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Should We Build Better Software…Or Better People? (with Damian Synadinos from QA or The Highway)

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Intro

In the digital reality, evolution over revolution prevailed. The QA approaches and techniques that worked yesterday will fail you tomorrow. So free your mind. The automation cyborg has been sent back in time. Ted Speaker Jonathan Wright’s mission is to help you save the future from bad software. 

Jonathon Wright

Welcome to the show, we’ve got Damian. I’m so excited to have him on the show. I’ve been addicted to going to your videos recently on YouTube, which you have to check out. 

Jonathon Wright

He’s got a lightning talk at Star West, which is just absolutely amazing. You know, he gets the crowd going over a hundred conferences he’s done. You know, this guy, he’s an absolute legend. And also, you know, he’s going to tell you a little bit more about Ineffable and what Ineffable Solutions do. So have to over to you, David. Give you could give us a little bit to introduce yourself. 

Damian Synadinos

Thank you. Jonathan, I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. It’s great to be here. And thanks for the introduction. It’s all accurate. It’s I’ve. I’m a public speaker and professional speaker. This is my job. This is what I do. I’ve been doing it professionally for about six years. 

Damian Synadinos

And I’ve had my company for almost four years now. So that’s who I am right now. I’m a speaker, among other things. But I started my career almost twenty-five twenty-six years ago in software testing. And that’s why I’m speaking to you today, among other things. 

Jonathon Wright

Yeah. I was very impressed. I kind of look through it all the way back to the 90s when you started off in testing. And, you know, you’ve had some really interesting roles. You know, you’ve kind of gone between the kind of real focus on quality, you know, to kind of team leadership. And I kind of adapt from some of this kind of stuff that you do with your training sessions at the moment, because that looks like a lot of fun. And some of the feedback I was reading, you know, you really get the audience engaged and, you know, you working on things like communication, teamwork, you know. Tell me a little bit about how you got to do the training side of things. 

Damian Synadinos

Yeah. I’ll start even further back to give you a little bit of context, an origin story, as it were. 

Damian Synadinos

I started in computers and in my teenage years, I started learning on a take your S.A.T. color computer. And I taught myself basic when I was in primary school. So I’ve been around computers my entire life. And by 19 years old, I was at university and I had an opportunity. A friend of the family gave an opportunity to join the Quality Assurance Department at CompuServe, a company that’s no longer around but used to be the one and only way to get online and in the late 80s and early 90s. And so I dropped out of university and joined the Q8 department with my testing career, as many of us have fallen backward into testing. 

Damian Synadinos

That’s my fall backward story. And to make a long story short. Over the next twenty-five years or so, I worked at about fifteen different companies in a variety of contexts and industries and domains, including education and retail, finance, insurance, airline, all sorts of different companies that had many differences. But one thing in common, they all made or use the software in some way, shape, or form. And I helped make that software better through testing. 

Damian Synadinos

And then I got into improv about 10 years ago, 10 to 12 years ago, improv comedy, kind of like what you see on whose line is it anyway? And I did that for about 10 years. I teach that I recently taught a class at the Columbus, Ohio State School for the blind. I taught a bunch of visually impaired students on how to do improv. I use that experience to help me. Author, a child, author, and illustrator, a children’s book called Hankin Stellan, Something from Nothing that teaches kids the principles of improvisational comedy. I really see myself as a holistic person using a lot of different varied aspects of myself and bringing them all together to become a public speaker, as I mentioned before. And I use elements of my testing experience and my improvisation and my authoring to try and make dynamic, enjoyable educational sessions, keynotes workshops for my attendees. 

Jonathon Wright

It’s absolutely fascinating. I went through because you also spoke at a dog fest. I think it was a cat fest. There were some really interesting events that you’ve spoken at. And I know there are a few schools in there. And I think it’s so great that you’re kind of I guess a lot of people are talk about STEM at the moment. But, you know, no one’s really thinking about that kind of soft creative skills. And, you know, I think creativity is so important. And, you know, it seems that you’re just directly tapped into that. You know, James Whitaker did a few books on five steps to Towards Creativity. You know, it sounds like your kind of very aligned with that. And I’m very passionate about, you know, how important communication is. 

