Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 and Me

Every year I look back and see how things turned out. While I'm one of those people who collects numbers, the relevant insights are hardly ever quantitative in nature.

At work, I looked at how our team had evolved based on the tracks we left in the world and learned that we've grown more used to uncertainty, incremental plans and delivering great with continuous flow. I learned about ways people had grown, and exceeded their past selves.

My past self sets me a standard that I work against. Not the other people. Past me. And how the current me is learning to be more of me, more intentional and accidental, and free to make my choices. I don't want to live my life on other people's defaults, I want to tweak my own settings and explore where they take me.

I tried many different settings in 2019:
  • I allowed myself to be *less responsible* and let things fall forward when I was low on energy. I learned I have people close to me who catch things, take balls forward and don't blame me for being a human. 
  • I tried not blogging for six months. It was hard to stop a routine but also felt liberating to confirm why I blog when I do. I have not written for an audience in general, but just allowed people to see what I write for myself.
  • I tried blogging for audience, behind paywall. I did not enjoy it and came to the idea of blogging and making videos for audience in 2020. Can't wait to try that one. 
  • I said yes to all speaking that pays minimum of travel but applied for none. Turned out with 20 talks. 
  • I auto blocked 700 people on twitter to learn about enforcing boundaries and doing what I needed over other people's comfort. 
Some things I will remember this year from:
  1. FlowCon talk in France and my talk #400 - with standing ovation. 
  2. DDD EU keynote in the Netherlands and finding my crowd. 
  3. Making it to 100 most influential in ICT in Finland list and having a 4-page article of me in ITViikko magazine
  4. Talking to 150 people for Calls of Collaboration to choose speakers for my own conference (European Testing Conference) but also others with TechVoices (Agile Testing Days USA, Selenium Conference London keynote)
I have some numbers too:
  • 45 blog posts with half-a-year break from blogging (2018: 110), but on split to 3 platforms
  • 20 talks, out of which 6 keynotes
  • +2 countries I have spoken at, totaling 26 now
  • 8 graduated TechVoices mentors (I helped them become speakers!)
  • 2 conferences organized
  • 2 Exploratory Testing Peer Conferences organized for #35YearsOfExploratoryTesting
  • 50 flights, sitting in planes for 165 hrs to fly total of 107 878 km (2018: 120 hrs)
  • 5662 twitter followers - after blocking 700 
  • +58 556 page views in the year totaling to 631 004 page views all time to my blog (2018: +81820, 582 448)
While all of the above are on my "on the side of work" achievements, work is where I go to learn.

I learned about business value, and how to discuss it a little better at office, creating a business value learning game. 

I learned about making space for people to discover what they are capable of doing, and not pointing out when they contradict their past selves before they are ready to see it. 

I learned that manager role is exactly like my tester role except for three things: 1) having to click "approve" as manager comes with the role 2) feeling equal with the most intimating, wonderful and special developers I did not realize I wasn't feeling equal with even though I already was 3) *lack of performance* management is hardest job I have ever done.

I learned I am a master of procrastination as I can turn ideas into code without writing code myself and I want to overcome my internal excuses of not just doing it. 

I was there to witness us moving to great and improving results and might have had something to do with some of it. 

Turning the "impossible" to possible should happen any moment now, when my consistent push for 3 years turns into continuous deployment for our product type.  

2019 was great. 2020 just needs to be different. 

Happy new year y'all.