Monday, 20 March 2017

Monday, 29 August 2016

Long term multi tasking

I have stumbled once again into the trap of believing i can do it all and more.
End result is pretty predictable - crumbling under the stress and the insane self directed expectations. It takes a little to go off track and a lot to regroup and seek out an optional and manageable route. 
Me dropping things i was hoping to do takes a toll and even makes me feel like a sore loser who keeps failing constantly - and not the celebrate kind of fails i come out with a lessons learned on how to do it better next time around.

Quietly i wonder how other people keep it together and do all those many and amazing things. It could be the support of family who aid those ventures, friends, good night sleep and being fine with who they are exactly. Being able to embrace your body, persona and the soul within.
Strong ones - not the all-can-do till grave, but the strong ones who know themselves well, have learned to be vulnerable, takes good care of themselves and generate the happy from within.

I hope to be this strong. Fear for now is the one which keeps blocking me.
Fear of everything. Silly silly me - who do i worry that people will think i'm full of crap and I know nothing - John Snow indeed.

Just a mini rant :) BBST course has a side effect i did not expect. At the end of the course i might be better at grasping what was it and how did/not i manage to deal with it :)

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Little YAY moment :)

I have been doing a lot of things outside my country and as well the company i work for (my bad).
So i decided that we we start small - just me and my minion - we will try out different things in the time dedicated for our learning and self improvement and then for the attempts that seemed successful enough - we will offer others to try it in a slightly larger scale.

First on the list will be reading/note taking as the minion wants to prepare for a foundation cert. (it's fine by me - i actually think it will be beneficial for me to take the look at the material after 5 years).

And then we will try out testing legacy bits in system we have not touched with different approaches to it - to see which ones fit best (best as - optimize our learning on what it does - plus highlights problems that are in there - so to speak win-win).

Book readings in between - so we do that as well - and lets see where this takes us :D
(Idea inspired by the Jokin and Marta  :p

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Eurostar Test Lab 2015

For those who have noticed:

I was bold enough to get onto the TestLab 2014 which landed me and a dear friend of mine to be masters this year.

There are things I've observed, even few things I've learned:

  • This by the mile is the biggest thing I've ever tried to organize
  • It was hard in many ways to figure out how to go about it
  •  Different people / different approaches - establish what are the expectations by people who have seen many labs
  • Even starting it in March did not help to get it balanced and fully under control - Sometimes one just have to step up and take charge - you cannot always play nice with everyone
  • Few deadlines were missed/ some communications had failed - but that's okey! Yes we didn't get the sponsors from the expo. We did how ever got even better ones with bigger ties into the test community. Look - opportunities everywhere!
  • I was not able to get apprentices in sooner then i got involved with the first lab - will try to support without hindering their ideas on how lab should go :) It's different from year to year and that's one of the biggest charms of the lab :)
  • It would have been impossible without the team and test community people willing to support us - THANK YOU! 
  • People liked it (some even got stuck in it) - and to me this is the only tell that the event was good enough :)
  • Will I dare to do something of this sorts again - I might :)

[pictures] -

Tiny thought dump on preaching, inner voices and rock stars

I have noticed I have the tendency to self-reflect and question myself a lot.
I do also have the impostor's syndromes signs where I tend to think that I know far too little to show or teach others :) The little voice in my head keeps reminding me of the fear of somebody standing up and saying - you're full of crap and know nothing :D

So I try not to preach. Recently i have noticed that some people are showing signs of looking up to me. Still not sure if that's because the voluntary work I do or the way I am questioning many things and trying to be a voice of reason (let's imagine i'm somewhat good at it).

I wan;t to be better at testing - i want to be able to think a bit before jump into the work - what if now I know (or can imagine) a better, bit more effective way of dealing with something.
What if Somebody else have a great idea worth giving it a try?!

Did a lightning talk on what kind of rock star I would not want to be.
there was a lot of fastness in that little piece but the main point I managed to say out loud:
"If  i'm going to handle everything, cause I know how it works, whom to talk to to make it faster, how to test it - in short - do it all by myself - two things will happen - in long run I will make everything worse. I will burn out trying to handle things I shouldn't be handling and my teams performance will be negatively affected as the knowledge and practical things that everyone should know and should be able to do lays with one person.