Damian Synadinos

Absolutely, I think communication is one of the most essential skills that need to be developed. And I do enjoy speaking at primary schools, elementary schools here in the States. I go and I read my book and the book is intended to teach kids life skills through improv. You can teach a kid about collaboration and cooperation and creativity and how to communicate and react to mistakes and accidents. But that’s kind of dull and boring. But if you wrap up those boring lessons in something more fun, then it becomes more palatable to them. And so some of the same things I teach in my workshops to professional executives. I teach those same ideas and concepts to children just using different language. But I think it’s very important to focus on things like communication and empathy and linguistics and semantics. What do things mean? And understanding one another. 

Damian Synadinos

Modeling all these sorts of relativism, those types of things, really fundamental concepts. That’s one of the things I realized after twenty-five years of software testing is no matter how much the context changes, if you dig down deep enough at the core or usually just a handful of fundamental things like communication and empathy, trust relationships, those types of things. And that’s what I focus on in my speaking and training. 

Jonathon Wright

I think it’s great because, you know, trust is the basis when you’re talking about confidence around testing. You know, there’s a certain level of trust that’s kind of implied there. And, you know, back on to your point for a second. You know, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the TED talk from Sir Ken Robinson around, you know, is education killing creativity? I’d recommend checking it out. He’s a fantastic speaker and he’s kind of talking about what you’re talking about here, about what is that kind of skill that you the kids are going to need in the future. And those cool foundational skills. Yes, science, math technologies is great. But in actual fact, we don’t know what the future’s going to look like in 10, 20, 20 years. And we were finding right today and I you say in this first bit of what you know, you’ve kind of had to interact with people that are you know, since Cauvin 19 may go off, that he’s that kind of communication might be the norm going forward and therefore being able to express yourself well, to read people and be able to understand and empathize for them and, you know, have that curiosity and enthusiasm and passion about what you do. I think that’s what you’re trying to do is inject that passion back into it with a bit of fun as well. So you were talking about that kind of training side of things that I know you do, things like the hidden requirements and a few of the sessions. Could you tell us a little bit about the listeners? A little bit more about that? 

Damian Synadinos

Yes, certainly. I like to vary up my training. Some of it is improv-based. In other words, I use I teach these things that I mentioned earlier, linguistics and semantics, and communication and empathy, which are somewhat dry, boring topics. But I try to wrap them up in something more fun because something that’s more enjoyable, people, whether they need it or not, they will want it. Something to learn something. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. So I try and make it interesting to them. So I often use improv as a way to teach these fundamental topics. But not all of my talks and training used improv. Sometimes I’m able to wrap it up in other ways to make it interesting to engage the audience. The hidden requirements are one of my talks and workshops that do not use improv, but I talk about the importance of emotional considerations and software design development testing. If something needs specifications or requirements or seems to be as intended, it may still not be pleasing and satisfying and enjoyable to the customer. And why is that? Because of pleasing, satisfying, enjoyable our emotions. And if you haven’t considered the emotions, and even if it meets requirements, it may not sell. 

Damian Synadinos

It may be rejected by the customer. So that when I don’t really use any improv in it, but I tap into the idea of emotional considerations and the importance of those. 

Jonathon Wright

And that’s really interesting because, you know, another to speak. Simon, I’ll dig his name out. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen. He explains with a whiteboard why people like Apple products. And it’s kind of that whole kind of dimension of what Simon said.

Damian Synadinos

I think he’s the Golden Why Circle, the Golden Why. Start with the why. 

Jonathon Wright

Yeah. 

Damian Synadinos

Yeah, I said I truly believe that the idea that he’s espousing there starts with the why is nothing new. But he does it very clearly and effectively. So it’s gotten a lot of popularity. And the idea I totally agree with it. I often say if you understand the purpose, the reason, the goal that you do something if you answer the why, that will help you better understand the what and the how. If you try and figure out what you’re doing or how to do it, but you don’t understand the reason, then I think you’re lost. 

Jonathon Wright

It’s amazing because looking in a different direction, you know, and someone like Steve. Jobs was very much about the why was it wasn’t? This has got an 8086 processor and it was about twice as fast as it was before or, you know, twice as shiny as it was before. 

Jonathon Wright

And, you know, part of it is it was feeding directly into our emotions. And I know, you know, I remember a friend, Julie Gardner, who did emotional intelligence for testing. She stood the workshops at the stall. And, you know, do you feel that maybe some of that stuff’s kind of taking in, too, you know, getting people and people thinking about mindfulness. People thinking about emotional intelligence. Do you think that’s also very helpful? 

