Who is Elisabeth Hendrickson (@testobsessed) ?

Todays Who Is, is Elisabeth Hendrickson, also known as TestObsessed. Elisabeth was one of the people I met on twitter, before I really knew who she was. Then I read a wonderful blogpost about her written by Alain Cooper. (yes the one from About Face and The Inmates are running the asylum, two books everyone working in IT should read )  I started to read her blog, check out what she did and with everything I found I was more impressed. Until she won the Gordon PaskAward in 2010. That did not surprise me. I missed her at Agile 2010, but she flew back to accept the award and I had the chance to spend some time with her. In the beginning of 2011, I heared she was creating Entaggle. Instead of complaining about certification like all of us, she looked for a better way of giving people what they wanted when they asked for certificates.

On top of that, she practises what she preaches and put a MMF version online to find out what her customers really wanted.

I was really happy when both George Dinwiddie and Dale Emery proposed to include her in the WhoIs (She was already invited by myself, but their invitation made my sorting  easier.. ) I’m looking forward to the book she talks about . yes continue reading she will bring out a book…


What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

My parents moved a lot when I was young, and as a result I attended 8 schools by the time I was in 8th grade. I became accustomed to being The New Kid. That experience gave me practice at fitting into new contexts quickly, a skill that’s quite handy as a consultant.

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
I’m not sure.

Back when I was a student, I thought I wanted to be a mechanical engineer. I quickly discovered I had no aptitude for it.

As a student, I tried my hand at various summer jobs to make money for school: I was a waitress, a political canvasser, an assistant in a medical office, and a file clerk. Each gave me an opportunity to see different kinds of jobs close up. None of those roles were a good fit for me.

The fact is that I love building software, every aspect of it. I find it difficult to contemplate a career outside technology.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
I’m good at starting, and less good at finishing. I’m still learning how to focus, follow through, and balance the different facets of running my business. This challenge is one of the reasons that I have spectacularly failed to produce a book, something I expected to have done by now. On the other hand, I’m never bored and I’m always coming up with new ideas.

What drives you ?
Lightbulbs. Ahas. Learning. Discovery.

As a coach and teacher, my favorite thing in the world is when I see a bright lightbulb go off over the head of someone I’m working with. As a professional, I love learning and exploration.

What is your biggest achievement?
I think Entaggle is probably my biggest achievement to date. It’s the first time I’ve been the driving force behind something so complex, and with so many users.

What is the last book you have read?  yves: I received two answers for this question.

When I asked the question:

For fiction, the last book I read was Jerry Weinberg‘s First Stringers: Eyes that do not See. For non-fiction, the last book I read was Scalzi‘s You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to the Coffee Shop.

Just before publishing:
For fiction, I am in the middle of N. K. Jemisin‘s The Kingdom of Gods. For non-fiction, the last book I read was The Knowing-Doing Gap by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?
If you were in a mood to needle me, you could ask “how’s the book coming?” It’s a running joke among those who have known me for a long time. I’ve had different books in the works continuously since 2001.

The answer is that it’s going great! Only I can’t talk about it. Because this time it’s much closer to real, with an actual publisher and everything. But until the details are ironed out, I’m not supposed to pre-announce it. I can say that there will be real news in early 2012. This time for sure!

Who do you think I should ask next?

I’m not sure who you’ve asked yet, but I would love to see answers from:

Already published: Dale Emery, Liz Keogh

Added to the wishlist:  Diana Larsen, Martin Fowler, Jez Humble, Ward Cunningham, JB Rainsberger, and Linda Rising.