Thoughts: It has been 3 years!?

Yesterday I was inspired to write about something and explore my thoughts about a couple of topics. This hasn’t happened in nearly 3 years it seems!

I know I’ve been going on and off social media for the last few years, even deleting other blogging activities and finding it hard to cope with the seeming pressure of social media but I do like putting my thoughts into writing to try and explore a topic for me.

Where did those years go?

Well my last blog was written while I was at an agency. This was a great opportunity. I guess it took away my fear of new tech and not knowing something as every other week you could immersing yourself in a new tech or way of working, from mostly mobile apps, to voice devices, they did a lot and it taught me a lot.

“Use experts to help you focus on your role”

One of the main things I learned was collaborating with the experts. I used to pride myself in being able to spot pixels being out of line, but actually it would take a lot of looking at a front end app. Show it to the designer whose baby it is and they tell you in seconds, that a shadow is missing, something is left aligned instead of centred, the font is too big or small. It opened my eyes to the fact that I don’t need to be good at everything but the expert will see things way faster allowing you to do your job better, you can really focus in using your own expertise of testing then.

“New tech is just new tech”

Considering I really had to get to grips with iOS testing as well as voice testing, I sometimes felt overwhelmed. I even had a mini breakdown in front of everyone, which helped as we changed my role and allowed me to really help with testing the different projects. And at the end of the day new tech and platforms don’t have to be scary. All the things we talk about at conferences around heuristics and oracles apply regardless of which platform or technology you are looking at. At the end of the day you need to ask questions of you application under test an it doesn’t matter what it is for.

I tried to talk about this in my talk on voice testing at Testbash San Francisco in 2018 which you can watch on the dojo.


What now?

It has been nearly two years that I joined my current company. Here I have been a hands on tester in a scrum team, as well as managing a couple testers as well. It has felt like a good opportunity to upskill again in a specific technique or domain (although I still don’t code) and put myself outside my comfort zone. Working in a big corporate it can be hard to be honest all the time but it is something that since 2017 I vowed to myself I would always be and address problems I would have early, so I don’t stew on them and then leave. I guess it is right that if your people suddenly go quiet on you they have made their peace and mentally have moved on.

So what I do now, is mostly process improvement, trying to lead testing and thinking about quality. Mentor and teach, (although covid-19 shocked us all a bit and we have put this on hold since we started to all work from home). And then I also do hands on functional testing. It was 75% api and micro service testing using postman and functional testing of front ends until recently. It might go back to that sooner rather than later.

While I still don’t code and still suffer from imposter syndrome, I do feel that I have grown in confidence a lot and that is mostly due to the skills I learned at Songkick, which seems an age away. I do still follow them closely from afar and am routing for them as a company and ex work family. Lauren actually put out an awesome tester career progression document recently. 🙂

Outside of work I put a lot of stuff on hold. But we did run a successful software testing clinic in Brighton which was a lot of hard work but also great fun and I met so many great people. ❤ Emma is continuing the meet ups, or was before covid-19.

And we also ran a great (if I do say so myself) Testbash Brighton in 2019 which you can also find on the dojo!

So have a I really progressed much in 3 years? Yes and maybe not in the way I wanted to but I am excited to see where things go from here.

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