Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A year of blogging and for what?

I'm coming up to a year of blogging  on testing, and it's interesting to reflect back.

I first came up with the idea of this blog really as a place to collect some useful materials.  I've always worked in my companies as a mentor, and imagined this place as a mentoring hub for anywhere I'd work in future, rather than my hard work being locked into the company intranet of somewhere I'd long left.

But as 2011 turned, I moved out of just testing and into test management in my new role.  My new company offered a lot of challenges.  Sometimes I'm frustrated that “we're not there yet”, but we're making progress, all-be-it slower than I'd hoped.

Work has presented me with a few frustrating moments and dead ends.  I've found it useful from tough weeks to sit in front of my machine, and talk about what's gone wrong – but try and stay positive, and talk about how to make things right.

I think an article I personally go back to a lot, is the Kobayashi Maru of Office Relationships.  It was a very tense time at work, and somehow talking about it and breaking it down helped.  I've worked really hard since to build bridges with Pauline, and I'm hoping we have a much better relationship.  Ironically through the bridge building process I've found out just how much pressure she was in, and she's admitted to not always handling it that well.  What could have become a bitter office feud is turning slowly into two mates trying to watch each other's backs – relationships take some building.

Another stand out article I've written has been The Agile Haka, about getting teams to work better, which got published in The Testing Circus, and my General Manager read this month and gave it his seal of approval.  And finally Those Darn Test Estimates, which is more identifying when testing overruns – I refer to those root causes regularly with my Project Managers now.

Those were my favourites, though ironically not the most popular of my posts.  You can never second-guess your readers.

I thought I was going to write this blog to teach.  In fact I found every time I sat down to write, I actually learned.  Just sitting down and thinking of an aspect of work I was unhappy with helped me look at the problem, break it apart, and look for answers.

What else did you expect?  I am a tester after all ...

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