A very bizarre thing happened to me this evening! But first a bit of history…. I’ve been “between jobs” for a couple months. When my last QA gig ended, I decided to look for the next one in a rather slow and deliberate fashion, while working on three personal goals. I’ve done really well on two of those goals, but not the third – converting myself from an RC/Perl test developer to an RC/Java one. However, I’ve had a “crutch” in mind all along–there was a 5-session course on RC/Java starting this evening, at the very same institution where I originated and taught both Selenium-IDE and RC/Perl courses during 2009-2010.
So, a couple weeks back, I finally decided to sign up for the course. Alas! I’d waited too long–it was full. Only mildly deterred, I wrote to my former (teaching) manager, beseeching her to let me, along with my laptop and wireless modem, into the course anyway. I asked her if I could give her a check tonight to make clear that I intended to pay for the course the same as any other student. Much to my delight, her reply indicated that I could indeed take the course AND for free–she termed it “staff development.”
I showed up at the classroom this evening, only to find yet another pleasant surprise–I didn’t need my MacBook and wireless modem; there was one extra Windows-7 student desktop that I could use. This meant that I could easily get to any materials which the instructor might put on the network drive.
That was the last little bit of nirvana connected to this story!
The instructor began by going around the room asking everyone about their background in both Java and Selenium. Several of the students knew nothing about Selenium, having ignored the pre-req Selenium-IDE course. When this happened to me during my RC/Perl course last year, I had simply provided those students with links to IDE material, primarily a 49-slide tutorial I had presented to the Silicon Valley Software Quality Association (SSQA) in March 2009. But this instructor seemed to think that she had to start her RC/Java class with an overview of IDE, so I prepared myself for being bored for awhile.
What I did not prepare myself for was seeing my 49-slide tutorial, minus 7 slides, being presented as her overview of IDE! The title slide was amongst the missing–it had my name on it. The final slide was also missing–it contained my email address.
I was APPALLED! I had allowed the SSQA to publish my slides two years ago for everyone on the planet to use if they wanted. I never envisioned somebody stripping my name off the slides, then using them to make money, AND in front of me to boot!
After I started exhaling again ;-), I realized that my 49-slide .pdf file was probably on sites all over the world, and very likely without the first and last slides that provided my identity. Tonight’s RC/Java instructor could have found it in that condition, and used it without ever realizing that the content was created by the instructor she knew was sitting in her student audience!
But does that realization on my part make her behavior any less reprehensible? Since the slides weren’t created by her, even if they didn’t include the first and last slides when she found them, shouldn’t she at least have “credited” the web site where she found them, perhaps along with a little caveat that she wasn’t sure the site was the originator of them?
I have a few courses of action in mind in response to this mind-boggling incident, but would prefer to hear from you! Please add a Comment to this post or email me at mam_p at yahoo dot com.
And thanks for listening!