Thursday, 6 September 2012

When in a rush, stop and look around

This is a little recap of what happened during the summer and early fall.

I have had a quite summer. In addition my wife getting a great job from an esteemed Finnish restaurant and the scheduling followed by that, I have been busy trying to build my career within the company. The career building alone was enough to suck the juices out of me (deputing my boss, making connections, etc.) I found my previously hibernating hobby, miniature painting and modeling.

All that compared to my lack of self discipline to edit my workshop video (which became a hurdle I came to dread) resulted in a complete inability to update my blog or tweet about stuff happening around me, all the while feeling guilty about not getting stuff done.

However, all my networking, deputing and the effort spent within the company resulted in a promotion. The “deal” is finalized during the next month which will lead into senior position in F-secure in addition to receiving the responsibility of all platform maintenance handling in Finland (excluding some separate items). Being able to breathe a while and get to start rebuilding my focus, I decided to write this update post to get some sizzle going on in the blog.

I’m also glad that my wife (Love you, baby!) has been able to handle the restaurant manager job with such awesomeness that I almost envy her passion towards the domain. With all scheduling problems and prioritizing we were able to pull it together and now it pays itself back. A week’s beach holiday is ahead of us and we are to discuss about the move to the Helsinki area, which will drastically decrease my commute time (which is 5 hrs/day every day).

I was so empowered by Santhosh Tuppad’s blog post about highlights of the year I decided to write some of my own highlights from the past 12 months. These are all as in what I remember and may be incorrect, but this is how I view the world 12 months ago:

  • September 2011: I came to contact with F-secure’s awesome people when I applied for an exploratory testing role model position. I did not get the position, however, but they contacted me with a little different job description. They offered me a position as a second maintenance manager and a quality engineer.
  • October 2011: I got a role as a testing expert in Itella Corporation’s quality board (I don’t know exactly what the group was called, but we talked about testing and outsourcing) and came to contact with some very talented people. Although with somewhat different views I was able to suck in few good tips as a test manager on the way.
  • November 2011: I started working at F-secure. Also I got my first contact with teaching testing to a larger group. That sparked a flame for more workshops.
  • December 2011: The beautiful Maldives! A ten-day honeymoon at a 5-star hotel with my dear wife recharged my batteries for the busy year 2012.
  • January 2012: I got to try my wings in a feature team at F-secure testing client software. Great times with great people!
  • February 2012: I wrote the first draft of the Heuristics Testing Qualification which was evolved into a monster. By the summer I had talked with James Bach about the concept and I decided to rewrite the basic structure of the qualification. That is still on the drawing board but the first draft pushed a stone down the hill and it has began to “land-slidify”.
  • March 2012: I have no clue what happened on March, but maybe that’s a good thing. The highlight of March is that nothing worth mentioning happened.
  • April 2012: I had a workshop at my previous company, Logia Software Oy, where I… learned a lot about how to hold a workshop and how to arrange my presentation. Hard knock life, if that’s the correct expression, but ever so necessary.
  • May 2012: Turku Agile Days 2012! Testing with the stars! I met Anssi Lehtelä, Sergey Moshnikov, Lisa Crispin, Elisabeth Hendrickson, and lot of friends from Scandinavia and the Globe. I’m looking forward to having another go at Testing with the Stars as soon as possible (I might even want to judge one, if possible).
  • June 2012: The Nordic Testing Days 2012! What more can be said? Sami Söderblom as my trusted wing man (he'll hate me for saying that), all the great Estonian testers, the beautiful city of Tallinn. Ten out of ten. Also I got the chairmanship (actually it’s called Community facilitator) of the Finnish Association of Software Testing. In addition to all that, I met Rex Black and had some good conversations with him.
  • July 2012: Deputing my boss, Harri, as a maintenance manager. Almost the toughest four weeks in my life. That really helped me to understand the systems we have in more depth and the people behind the beating heart of F-secure.
  • August 2012: “Laatu ja testaus”, a Finnish testing magazine was published and I was able to sneak in a column of my own “Pekka kirjoittaa lehteen” which is “”Pekka writes into a magazine” (original, huh?)
  • September 2012: There is a number of weeks left until I go into to the to-be team as a maintenance manager and also I’m looking forward to getting my presentation for the October’s Tampere Goes Agile (there’s a twist involved, right Anssi?) and my University guest lecture about how REAL testing is done.

I do realize that almost all of these are career or work related highlights and that sums my year pretty much up. I have worked like crazy and during the summer I was so tired I couldn’t finish my reading assignment I had agreed with Aleksis Tulonen, the editing of my workshop video, and many other things left to the table by the hectic spring and the early summer. The two months I gathered strength have proved invaluable to me and I can start pushing forward with new spirit. I was in a rush to get somewhere, but I was wise enough to stop and took a breather (thanks to Pirita for saying that all over again to me during the summer).

I want to thank Santhosh for making such an inspiring blog post. That was the push I needed to get back on the horse and start blogging and tweeting with such gusto like none before.

New winds blow! The horizon is the goal! … I’m going sailing!! (I mean "I'll do more blogging”)