Thursday, June 30, 2016

30-Day Testing Challenge -> I'm in!

I'm a sucker for challenges.  So far this year, I've used social pressure to drink more water, to organize my home, and read more.  I'm always participating in either the Workweek Hustle or Weekend Warrior challenges using Fitbit with my friends....I hate losing competitions even more than I hate walking, so it's been a benefit for me.  But beyond the competition, I know that we all care about one another's health and it's nice to have friends along commiserating with our struggles and offering mutual encouragement.

So I've signed up for the 30-Day Testing Challenge.  I don't think I'll participate every day; I'm pretty sure my team would check me in for psychiatric evaluation if I asked to get a photo with them...But the other days it'll be good to have a goal either to focus on or to have running in the back of my mind as I work. I anticipate a lot of conversation about this in the testing community in the coming weeks, and I want to be involved instead of on the sidelines.

First step is to find a testing book I haven't read yet!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Interesting Days Ahead!

On Monday, it was announced that the Dell Software Group is going to be acquired. The sale isn't final until a shareholder vote next month, so we have at least a few more months as Dell employees. After that, we don't have a lot of answers yet! The future is uncertain.

But that's true of every single day of our lives.

Most days are "normal" -- we go to work, we run errands, we love our families and friends.

Then there are those life-changing, incredibly un-normal days. A surgery, a diagnosis, a natural disaster, any day we get one of those unexpected phone calls.

We don't know when these days will happen or if they will happen at all.

Uncertainty is very much a part of our lives - we can approach this with fear or we can approach it with preparedness and a sense of adventure.

When Dell acquired us (StatSoft) in 2014, it was a great team-building exercise for my coworkers and me. We weren't sure what was going to happen, but we were going through it together. We have this shared experience and we still have conversations about those early days of transitioning to Dell. This experience made memories for all of us.

So through this uncertainty, I will do the things that we always should be doing, even on "normal" days.

Learn: Grow some new neural pathways. Get better at programming. Keep reading what is going on in the testing community and building some relationships with people I can learn from and some I can teach. Explore new testing frameworks.

Self-Care: We can't be employed ANYWHERE if we die from a heart attack. Get exercise, do the things that minimize stress. Build a community of family and friends who you can help when you're feeling strong and can draw strength from if you're down.

Stay Positive: Be a person you'd want to work with. Software testers definitely need to spend time looking at the *software* through a negative lens...but we can still actively search for good things and be vocal about them as well. Be a subtle cheerleader when your team needs it.