My name is Chris and I am a Senior Test Engineer at Rentalcars.com in Manchester. I have been a tester for a number of years now (6 and counting) and I have been keen to start a blog for some time. This post serves to lay out my reasons for wanting to start sharing my ideas and what insights I hope to bring to people.
I have always found writing my ideas down on paper hugely beneficial and they allow me to better shape how I verbally communicate them to people. That being said, it’s not the only reason I have been itching to start writing a testing related blog, I have done a lot of self-reflection in the last 18 months.
Overall 2016/17 was a very good period for me. My (now) wife and I had our first child in December 2016 and then shortly after this I got promoted at work. Our wedding followed in the July of 2017. Despite all these high points I felt an unease at the back of my mind.
Despite the promotion at work, I felt I had been coasting professionally, getting to where I am, largely on adaptation to surroundings and learning as I go. While, this approach may seem admirable and stand me in good stead in terms of working under pressure, I felt that I had reached the glass ceiling in terms of self-development and needed to reassess how I move forward.
I started by drawing up a list of what I like in work and this can be summarised in a simple mind map:
I discovered the overarching theme of what I enjoy, centred on learning from others (as well as sharing my own knowledge) BUT I wasn’t allowing myself to do this. Now, within our organisation we actively encourage learning but I was limiting myself by choosing to learn alone in my own time or only occasionally attending workshop sessions organised within our engineering department.
As 2018 rolled round the corner I made a conscious decision to start becoming more active in the test community. I decided on three things to commit to over the coming year: –
- Make time for attending the variety of meetups in the testing community
- Take an active interest in helping people develop professionally, both within my workplace and beyond
- Share my thoughts and ideas with the world
I am a firm believer that knowledge is very powerful and some of my best learning has come from discussions with other like-minded people, so attending meetups feeds very well into that ideology.
I have also enrolled onto the Ministry Of Testing sponsored Software Testing Clinic as a mentor which involves coaching and mentoring fellow professionals who are keen on learning more about testing. The scope of this is quite broad, covering a variety of topics and I hope to not only develop my mentoring skills but my own technical knowledge and understanding as well, which I can hopefully share through future blog posts.
Finally, while I put great value in face to face discussions and meeting new people at meet-ups, writing ideas and thoughts down allows me to internalise my understanding of concepts and key ideas.
In closing I really do hope you will find the journey I am going on an interesting one and I welcome feedback on any of my posts as I hope to stimulate the conversation among us.
As the year progresses I will post several progress reports on how things are going and what challenges I have been battling the most. Thanks for reading.