concrete way, and I want to get more ideas for things to write and speak about based on questions I get asked. If someone I talk with during office hours wants to bring me in as a consultant for a longer engagement, that’s a wonderful bonus, but each guest is under no obligation whatsoever to do so. I see potential value in doing this no matter what.
I don’t know where this experiment will go. I’ve got 3 great people lined up for the first session, and I’m looking forward to talking to them. Maybe they’ll have suggestions for ways to make office hours even more useful, maybe I’ll find some things that don’t work as well and change them. Maybe it’ll make more sense to switch to half hour sessions or have different hours with a different number of sessions in each. Maybe I’m wrong about the value of doing this. Whatever happens, I’m excited about trying this.
Want to take part in this experiment? I still have slots open – sign up at http://ohours.org/andytinkham! Got comments on the idea of having office hours (pro or con)? Share them here!