Damian Synadinos

Well, I was listening to The QA Lead introduction episode where you introduced the news series, the new podcast. And one of the quotes that I heard you say was testing is a lost art. And I agree because I think that a lot of times after being in this for 25 plus years in software testing and technology and being a consumer, a user of technology for forty-six years my entire life, my personal feeling is that the quality of software has degraded significantly. 

Damian Synadinos

The stuff that’s available out there is far more complex and complicated and advanced than it ever was before. But I also feel it’s worse. Obviously, that’s subjective and quality is very much to each their own. But that’s my personal feeling. And part of that is because I think the testing is a lot of lost lost art. It’s not the only reason, but part of the reason that I feel there is a degradation in the quality of the software is that people have gone away from the fundamental concepts, the things that I teach, and they’ve gotten distracted and caught up in a fancy technology and tools that are certainly useful, certainly helpful. But again, if you don’t understand the why, why are you testing why? 

Damian Synadinos

The reason that you’re trying to do something than the number of tools and technology is really moot. It doesn’t matter what type of tools and technologies you use if you don’t understand the fundamental concepts such as communication and emotions. So I don’t know if that answered your question, but I think it’s at least tangential to the topic. 

Jonathon Wright

No, no, I absolutely and I completely agree with you. I think, you know, we’ve lost something and it’s a real shame because, you know, I’m trying to get Tom Gilb on the show at the moment. 

Damian Synadinos

And, you know, he’s kind of to me is that the grandfather of that child, he was talking about {inaudible} and Evo back in the 70s and 80s. And I’ve got most of his books. And he was an engineer, you know. And, you know, part of it is it feels like we might have lost some of that. And, you know, I don’t think engineering was about the process. It was about being an art form. It was about this, you know, doing something that was it engineered to perfection. And, you know, I think we’ve kind of gone faster and faster and faster. And I think now we’re seeing it break. You know, we’re seeing it now. Like, I literally can’t use my app toward the takeaway any more because it does come down. You know, I called to order food at the 6:00 a.m. in the morning. I get up. And I’m in a queue for fourteen thousand people. And it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for me anymore. Right now, I remember CompuServe. I used to have a copy of my first CompuServe e-mail. I also a little side task, but I also got banned from CompuServe and it was, you know, back in the 90s. And, you know, back then, my best friend who had. It was lucky he’s called Russell Watson. He’s actually got a doctorate in computers. He became Dr. Watson, which I’m sure you’re familiar with, especially with you know, I know when you were at CompuServe, you’re doing M.S. task, which is a very long time ago anyway. 

Jonathon Wright

People recognize that name, though. They don’t even think the people at Microsoft recognize that name anymore.

Jonathon Wright

You know, I’ve been into Alan Page and some of the Microsoft guys recently, and, you know, they go back a few decades, but. Yeah. So I’d left Russ, who was my best friend, to, you know, get online. So waiting for the 56K flex or whatever it was, you know, modem to connect. Got to CompuServe. And, you know, first thing, he’s onto the chat channels. He’s chatting away. And yeah. So next thing I’ve comes downstairs, he’s like, oh we’ve been disconnected. He says you’ve been banned. 

Jonathon Wright

And I said Oh what’s happened? He was like, well, I was just chatting to people because he was always in charge because he did a Mavis Beacon touch typing course. And he was able to do 80 words a minute. So, therefore, because it was costing this 50 50 cent every minute to be online, he was the most efficient way to get connected. Get on, get off. It’s 12 minutes. You know, I don’t minimize the phone bill. So literally, I was like, well, what did he say? It’s like, well, this guy started, you know. Harassing me. I did, so I told him exactly what I thought it was like, what was his name?  oh, a guy called Admin and, you know, even though he was doing computing. He you know, he thought the name was lame, but he didn’t realize he stood for an administrator. My dad got a letter through the post from CompuServe saying that subscriptions being held for abusing staff for 30 days. 

Damian Synadinos

Snail mail banning. That’s wonderful. 

