It’s about time I explain what’s going on here with my blog and in my side career as an avid podcaster. For those who aren’t aware, outside of my full-time work as a software tester and performance engineer I also co-produce the podcast PerfBytes (www.perfbytes.com). For the last five years with my co-host James Pulley we’ve made a lasting contribution to current and future performance professionals. And we’ve grown the show enough to support James’ own production for News of The Damned and the start of a 1:1 interview show with the Performance Engineering Cafe. PerfBytes has been fantastic fun and will continue to grow with new contributors and expanding presence at live events, conferences and exciting episodes. But many people do ask me: “Mark, when are you going to start your own podcast?” And so I will.
Mark On Task will attempt to cover topics outside of performance testing. There are more important and engaging topics to contemplate than performance testing and engineering. Outside of the work we do, we have experiences as workers, managers and leaders in contemporary techno-culture. I like having conversations about these other, more important things. We’ll talk about our relationships, worker treatment, diversity and inclusion, ethics, morality and also: fresh fruit. It’s part of a balanced diet. Aside from the fresh fruit, this will be very different for me. Interviewing about topics that have absolutely nothing to do with me or performance stuff.
I have an idea for different kind of format for this show. Sort of an interview-style with twist including a game of chance. Each guest will be asked to choose a random number which corresponds to a pre-determined list of topics. They must respond with a story or insight from their own experience about that topic. The guest will also have options in the event of a complete standstill. They may choose once to pass on the topic, they may choose to punt the topic to me for a reply, or they may choose a wildcard where I choose a topic completely out the air. This is not unlike the conversations that evolve out of the random tangents discovered during late-night single-malt scotch tastings I’ve had at various conferences around the world.
Guests. How will i do something different to select guests for the show? Let’s keep this succinct: if we’ve met in person and shared a drink or meal you will be invited to join me for an episode. Of course, you know that I am employing this simple policy in the hopes that more people will invite me out for a drink or meal in the future.
And finally the last different thing about this podcast is: it will be community-driven and listener-supported directly from the Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/markontask). I am agreeing to put all proceeds towards a year’s end donation to a charity as selected by a survey of supporters to the show.
Note: the name of the show "Mark On Task” is carefully taken from the naming of a painting by my wife Dr. Martha Hope Carey - artist, sociologist, researcher and also the sexy Irish voice of PerfBytes. This painting has been hanging in my various offices since it was first born to the canvas and is an inspiration to me to be true to myself. You can see more of her work at www.anothermoon.org.