Saturday, September 24, 2022

Empty Calendar Policy

If you seek around for scheduling advice, you will see proposals of scheduling yourself working time. Even if you don't seek for advice but happen to be user of the Microsoft platforms, you may find your inbox filled with that advice. 

"Maybe you should consider scheduling working time for yourself?" 

"You have many meetings in your calendar you have not confirmed"

"You spend N hours a week in meetings and these are the people who appear to be your people"

I have regularly delete these messages, but I have not turned them off. They remind me regularly that you can run your life and your calendar differently. 

My calendar is very close to empty. It does not mean that I would not have things to do, I just like being in control of those things more and let my calendar be in control of me less. 

A lot of the things people send invites for are information sessions, and I put them in my calendar as non-committal tentative reservations. I generally prefer doing information sessions with 2x speed, and the calendar invites I consider less as meetings in calendar, but reminders of cadence of checking out particular categories of information. 

Some things people need me for, and my rule around them is that everything that is supposed to be committed by me, you run by me first. I decide actively what goes into my calendar. 

Towards end of a week, I reflect on what I got done and what I want to do next. And I schedule my goals into the invisible slots without putting them in my calendar. This keeps me flexible to saying yes on things that fit my commitments on various level, and makes it easy for people who I really need to share work with find time in my calendar. 

But this also means that a great way of upsetting me is to decide you want something done, put it in my calendar and not accepting no for an answer claiming that my calendar is empty. 

There is no universal way of how people deal with their scheduling to suit their needs. A safer way is to assume it does not hurt to ping first, ask for consent on scheduling something for a particular timeframe in calendar, and letting people do their own decisions on how "it is only 30 minutes" is sometimes just that, and other times leads into a massive time sink of interrupting type of work that requires attentive time. 

My calendar is free so that I can get things done by limiting work in progress. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Selenium and Me

In this blog, as usual, I speak for myself, not for the organizations I occasionally represent. I represent so many organizations in general that I find it hard to say which hat, and when. I try to step away when there is a conflict of interests. I am employee of Vaisala, entrepreneur of maaretp. I am board member of Tivia and project leadership committee (PLC) member of Selenium. I'm chairman of Software Testing Finland ry (Ohjelmistotestaus ry). And I'm running TechVoices initiative to help new speakers with a few other lovely people. My work and my hobbies are not the same, but they are synergetic. 

This is all relevant, because I am about to write about Selenium. I'm writing this as me, with all the experiences I have, and not sitting on the powers assigned to me on taking part on decisions about any of these organizations. 

The little old me has now had a month of being welcomed with open hearts and minds into the lovely Selenium community. My paths had crossed with Selenium, first in organizations I work in, then in other communities having love/hate relationship with all things GUI automation including Selenium, and then as keynote speaker at Selenium Conference India. I had come to learn Simon Stewart is a lovely human, and that Manoj Kumar is great to have around when you aspire to learn a lot, and that David Burns cares about all the right things. I had been infected with the knowledge of Pallavi Sharma, reinvigorated with the conversations with Pooja Shah, and watched in admiration the work Puja Jagani is doing with contributing to the project. Now that I hang out in the Selenium community slack, I have discovered how great and welcoming Titus Fortner is, and how much heart and time everyone there puts on things. The people who invited and welcomed me into Selenium PLC, thank you: Marcus Merrell, Bill McGee, Diego Molina and my trustworthy contact, Manoj Kumar. Manoj is the reason I joined, just to get the chance of working more with him more. 

It is fair to say I am here for the people. Not only for the people I now mentioned, or the people in that slack group, a totally intimidating number of 11,133, or the people who already use Selenium, or the 24.6k that star Selenium in GitHub (add a star here!). But the people who get to cross paths with Selenium also in the future.

I joined the project work, even if I am a self-proclaimed 'playwright girl', because I believe the ethos of choosing one to rule them all isn't the best of the industry. Having many means we look around for inspirations, and there is a significant thing in Selenium that should inspire us all: 

It's been around a long time and has never stopped evolving. 18 years is an impressive commitment, that that is just looking back! 

So if you have heard the rumours of "Selenium losing steam", I think you may be working with information that is constantly changing and jury is still out, and evidence where I see it isn't very conclusive.

In this world of fast changes and things evolving, with difficult to grasp messages, I'm adding to the confusion until I reach clarity. I'm starting my modeling of the world from a corner close to me, python. 

I hope to find us on a mutual route of discovering clarity, and would - just as me - welcome you to join whatever we together can cook up with the Selenium open source project. Open means that you can see too much, but also choose what your interests are.