I was incredibly honored to receive the “Person of the Year” award at the 2014 Per Scholas ROI Dinner. Here is the video of what we are doing at Doran Jones and the UDC, and my acceptance speech. Thanks to everyone for a great night!
“Thank you very much. I am extremely honored to receive this award for what really has been a team win. From the mentoring program to the field studies, a lot of people have volunteered their time, tools, and advice to make the Software Testing Education Program happen, and I’d like to take a moment to thank a few who were instrumental in putting this program together.
James Bach and Michael Bolton, who created the Rapid Software Testing methodology, my colleague and friend Paul Holland, who is the principal trainer for STEP, my pal Lorinda Brandon at SmartBear, Josh Lieberman and Vu Lam from QA Symphony, James Lindsay from Workroom Productions, Peter Shih at uTest, the Association for Software Testing, Jerome Dazzel and Tiernan Walsh from Per Scholas, and my good friend Gerry Rajesh from Barclays.
And lastly, I’d like to thank two people who without them, none of this would have happened. Joe Squeri from the Citadel, who as CIO of Barclays encouraged me to get involved with Per Scholas. And my wife Samantha, who’s work with the long term unemployed in the UK was the inspiration for the STEP program, and without her enduring patience and seemingly endless suffering, I wouldn’t be here today.
I started working with Per Scholas about a year ago, and in that time, in getting to know the students and the wonderful people that work there, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about second chances. Second chances at an education. Second chances at a career. And as we’ve heard tonight, second chances at starting over.
Reflecting on my own life and career, I’ve come to realize, that I have been the recipient of more second chances than I’ve ever deserved. And what I’ve so often taken for granted, is that with every one of those second chances has come an opportunity. And not just an opportunity to learn from my mistakes, or do things differently – but an opportunity to prove that I can do the work. And that is the reason STEP, and I believe Per Scholas are successful, is that with every second chance the program provides, the students get an opportunity to show what they can do.
Working with Per Scholas has been an unbelievable experience, and in many regards, STEP has already been a greater success than I could have imagined and we’re only getting started. I sincerely thank my friend Plinio and the team at Per Scholas for this recognition tonight, but more importantly, for doing what you do best, and seeing the second chance in me. Thank you.”