Jonathon Wright

But it shows you how things have changed. You know, we’d get on. We’d serve ourselves like CompuServe, surf the Internet to ourselves in a small chunk, and then we’d get off. The whole thing was that experience was easy. It was straightforward for somebody who is, you know, 16, 17 doing college. And, you know, AOL, my sister still has an AOL e-mail address. It’s quite tragic. But, you know, it worked. Right. And now we have a self-serve. Always being connected and always, you know, expecting, you know, things to be very simple, which they’re not, because what’s the simplicity’s done is mask the actual complexity behind it. And hat’s the problem. I don’t know if you remember Napster and MP3 players, you know, how difficult was it to get the music to come to your MP3 player. You’d have to plug it in to synchronize it. You’d have to download the music before that. It was it took time. I took engineering. Now you say, Alexa, play me whatever. And you don’t think anything else about it. And I think, though, simplicity has made it easier from a digital experience. But I think now it’s taken away the joy of owning an MP3 player of going through and really thinking about, well, what’s my favorite music? You know, I’m going to rate it one to five. I’m going to make my own playlist. I’m going to make my own tapes or mixtapes. If Guardians of the Galaxy teaches us anything. So, you know, I think as things have gone, you know, down the line, we’ve kind of over-engineered ourselves by just technology. And like you said, the focus is being, again, just on technology and not what’s behind it. 

Damian Synadinos

Absolutely. I wholeheartedly agree with what you said. I sometimes mentor Junior or even experienced testers depending on their need or their wants. And someone came to me once and asked if I could mentor them. They wanted to get into software testing. 

Damian Synadinos

So I started with the. Why? Why do you want to? There’s no wrong answer. They could have said money or status or fame or who knows. But understanding their reason and purpose for doing so helped me better understand what to do and how to do it. So they gave their reason and we began our sessions and we would meet several times a week and we started meeting over several months. And I started with things like communication, which is again very basic and fundamental and effective communication and how to identify miscommunication, how to even recognize when this communication might be occurring, and stop it before it gets any further. And then we talked about semantics and digging into meaning and what do people mean and words and linguistics and how they’re malleable and change and subjective and people’s experience in Virginia Satir’s Communication models. And then we started talking about relativism, which led to this perspective and subjectivity and how different things mean different things to different people. And then we got into modeling and how everything you think, do, or say is based on some type of mental model or physical model and how that affects our perception of the world. And after months of this, she said, hey, I asked you to help me get into software testing and we’ve never talked about it at all. And I said, well, have we? Or haven’t we? I used the analogy of a Karate Kid. If you’ve ever seen that movie, it’s a pop culture reference. But somewhat self. That’s it. He didn’t think he was learning karate by doing Mr. Miati’s household chores. But in fact, he was learning it all along. So I said, you don’t think you’ve been learning about testing, but have we ever spoken about bug reports or defects? She said, no, I said. So somebody might teach you about severities and priorities and expected results and steps to reproduce, but we’ve never talked about those things. But tell me, how would you enter? We’ve talked about problems in perspective. How would you enter a bug if you found a bug? How would you tell people about it as well? I understand that. I’m not sure who’s gonna be reading the report. So I have to try and use language that’s as accessible as possible because it might land upon different eyes. And they have different perspectives. And I have to also indicate what perspective I’m using and why I think it’s important and why I think it’s relevant and also use it in comparison compared to why it’s important to compare to other things. And I said you’ve just talked about how she would explain what she did and why she did those things and the results that she thought should happen and the results that actually happened. I said what you’ve just done is described a beautiful bug report, but we’ve never talked about severities and priorities and steps to reproduce. But you knew to do those things. Because I taught you the fundamental concepts. So I was teaching her testing from the inside out. Back to the last art thing. I was asked recently about what do you think is the future of testing? And many other people that were asked the same question were saying AI/ML and DevOps, bitcoin, buzz word insert here, whatever. And I said a return to the fundamentals because that’s what I think is needed to be. Maybe it won’t be. But I think needs to be the future of testing. And one last thing, talking about the Internet and Napster and Alexa. I think obviously the Internet is wonderful for a variety of reasons. And I also think it’s horrible for a variety of reasons. I have a blog post called How Do You Really Feel? And it applies that concept to pizza that [00:20:49]you can love and hate things about a pizza. It’s the same pizza and you don’t have to wholly love it or wholly hate it. You can like and dislike different aspects of it. And that’s how I feel about the Internet. [9.6s]

Damian Synadinos

I feel that it has made it easier to do things badly to miscommunicate. Now, obviously you and I are talking across the pond very easily and effectively. But if you don’t understand basic communication skills and how to identify miscommunication and stop it before it gets further than the Internet only makes it easier to communicate. [00:21:18]And I think that oftentimes that’s what contributes to problems and helps them spiral out of control like this global pandemic. Right now, there’s so much information out there and noise and it’s very difficult to be able to distinguish what’s real and not real. It’s very difficult for me as somebody that has self-taught and trained in this. [19.9s] I can’t imagine for the layperson how they’re able to understand and comprehend something as important as COVID-19 virus and then truth and opinion and misinformation and the Internet helps all that happen faster than ever. I think that this is all related to what you’re speaking. 

