About Marcel van Oosterwijk

Who am I…

Marcel van Oosterwijk.My name is Marcel van Oosterwijk. I have spent over 20 years as a software development professional after five years of formal education in computer science. Before that I was en enthusiast and curious hobbyist. Professionally I’m specialized in software quality: primarily in test automation, performance testing and test process improvement.

I have seen how software development became much more complex under these years. For me the journey started with machine code for programmable calculators and rudimentary BASIC programs for home computers. 20 years later, I’ve been involved in large system implementation projects with armies of business analysts, architects, developers, testers and configuration managers at major companies.

I am originally from Holland but I live and work in Stockholm, Sweden.

My purpose of this site

“Software eats the world,” Marc Andreessen, of Netscape fame, said in 2011. I’d say “Bon Appétit,” as in my opinion, automation cannot go fast enough. In my dream, technology will eventually take care of all tedious, uninspiring, dirty and especially dangerous tasks that humans do today.

Fully automated solutions will take care of the needed productivity and humans can use their freed up time for doing what they actually like to do. It doesn’t matter if that is spending whole days playing video games, helping each other out on a personal or community basis, explore innovative business ideas, or simply do work that they like. People will no longer merely ‘survive,’ but rather ‘thrive.’

If I zoom in to software testing, the idea that “test automation is difficult and expensive” kill off efforts to automate specific tasks. Instead, many time-consuming, boring and tedious tasks remain performed manually. That way, we miss quick wins by simple scripted solutions. I’ll try to demystify the concept of automation and highlight how easy it is to create simple scripts and what is possible with this. Once we understand automation at this level, we can combine these simple scripts to create larger systems.

How I set up this site

This site is essentially a blog that reflects my explorations in time. Multiple explorations will be ongoing in parallel and the posts will show that. Each topic that I explore, has its dedicated “About” page that serves as an introduction. To keep track of which posts belong to which subject, I categorize all posts according to the topics. You’ll find all related posts by selecting the relevant category in the blog page.

For the record, I’ll use the terms ‘site’ and ‘blog’ interchangeably.

About exploring automation

The idea is to get going as soon as possible, with minimal costs. I’m using a Mac for most of my explorations, but I could easily use a Raspberry Pi running Linux instead. The development environments that I’ll use are free to download and cross-platform.

The languages I’ll use are Python, JavaScript and Swift. These are easy to find on all major platforms (Linux, Mac OS, Windows) and most important: free. So besides a computer, you’d need no other general investments if you’d like to try the explorations yourself.

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