Why Blog?

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:
Professional Enjoyment 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: –

  1. Make time for attending the variety of meetups in the testing community
  2. Take an active interest in helping people develop professionally, both within my workplace and beyond
  3. 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.

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