Jonathon Wright

So I think it is. And I can agree with you more. I think, you know, I do think to test. You know, I grade I remember it just lifts just up the road for me. And Paul didn’t say hello to him. I will leave for the BBC. He did. The one that said testing’s that. And I think what he was talking about was exactly that. He was talked about the art of testing. Is that right? I know James Whitaker was that and I saw James talk. He was talking about, you know, you know, test testing. Is that right? And he wasn’t talking about the fact that testing is dead. You know, he was talking about it in its form, that is. And the lack of creativity, lack all that stuff. You know, he’s an example with the FBI, which is, you know, when he started there, you know, they asked for a test plan. They wanted 100 test plans. He decides to make test plans instead of 100 pages. Love makes it into one page to save time and then nothing because they were irrelevant. Right. But the whole point was there was value in that. There was value in the book. Reports of exactly what you’ve just said are, you know, I’m so disappointed. I started when I started the 90s, I saw this for an engineering company, Siemens, to engineer things that made nuclear reactors and health equipment and all this kind of stuff which was built to last. And I meet people who would say, yeah, I was on the committee to help with this, you know, voice over IP silent suppression algorithm. And this is how I developed it with this group of people who all came together to work on the algo. You know, it was all that kind of, you know, professional kind of bodies. You know, I ran into last week with BCS with Lisa Krispin. And, you know, part of it was it brings some of that back. What I see is when I turn up and I’m sure you see this as well, is I see a bug report, which is literally one line and it’s the use of the title and it’ll always be set to the medium priority and whatever other columns, the default book tracking application, maybe a screenshot, right? And then some people will go even one step more and say, well, actually, though, if it did spread out, Facebooks just come over to me, tap me on the shoulder and say, yeah, that’s that. So there are lots of learnings that I just don’t think, you know, happen right within this kind of economy with throw away, you know, people will go, wait for a second, let me just go to GitHub and pull down some code which somebody else has read, which I don’t understand and plug my end because that’s the first thing that comes up in google. You know, I personally can’t deal with Google. And if I do, I literally put a filter on that says give me the information that’s only a week relevant. Right. I do not want to see stuff in the past. I remember typing in automation and getting automation, snake oil, which, you know, no offense to Michael Bolton and the gang, but, you know, that was written 30 years ago and isn’t as relevant as maybe some like the latest findings, you know, from what’s been published out there and some of the great thoughts I’d like. Exactly what you said with COVID-19, the first bit of information I shared around that was the Stanford University medical presentation, which was very crooked, hard to eat—but it was 80 pages of really useful advice based on fact. And that was the first bit of information I’d listened to about it because, you know, fake news and, you know, the information that it needs validating in its own sense. I just think all people, the generation that is coming in, becoming testers for whatever reason they are, are they genuinely passionate about it? And are they just going and grabbing something and saying, I’ve been told to write tests or run tests or write bug, you know? Is that testing? And I agree that probably isn’t testing. And we need to go back to basics. 

Damian Synadinos

I’m trying to fight the good fight and support the former rather than the latter, trying to make people passionate about problem-solving, about pleasing, about developing relationships. And you say, well, those aren’t tested. Those are tested. Those are things. If you’re passionate about those things, though, and that can easily lead to a career in software testing that is more meaningful, in my opinion. That’s why I think that everyone is a tester. Now, that’s missing a very important modifier, an adjective in front. Is everyone a good tester? No, but everyone is a tester. You give a child a toy and they experiment. They push and pull and prod and turn and twist and they notice things about it. And from those things that they observe and their experience, they alter their behavior and they try something else and it informs their next action. [47.5s] I notice when I push this that this light goes on. I wonder what happens if I push that? Oh, the light didn’t go on. Well, they’re learning things that are testing. And as children, that comes naturally to them, they’re all experimenters. So I think that in that sense, everyone is a tester. But you can enhance those skills. You can make them better. [00:26:51]I have a blog post called Professional Trier. I consider myself someone that has advanced skills in trying. [6.1s]

Damian Synadinos

And I think that oftentimes as kids get into education’s educational systems and they’re taught rote memorization of facts and figures, it deadens their creativity in it deadens all the things that came naturally to them as a child, which is why I wrote books as I do, it’s why I go to schools and I try and get kids excited about collaboration and creativity and using their mind to solve problems and diversity and all those types of things as they get excited and carry those up because it’s very hard. 

