Last year – where the flip have I been

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The following post contains non-technical stuff, if you are interested in technical topics, feel free to skip it.
If you were following my blog for a while or you intended following it, you probably noticed I haven’t posted anything in about a year. There’s a reason for that and it’s this chaos that blew our lives to pieces.

The fact I wasn’t able to practice my hobbies – martial arts, long walks and traveling, took its toll. It just felt unnatural to spend few more hours on the PC when your daily lifecycle is practically bed-desk-bed-repeat. To be quite honest even time off feels like some sort of dumb routine when everything’s closed and you can only stay at home, again.

In addition, I gained weight (as everyone), so now I’m dieting my a** off to get back in shape.

My career highlights during the past year

The year was an interesting one in retrospect. I changed jobs twice, during the pandemic, which was an “exciting” experience given all media kept repeating words like catastrophe, crisis and recession in equal intervals to cheer us up!

I ended up in this “small” company called VMware (you probably never heard of it). I’m doing testing for a Kubernetes security project, in their security business unit. By the way, Kubernetes – hell of a cool container orchestration tool. If you never tried it, go take a course, it is totally awesome.

I’m also currently writing tests in Cypress, which sucks, big time! I will give it its respectable dose of blog “love” in a later post, so prepare a big bowl of popcorn for it, or a big bowl of nothing, if you’re dieting like me.

The award

During the past year, also, I was given award from QA challenge accepted for being a QA of the year. Now, to me this award kind of sound like a “Beauty queen of the prom” reward or Mr. Biggest Biceps, as I don’t really understand what I got an award for. Did I catch most bugs, did I catch the biggest bug, I don’t know?

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And even more – I don’t know what do to with my title… Like, I know Miss Universe has some duty to participate in charity and go to underdeveloped countries and participate in social projects and all that sort of stuff. So, I wonder should I, say, go to random companies and tell them their code sucks? And that they should throw their mediocre testing in the garbage? As an act of charity, of course! I don’t know…

Joke aside, being awarded for nothing, is a humbling experience. Best I can wish for is that my spark lighted up someone’s fire and I turned someone into a little bit better tester. So, if you, reader, gave your vote to me, please accept my sincere appreciation and love. I hope I won’t let down your trust in me.

My personal highlight in the past year

The greatest personal highlight, so far, was marrying my wonderful wife – Irina. It was the greatest thing to happen to me during this miserable year and my best choice in the last couple of years. I love her and I wish she stays with me forever.

I reconsidered my participation in “some” conferences

My career as a conference speaker is short. I presented all in all for couple of years. Yet, I noticed the unpleasant trend of many software testing conferences to gradually turn into shit.

It all started with a soft talk over here and over there, a bit of imposter syndrome talking, a bit of motivational speech. Few moments later and you see an event schedule full of irrelevant, fake motivational, soft skill bullshit. No testing, no technical talks, nothing useful.

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It gets even worse, any random, loud social media “activists”, whose only achievement is having a group of mindless morons to repeat the nonsense they speak, decided they can get on the stage to push their agenda of whatever distorted idea of “justice”, they had.  So, that was it for me. I am not interested in such events.

And don’t get me wrong, anyone deserves an opinion and the freedom to share it, even if it’s wrong. Many of these problems might be and are severe. What I do disagree is, that they belong to a software testing event. I’m not spending mine or my company’s time and money on listening to incompetent political activism or oral essays.

Now I understand what Jason Huggins once meant in a tweet, saying he loved testing conferences, but they look too much like group therapy.

So, my current interest of topics is technical, in depth testing, ones that demonstrate and solve real testing problems, instead of made up ones, pulled from any other area of life.

I reconsidered my usage of social media

In the past year I got to the conclusion social media is cancer for the people of intellect. I consider Twitter a toxic place and Facebook a commune for timid voyeurs and obsessive attention seekers, so I got rid of them both. The notion of “social media” itself, seems ridiculous to me. What’s actually social in staring at your phone for hours a day watching someone else’s life? Go live your own, dummy!

Not to mention that obviously, creating an account in either of the above gives you +1100 points of competence, +2000 points of self-esteem and a Prof. in Philosophy degree, so you think you can stick your opinion in anyone’s face.

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My favorite social media and the only one that deserves my attention is called literature. You can log in from any “device” that has words and pages on it, connect to people and cultures all over the world, even dead ones. Books enrich your language, you accumulate real knowledge, instead of being fed fake news. And the best part – it doesn’t run out of battery and internet.

Given all the above, you might want to subscribe for the blog via email, as I am not using social media as my main channel of distribution anymore.

What didn’t change

During the past year my attitude to testing didn’t change. I still believe that testing is a human centric, mind bending, complex, cognitive activity that aims to produce information about the state of the product and its critical problems. Activity that gains strenght from technology. Only competent, responsible and passionate experts can perform this activity with great mastery.
During this year, all the cliches of self-made gurus about “manual testing” and test cases and maturity models also didn’t change. So, there’s much more work to be done.

I have much more interesting stories to share with you, so stay tuned.
Thank you for your support!

Mr.Slavchev

Senior software engineer in testing. The views I express here are mine, they don't represent any position held by any of my employers. Experience in mobile, automation, usability and exploratory testing. Rebel-driven tester, interested in the scientific part of testing and the thinking involved. Testing troll for life. Retired gamer and a beer lover. Martial arts practitioner.

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3 thoughts on “Last year – where the flip have I been”

  1. I, too, found my blogging dropped off a cliff. I was heavily tied up in a user conference at the end of 2019 and that took a fair toll on me, so I was looking forward to restarting my blogging in 2020. Ha!
    As for social media – well, I’ve never done Twitter, and I mainly use Facebook to keep in touch with a wide range of (real) friends and former colleagues all over the world. But my main effort goes into my book reviewing blog and into something called LibraryThing (https://www.librarything.com/), an online book cataloguing and reviewing site. It has many of the good things about other social media – the ability to exchange comments and discussions with like-minded people – but you know in advance that the audience is going to be self-selecting for a certain level of intelligence and empathy, and that they will have similar tastes to your own. Sometimes, uncannily similar…

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