I changed jobs in April 2012, so this was my first year at this job that I could spend the full year on. I've loved the challenges that hands-on testing work presents me, enjoyed the freedom of learning bits of Selenium to get my teams started on that path and the varied work that I can choose from from helping business model development, defining our products to making sure they are actually what we thought they should be through testing them.
For this year, I decided to focus my volunteering effort into whole-team view for software, as a tester still. The motivation that I hold for this is that there seems to still be the idea around that Agile teams don't often know what to do with good testers like myself, and testers developing their craft in isolation isn't really helping this. And, the fact that I've been helping the Finnish testing community for over ten years also begged to try out what happens when I leave for other volunteer work. I learned it means that discussions survive, but most of the other action completely vanished.
I also made a commitment to developers to get something started with coding dojos and retreats. I did, bringing Adi Bolboaca to discuss this with us and build some energy, to work with my team at Granlund (to be "the one positive thing that happened this year" according to a team mate of mine) and convinced my brother to run a code retreat at Tampere Goes Agile. Happy developers result in better quality and more fun for testing, so that was a good choice.
While I thought I wouldn't do much for the testing community, seems there were a few things after all:
- Helsinki Testing Days main organizer
- Helsinki Agile Testing meetup group sessions: evening with James Bach and evening with Alexandra Casapu, as I can't let the great visitors pass by without contributing
- Presentations for Jyväskylä on Testing themes, with "Five things of (agile) testing for all of us" and "Does testing give us quality?" while I was visiting anyway
- Couple of testing dojos to practice together and see how other testers work with their test targets
I did a lot less training and presentations than on a usual year. Still my year fit a couple of 2 day trainings on Test Automation in Jyväskylä. And a couple of tailored for customer courses, a one-day session on "Acceptance Testing" and a two-day session on "Testing and Test Cases". Talentum gave me two changes to speak in their conferences, first a talk "Testing in a team that isn't colocated" and then "Buying testing services as a customer". I was also invited to an organization to share my experiences on with title "Specification by Example: Experiences on Getting Started". Compared to previous years, I took it easy on this side and will definitely do more of this next year, with BBST around the corner as co-instructor with Cem Kaner.
With all of this, I spent weekends with my two kids, not doing much expect hanging out and playing. And I found time to start exercising (dance!), collect my willpower and lose 28 kilos on the side.
My family, in particular my mom is just amazing. And I have a great group of people around me that help make things real. I've been lucky. Here's hoping the good stuff continues for 2014 and allows me to try more things I love doing.
Happy new year all!