Damian Synadinos

Another old idiom that carries a kernel of truth it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Not impossible, but it’s very difficult to teach someone that is set in their ways and have many cognitive biases and is greatly affected by social norms to teach them to change. But if you have those basic fundamental things instilled at a young age and they’re strengthened and you’re passionate about them, I think it can lead to a lot of great things, including passionate gestures. 

Jonathon Wright

And I think you’ve just raised a really interesting point. And we had Adam Smith in who’s who sits on the ISO Committee for AI standards. It just went life this week and he talks about cognitive bias. And I think it’s really interesting because skipping ahead, forgetting all the standard stuff we know about the developers that are writing and teaching the system at the moment and trading get, you know, where you know, do they have the right amount of communications and skills and empathy and all this kind of stuff that you’re talking about to program? 

Jonathon Wright

And I you know, if all we can get the fullest, I boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, you know, products out of this kind of tribe of just, you know, get it out quick, get it out day and, you know, do what everybody else is doing. Do it the Spotify model, do it. You know, whatever Google is doing. Do whatever Facebook is doing. Not, “let’s put the passion in, and let’s make something that’s incredible”. And, you know, I see that from every app that I download and I hate apps. You know, I know we had Theo, who was I think he was the second in the series. And Theo had a quote when you were five years ago said to be no more apps. Right. Same as James, said Simpson, seven of the ten years before that. And, you know, because an app expects everyone to behave with that app in the exact same way. It’s not mass customized. It’s not tailored to you. It doesn’t work in a different way because it gets to know you. And I ordered an AI robot, which comes on Monday, which I will have to get on the show. And it was a startup company, a Kickstarter. I think from an Amazon search radius, so-called Vex Factor, I think it’s called it walks around, it interacts with you, it learns about you and it learns around its surroundings. And that’s exactly what you’re talking about. It’s you know, there’s observational skills. There’s challenging the model. And I think all the best inventions that are coming through are people going, well, why does this have to be like this? You know, why does this system have to be like that? Let’s rip it all apart. Start again. And, you know, rediscover the reasons why. Bad architecture. You know, I had a friend who always used to say you could look at a Web site and go. That company started in 1990. That started in 2010. Every good architectural decision through the age meant that that’s what they were living with. No one got to a point and just delete. Delete the old stuff. I think what you’re talking about is something really special. I think those skills, you know, to give people that kind of foundation that actually gets them to question things with integrity and put integrity back into the industry is fantastic. Are you thinking about doing maybe some workshops online?

Damian Synadinos

Well, as I said, for the past three weeks, I’ve been pretty family-focused. It has crossed my mind. I haven’t taken any action. I’ve been approached by one person that I will be doing a webinar, upcoming webinar. 

Damian Synadinos

So one of my talks that it’s going to be actually a very interesting experience because this particular talk is called more than that. And it’s about how all of us are more than that. That being whatever label you happen to put on yourself, you’re more than just a podcaster. You’re more than a tester. You’re more than a man. You’re more than all of those things. You’re all of those things plus more. You’re a very holistic human being. And that’s kind of the gist of this talk. It’s about self-identity and what you see when you look in the mirror. That talk has a lot it has some improving it. It has some crowd work where I interview people from the audience and take their answers and roll them into the contents of the talk. 

Damian Synadinos

There’s a lot of interaction. So do it as a webinar, unidirectional without any feedback, without it being able to read faces and body language. It’s going to be a very interesting experience. And I’ve been trying to think how many of my other talks and training will be suitable for the unidirectional, faceless types of webinars, or if I’m going to have to develop new content so I’m not sure what the future holds. Perhaps things will go back. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to normal. Whatever that means. But there will be some new normal. And. And I’ll probably have to adjust to get in line with that. But I’m not sure what that looks like right now. 

