27 January 2013

The year I became a passionate tester, part VI

The only (but really cool) event that occurred was Securitas Direct/Verisure's christmas party. It was hosted in their beautiful office in Malmö. Can't say I'm jealous, I mean, who wants a workspace with ocean view in three directions? Well, maybe, at least I got over it and had a great time with future colleagues, including one of the two guys who'll be on my dream team in Linköping (not putting pressure on anyone). The only new year's resolution I'll make by the way is coming dressed up next year (costume party).

Apart from that, December was mainly a month of reflection, Twitter and family life. Via Twitter I started to get in contact with some really cool testers like Jari Laakso, Kristoffer Nordström and Jean-Paul Varwijk. Via reflections I started to grasp/understand/better appreciate my progress as a tester this year (reason for this blog post series) as well as wrap up the work done by me and my colleague at Ericsson. Cool things that need separate post(s) to really do them justice.

Wrap up of 2012
So, 2012 was an amazing year, when it started I considered testing being an activity that mainly demanded endurance, patience and the ability very rigorously read technical documents (all skills/traits/knowledges I'm definitely not famous for, at least not in a good way). Now when 2012 has come to an end I value a whole bunch of other skills/traits/knowledges instead like observation, creativity, general system knowledge, analysis and communication. I now find testing adventurous and exciting rather than a repetitive routine work.

I've also met a ton of amazing people! Some have been thanked already but of course there are tons of you who I've not even mentioned. I will not attempt to list you all, instead THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO, IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, HAVE HELPED ME ON MY JOURNEY!

Some special mentions left to do:

EAST is a local open network (Linköping area) for testers, started by Johan Jonasson and Johan Åtting. When I started to look at its role in all this I realized:
  • EAST was the place there I got convinced I needed to attend RST.
  • EAST was the reason I picked up LinkedIn and without LinkedIn I would not had come in contact with Maria Kedemo (new job).
  • Speaking about job, I met Johan Åtting via EAST, that was the other amazing job offer this year.
  • EAST was one of the big reasons I started blogging (first test related post is about my first EAST meetup).
  • Johan Jonasson, Johan Åtting, Joel Rydén and other EAST participants have all been role models and sources of inspiration, key to last year's events.
  • EAST became the crucial link between the testing world existing at my work and the testing world existing in the rest of the world.
I could go on but let's just say I'm forever grateful for EAST and I hope I can inspire/help other participants to start similar journeys. Thanks to all who have participated or in other ways contributed!

Starting 2012, blogging to me it was more or less just a poor narcissistic attempt to make something hopelessly uninteresting, interesting or it was something used by the top elite within a business to share their ultimate knowledge about something. At the end of 2012 I tell everyone who wants to progress to blog, not for anyone else's sake (that day will hopefully come) but for their own personal development. Blogging has taught me the value of reflection, greatly improved my ability to put thoughts into words (which is essential to understand, analyse and explain something), it has generated new perspectives, changed priorities or given me a more sensible view on some things, it has improved my English, my writing skills and my "technical storytelling".

Later when some of my blog posts became interesting to other testers it became a great way of getting in contact with other testers, getting feedback and acting as a portfolio. From my heart I urge you to try it out, not, to repeat myself, to become famous but to develop yourself!

I undertook an amazing adventure at work that just didn't fit the format of this series. It didn't include dragons, fairies and elves but, considering how we traditionally have worked with testing, it sometimes felt just as exotic. Some day I'll blog about it but for now I just want to thank my other partner in crime, Saam Eriksson, a passionate, smart tester I hope will continue and further improve our work now when I leave Ericsson (3 working days left). You've meant a lot to me and my development this year Saam, thank you!

Everything comes with a price, dearie
24 hours a day, that's one of few hard constraints we have in life. During these hours we should rest, eat, take care of family and friends, work, take care of ourselves, develop/follow dreams, follow through on commitments, manage everyday activities (pay bills, clean up, get to and from work etc.)... and probably other things I've missed. This constrain is a huge pain in the butt, especially if you, like me, have very many things you love and want to explore.

