Pandemics, Productivity and Personal Space

Taking a break from the strictly serious and career oriented blog posts here to write something that I think we really all need to be talking about; the challenges and lessons of working remotely during a pandemic.  I want to start this by saying that I know the ability to write about this is coming from a place of significant privilege. I have been fortunate enough to continue working throughout this pandemic, I haven't had the added worries of financial stress added to me nor have I had to worry about a roof over my head. But I think it was put well that, we're all in the same storm but in very different boats . I in no way intend to diminish or ignore the hardships that so many others have endured but I also think that it is important to discuss how this situation has impacted those of us who have been working remotely for the past few months, and possibly for the foreseeable future for many of us.  With that said, I also know that some people are absolutely thriving in this

Nordic Testing Days 2019

This past week I was fortunate enough to be able to not only attend, but to speak at Nordic Testing Days 2019. Nordic Testing Days  is a fantastic, and highly attended, conference that takes place every year in Tallinn, Estonia. They bring together speakers, attendees, and sponsors from not only the northern EU but also from around the world to discuss and learn more about testing and tech as a whole. With a bit of background now given, let's dive into what this year was like, from my perspective! Day 1/2 - Exploring Tallinn Heading off to Tallinn, Estonia for Nordic Testing Days (NTD from here on) was my first trip across the Atlantic. Yes, this was my first ever trip to Europe. After a nice 14 hours of travel time, I arrived in Estonia on May 28 around 1:30pm. Sadly, with the time zones and travel I was absolutely too exhausted to be exploring Tallinn that day. I spent most of that day just holed up on the hotel trying to get enough sleep at the right time to be able to pr

So you want to speak at a conference...

Alright so, you've decided you want to try your hand at speaking at a conference. That decision alone is exhilarating... and terrifying. But where do you start? If you don't have a mentor (yet) who has some experience with conference speaking it can be really daunting to think about how to break into the conference speaking circuit, but it isn't as hard as you think (in my experience, with testing conferences)! In this blog post I'll go into details about how (and where) to get started up to the application process, I'll cover actually speaking in a follow up! Shoutout to Shannon Draper for inspiring me to write this after a long winded conversation (in a small town in Colombia) about speaking at conferences Disclaimer: I am not an expert, this is simply my advice based on my experiences! So where do I start? Pick a topic!       The ideal starting place for speaking at a conference, is to have a topic in mind. It's great to want to speak at conferences bu

Knowing When To Let Go... And Who To Let Go Of

In my last post I talked about knowing when it was time for me to let go of my old job and old company in search of better things for myself and my career. This time I'm going to change it around a little bit, how do you know when you need to let go of someone from your team, for the good of your team?  Recently I saw our QA team be cut in half due to layoffs. Although I wasn't directly involved with the decisions that were made at that point in time I did need to mentally come to terms with what had happened and come to terms with the fact that I played a part in a small way.  When I started at my new company I had been told that the team had some growing to do and that there would be challenges that I would be asked to help find solutions for. Fortunately, a week before I started someone else also started, a Senior Test Strategist who is one of the most incredible testers I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. So the good news was that I wasn't going to be goin

Career Paths and Generational Gaps

Approximately three months ago I made the decision that I wanted to change jobs. I was choosing to leave my job for a variety of reasons, that I'll get to later, but this decision revealed to me how different career paths are for those entering the full time workforce now vs the time when our parents would have. I mentioned to my mom in mid-August that I was looking for a new job. Her response to me was, " I swear you're going to be the death of me child ." I had no  idea what she was talking about. Over the course of my search as I reached out in the community to find opportunities, applied to different jobs, and eventually interviewed at different companies I had conversations with my mom that lead me to one very important realization;  my generation doesn't view career paths as a linear, vertical trajectory. When my mom got her first full time job, she planned to stay there for as long as possible and work her way up. That was the only way she saw it. She saw

The Importance of Community

Community. It's a wonderful thing. In technical terms it generally refers to a unified group of individuals. Most often used to refer to a collection of homes in a given area it can also refer to any group that considers themselves unified by anything . When looked at as a unified group it's pretty easy to see that your life is made up of communities. The area you live, your group of friends, your sports team, all of the fans of your favourite sports team and yourself, there are many communities you may belong to. The chances are, if you're reading the blog anyways, you're also part of the tech community. Additionally, you may also identify as part of the developer community, or the tester community, or both, or any other faction of the tech sector. The bottom line is that this is one of your communities. It wasn't until a year ago that I started to fully explore the depth that this community can have and I am now here to explain why I feel it is so important to b

Don't Take It Personally - Round One

After a multi-month hiatus from posting I am finally back with some very exciting things to share. After my last blog post, "It's Not Personal", I had an idea. I attended my first ever conference, Targeting Quality, in September of last year (September, 2017). I LOVED it. I attended talks that taught me about new skills, new ideas, and a lot about myself. I decided I wanted to try and go to more... which is when my mentor, and great friend, told me that the best way to go to conferences was to speak at them. So, after writing my last blog post and realising how passionate I was on the topic, how much I had learned on the topic already, and how much others could likely benefit from my experiences I decided to write a proposal. This is where I remind everyone that I am by no means an expert at this. It is just something I am passionate about and have spent a great deal of time researching and working on. Now, I won't go into all of the details of the experience of a