Wednesday, 29 April 2015

I quit my job, sold my apartment and started doing what I love - TESTING

People might have been wondering (or somewhere deep inside I hope they have) what has been going on in my life. I have been intentionally silent for a while now. I ain't silent no more. I believe the hibernation has been my salvation. I have been able to regain my passion and my confidence. This post is a short review of my year 2014. I'll describe some of the events that changed me and my attitude towards my career. I'll describe what made me lose my passion for a while and what made me regain it.

The beginning of 2014 was tumultuous time for me. I had done the EuroSTAR2013 talk and I was hugely perplexed by the amount of the positive feedback and the intensity of the criticism. I decided it would make sense to lay low for a while and reflect what I had done. I came to understand that I had been flying on my own hype. I didn't deliver what I had promised, I made grand plans and told about them like I had already done them. I needed to set my feet back to the ground. And it was hard.

A lot of personal changes have been happening in the past year. Among the changes a divorce. I now see how much relationships with close ones can affect ones decisions subconsciously. I must say that there were more good times than bad. However the beginning of 2014 set in motion a set of events that lead into my new found passion towards testing and coaching.

I realized during the summer of 2014 that I was utterly and completely isolated and desolated in my home, in a strange city. I cannot say how much of my discomfort came from waxing and waning depression. I do know that after getting out back to my home town, I have felt healthier than ever. So what I did, perhaps on the spur of the moment, I quit my job and moved away from Helsinki. I am actually still trying to sell the apartment I own with my wife, but I live in a 2 bedroom apartment now with my daughter. So basically I packed my things and left.

I was thinking for weeks that I regret the decision, and I might have for a while. Without a job, I found myself in school trying to educate myself with the ins and outs of Pervasive Computing at the Technical University of Tampere. I had some baits in the water waiting for a prospective employer to bite. And when finally Solita decided to give me a chance, I was relieved.

#High6 will be flying at NTD2015 in Tallinn
So, there I was once again, trying to motivate myself to study something that didn't give me the “thrills”. I mean, I like programming and scripting, I like the technology and all. I just… I am a square peg in the round hole, when it comes to formal education. The worst thing is that I keep hearing this “you should really stay in school, cuz you need the degree to get a proper job”. I feel guilty for those kind of comments. The most successful people I know or look up to aren't those who graduated from schools and universities (although they might have degrees), but those who followed their dreams. I know it sounds immature and possibly silly, but I feel I am being made homogeneous in the school.

I have realized my motivation is intrinsic to the core. It is almost narcissistically selfish, but when I follow my own reasons I get results. My motivation, it seems, is pleasure. I want the pleasure of feeling admiration. I want to do things that make me feel good. If I feel bad, I rebel, I fight against the restraints until I depress and collapse. To be able to function, I need to find things that I feel good about.

What happened then was quite miraculous. I started working at Solita to pay my bills and support my mind-numbing studying (which I also sucked at, in addition to despising my inability to study). I was just a consultant (a testing specialist) in a project, trying to find my place and role in the organization. Or that’s what I though. The environment was… magical. It made want to be a beacon of light. I saw people willing to listen to my insight on testing. I saw people seeking my company to chat about some testing problems. I was like “I found my people!”

Me talking about "How to make anyone do anything" at Solita
I've worked there half weeks for two months, until in April I started to do full week. To this day, I have been coaching three all-developer teams to test, manage their testing with Session Based Test Management, and more projects are lining up to use my services. Also I have been able to share my knowledge on coaching for my colleagues, invited to facilitate classes that are still to remain secret. This all and more. This all feels like I have regained my wings and I can fly again.

Long story short, I found my passion I thought I had lost. There is no reason anymore to fly under the radar. 

I'm back - loud and ugly as ever! ;)
- Peksi


Mohinder said...

You landed on your feet is most important. You found the sweet spot therefore congratulations. Enjoy the ride

Pekka Marjamäki said...

I thank you kindly, Mohinder. :)