Jonathon Wright

Well, you know, I definitely recommend we try to do this for the BCS with Lisa. We did use a product called Sli.do. And it’s a collaboration tool that allows people to ask questions, but more importantly, just things like cloud words. So as they’re bringing up topics, it becomes more interactive. And so as people get feedback, you’re seeing these cloud bubbles of people kind of going “passion, focus”. You know, learning the basics. And, you know, it gets everyone involved and they all want to be part of it. And know, I think that’s what we need. You know, webinars, you know, something of the past. I think for just one way, communication has to be connected to people. But then how do you connect? It’s so difficult. But I also recommend a good friend of mine based out in Portland, a guy called Ray Rahl. You may have come across. You know, Ray. 

Damian Synadinos

I know Ray, yeah. 

Jonathon Wright

He’s doing that on his podcast. So. Yeah, so he does the agile elides podcast. And, you know, he does some really interesting stuff around the solutions. His thinking and heuristics are kinds of what you’re doing. Lots of synergy in what you guys do. 

Jonathon Wright

I know he’s joint isolation. He’s just put together the latest Lego thing. So I’ve decided to take on a big Lego project just to kind of even out a little bit. But, you know, you got to keep that fun and you’ve got to keep that happiness going. But I also you know, it’s definitely time for people to reach out to people like yourself and start kind of interacting and learning and, you know, using this time to really stop a connection. So, you know, what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you and tell us a little bit more about inevitable solutions and you know how that works for people who might want to, you know, get engaged. 

Damian Synadinos

Certainly, I believe in it. The reasons that start with the why do I do what I do first and foremost? There are many reasons. But the first and foremost reason is to help improve the world, to make the world a better place, to help improve people and thereby improve the world. So that’s why I do what I do. And as evidence, I gave up a lot of money for my 9 to 5 job that I had for twenty-five years to do something that makes considerably less money but is meaningful in different ways. It lets me sleep well at night because I think I’m helping to make people and the world better. But that means that I speak a lot. 

Damian Synadinos

I go to conferences and conventions and events to be to help people, but also to be visible, to help build some credibility, to help build a portfolio. That visibility. I hand out cards. People see me and I call it to be seen and be excellent. If I’m not seeing that, no one knows I exist. But if I’m seen and I stink, then no one is gonna want what I have to offer, so I have to be seen and be excellent. So I try and do my best job. I put a lot of time and effort into my presentations, talks, and workshops, and oftentimes that leads to corporate training or private events where people will say, I really enjoyed seeing you at this event. Come and do a private workshop, several day workshops. And then sometimes that will even lead to consulting where I do short term temporary gigs that help people expand and go deeper on the topics which are very deep relativism. Talking about that in an hour. How much can you get communication? So I help companies go deeper. The starting point for all of those things I’ve mentioned is ineffable-solutions.com. That’s my website and there’s contact information. I also believe in giving away my stuff for free. So there’s links to YouTube videos of all of my talks and training that you can watch to get a taste or more than just a taste to get the content itself. And if you feel it’s worthwhile for your audience, then you can reach out to me through the contact page. I also have a widget that makes it easy for people to set up and book the time that they can just reach out and grab a spot on my calendar. 

Damian Synadinos

Another thing I mentioned earlier was my children’s book Hank and Stella in Something From Nothing that teaches kids life skills or improv comedy. You can read the entire book for free at HankandStellabooks.com. And right before the epidemic, I was working on the second book in the series. The working title is Hank and Stella In Another Way to Know. And it’s teaching kids about problem-solving and the scientific method without using those big terms, teaching kids how to think for themselves, how to explore and understand and learn, rather than asking adults or reading what somebody else wrote in the book, how to discover for themselves using the same little characters of Hank and Stella the dog and the Bunny. So that’s something I’ve been working on recently. Those are my two main passions right now. The third way that people might get a hold of me is I help run in a conference, a yearly testing conference called QA or the Highway. We just slipped it in under the wire in late February this year before things went. So it went south. But that’s at qaorthehighway.com. You can see all the past presentations and learn a lot about the conference there. So those are three ways that you can reach out to be in contact. 

Jonathon Wright

Well, it’s been enough ineffable event, you know, just connecting with even. I feel I’m already feeling more psyched about everything. 

Jonathon Wright

So definitely go check out that stuff. It’s been absolutely fantastic. Tell me about the show. We’ll have to get you back, especially once you’ve got the book and also to see how you’ve done with coaching, mentoring, and just being awesome. 

Damian Synadinos

Thank you so much. I appreciate the kind words. Thanks, Jonathan. Thanks for having me on.

Slack Team

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