A few thoughts and lessons from 2012 about managing this puzzle:
  • If you have kids, make sure you put them in the center of the puzzle.
  • The puzzle won't (in a good way) solve itself when there is an overflow of activities.
  • Each piece can be optimized (value/quality per time unit) by observing, reflecting, analyzing and prioritizing, but you need a balance there as well (premature optimization is the root of all evil, you know).
  • The usually extrovert me quickly becomes introvert (not in the positive way) when I don't feel I have enough "me-time" and that affects all parts of my life.
  • It's easy to be blinded by your own passion but don't forget there are other things in life like friends, family and yourself.
I survived the end of the world, here I come 2013!
This year couldn't have come to a better start as my two fantastic boys got the most amazing little sister 11:10pm, January 1st.

Things I know will happen 2013:

Things I feel motivated to do now and thus might do during 2013:
  • BBST Foundation course
  • Reclaim my presentational skills
  • Connect with more testers on Skype
  • Figure out how to get more out of reading (or start prioritizing other learning activities over reading)
  • Be a speaker at some testing conference
  • Try Skype coaching (as a student, had a taste of it thanks to Peksi)

Things I aim to continue with:
  • Be an active blogger
  • Be active in EAST
  • Practice/play/experiment with testing
  • Experiment with my learning
  • Meet more testers in person

Finally, and foremost, I will continue enjoying my life as a dad!

Blog series wrap up
Thank you for reading this, if nothing else it has inspired and taught me a lot! If you want to start a similar journey like mine, feel free to contact me for help, tips or mentoring using comments on this blog, Twitter (@brickuz) or any other way you figure out.

Finally there are two more people I need to thank:

First, my fiancée. Among the million reasons I have for that; thanks for supporting me, inspiring me and being an awesome mom to my kids! Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Second, myself. This was at times a rough ride where I had to stand up and take responsibility for my actions to be able to continue, make sacrifices, take risks and really challenge both my ego and fears to succeed. Thank... me... for this journey!

2013, here i come!


  1. Wow, didn't know that EAST played such a big part in all this. Yes, EAST has turned out really great, primarily thanks to all great people, (not least including yourself) that has joined and that contributes to interesting discussions. But that it could play such a big part in someone's professional life was new to me. Knowing that makes me even more happy that we started it, now little more than a year ago.

    You sure had a great year and I wish you all the best for 2013. See you at the next EAST meeting, next week.

    1. Of course, to balance it a bit, there are a lot of factors together contributing but EAST has definitely been a key enabler last year and I expect it to keep being that 2013. I'm really thankful for your and Johan J's initiative and of course all the other people making it possible.

      Right now I hope I can share some of this with old and new colleages and Ericsson and Securitas Direct/Verisure and learn something from that as well!

  2. That series has been a great read, thanks for writing
    Totally agree with your views on blogging and how useful it is to do.

    All the best for 2013 and looking forward to reading more
    ( and I recommend doing BBST Foundations ! )

  3. You have my full support for your goals for 2013 and don't forget about what's important. Balance in life will keep you happy. I'm excited to be part of 2013!
    Thankyou for sharing your story! See you soon!
    /Maria Kedemo

    1. Thank you Maria, I'm excited to start 2013 in a better position than last year, kinda makes me wonder where I will end up starting 2014!

      No matter what, I've had an amazing start!

  4. Thanks for the series of posts.

    I liked the way you described ur career in 2012.

    I want to be become same as u and i would like to connect with u.and learn from u to help others and make my career good.

    1. You should definitely get in touch with people like Pradeep (http://testertested.blogspot.se/) and Ajay (http://enjoytesting.blogspot.se/) (know neither personally unfortunately). From what I've read and heard about them I have great confidence they can help you find the ways forward in India a lot better than I can.

      I'm sure you can have a just as great 2013 as I had 2012, after all you've started earlier so you're already ahead of me .) Just grab me via Twitter (@brickuz), LinkedIn or similar and I'll try to help you get forward! (not the most active due to all my kids but I'll always answer)

    2. ... should be "from them" as well, not just "about them". Both share some high quality stuff on their blogs, twitter etc!