Dec 31

2016 – Year in Review

Another year gone by and I’m glad to say that it’s been another great year of learning, overcoming challenges, achieving many goals, and doing some great, challenging, purposeful work. Sure just like every year, there were tough days, but even those days offer things to learn from. It’s been a very rewarding year on the testing side of things. I continue to work hard, and be the honest, transparent, ethical professional I take great pride in being. I continue to read, write, engage in productive conversations with some very smart and awesome people. On the blog front, I didn’t write as much as I would’ve liked to, but that wasn’t due to less learning happening, but rather me celebrating and being occupied by things on the personal end of things.

Technical side of things

This year I started worked with XCode, and different SDK’s to help test and deliver mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms. I also started working again with the command line after not using it much for the past few years. I got to see more C++ code, see and understand some Python code, understand Git a little better, fetch code commits to build iOS and Android applications locally. I also learned different ways to build applications pointing to mock servers running on my machine and how to mock different data that the application uses to allow me to test different scenarios and situations. I made better use of different tools such as Charles, Wireshark, iOS Console, DDMS, and others to help me test the integration of the different components and services that our applications use. I had the opportunity to test analytics, which enhanced my knowledge of analytics as I got to work with and test different services including Google, Adobe, and Apteligent. I continued to work on some very technical things that required me to do some research and learn more about the technology that I was testing. I continued to figure stuff out – and had fun while doing so.

Testing and leadership side of things

I am a very hands on Test Lead, and I work very closely with developers as part of an Agile team – it’s something I enjoy and look for in a workplace. I’m very glad I have it. I also lead, coach, and mentor a small group of software testers. This year I’ve done more workshops for my teams than any other year. My workshops this year covered many topics including mind maps, different ways a mind maps can be put together, test coverage, test reporting, exploratory testing, and testing missions. My workshop style is very engaging, and highly participatory for the attendees. I like everybody to be involved, to participate, and contribute – the goal is for active learning to take place. I always considered my audience when giving any workshop or training, and I’ve learned that different people have different learning styles and will learn at different paces – that is okay.

As part of my coaching duties, I also see that different members of my team learn in different ways, and that as a coach, its important for me to tailor my techniques to help different members for my team learn and improve how they’re doing things. I’m doing a lot of teaching, but I’m also getting to learn a lot while doing it. And most importantly, I am enjoying it – working with a small team of testers willing and able to learn is a big responsibility but a rewarding one as well. My job in leading the team is to help each member of my team learn, reach their goals, and become a better tester, and work together to help the team become better, more skilled, and better suited to add more value in different ways as a well-oiled test team.

2017 …

So with 2017 right around the corner, I want to continue doing great work, enhancing my technical knowledge both on the mobile and automation front, being an even better leader for the team and helping them reach new heights. I will try to blog more than I did last year – I have so much to write about! I also plan on getting more involved on the VR side of things, and may tweet and write some stuff about testing VR. I would like to attend CAST2017, so I’ll work on making that happen. I may finally enrol in the BBST Bug Advocacy course. With the course being offered twice during the year, my schedule the past few years hasn’t allowed me to do so yet. And most importantly, I’ll continue to have fun doing what I love to do.