This kind of rock star I would not want to be.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Post-notes on speech and interactions with people

Bit of a background (:
In March I went to #testbash Loved it. Was all happy and grateful that kept thanking Rosie a lot.
A blog post came out and it resonated a lot
The last part got embedded in my memory as - don't thank me - submit instead (:
So I backed up that overwhelming wave of thankful urges and submitted  (:

I was at #tinyTestBash - whoop whoop (I think that the whoop is thing I took over from Emms).
Did quite a few "Dare talks" + the talk I committed to.
Dare talks - I the evening before I did two so called "PowerPoint Karaoke". Side note - cake was a lie - no singing no karaoke. It's a short presentation of five slides were someone assigns a topic you will speak about and the slides you get are randomized. :)
My topics were "unit testing on legacy systems" and "why best practices work" (:
First one I opened nicely with the story on recruiter reaching out to me with an offer that matches my profile. The offer was "your main responsibility will be writing unit tests for legacy system".
I was fairly lucky with random slides which complimented the story nicely.
Other one was less smooth but acceptably good as well.
I went with the message "even though we know why the best practices are bad for us, this is why they work". I worked the angle of "anything forced from top management seems to work as its the way we have  to do it".

Thing I noticed, appreciated and enjoyed about it:
*** it reduced the anxiety I had for my talk.
*** it was load of fun. You get focused and driven as you don't know what's next. You can imagine that no choice was given - so not room for holding back. Just go (;
*** there was a simple yet powerful realization - if you can pull of this while not preparing at all - what am I stressing over for the talk I actually was preparing for (;

I did a short version on my testing journey and communication issues that comes from our environment and experience gained so far. I will make a separate post for walking over the points, ideas, clarifications for things that got dragged out of context and add the stories that did not get into the final version. (Here will be link once it's done).

After the talk I did a 99 sec talk on "what kind of testing rock star I would not want to be" and one more 5 random slide fun about " when not to report the bug" (here will be follow up for these two as well, as I'm falling asleep while typing xD )

After getting some feedbacks (which were all nice BTW) I felt I need to self reflect.  Most mentioned that they liked the passion and the level of enthusiasm that was coming through (: I kept being very active and excited. Did get few improvement tips and still hope to get more feedback. Please feel to share your feedback with me if you were there or come across the recording. Feedback are important! I could be oblivious as no one took a bother to let me know and I failed to notice :p I'm all already oblivious to things, stuff, some topics - I think I'm good. (: I need perspective (:

Getting back on track (:

My brain did some pattern cracking and came to conclusion that one of the main causes for the "firecracker" behavior seems to be that I'm still socially awkward.
There is this thing of me falling into extremes - ether I do it all the way with the heart and soul out or don't do it at all.
Speaking to other people is an activity I don't do it often. For most I don't talk at all. Only times I do its work, people I feel safe around (dear friends,other testers) or got so excited of the idea that it feels it just have to go out there. If I have a chance to type instead - I totally will. (:
Since I do not practice speaking out loud: those times I speak - the speech (words, tone volume) is not very contained. First thing that stands out is my loud voice. Getting remarks that my voice goes through walls is not helping to speak more often. It does the opposite - I tend to shut up for the rest of the day so my being me does not disrupt other people.
Don't get me wrong - I know that my loud voice (decibels) also can be handy - talk about getting folks rounded up for a next session (: im like a megaphone that repeats the barely hearable bit of information into something that gets the attention required.

Returning to the point - I speak up when I need to or when I get really excited. So excited that it's loud and messy, I turn into walking earthquake both verbally and physically. Text that comes out is ether a crude or sarcastic joke or a thought path dump which is being refined while the words are flowing already. Unrefined gems that for some might lack the reference points or context for other people that would make my words make sense, sound structured or well thought through.

This led me to consider the improvement point for myself
  1. Speek more often till I can contain myself and adapt so its comfortable for people around or
  2. Star with learning to contain myself.

I'd like to think A. is the better option.  I hold back on things I should not and totally don't on ones I should.
I wonder if I can find the balance for it (: I could be applying the B. wrongly. 

That's it (: (for now)