Why it is good to cut some slack

Lazy, lazy

Little over a year ago, I had a slow day at work. There was not much to do and even the few tasks I had were not of high priority. I was a bit bored since it was too early to go home and I didn’t feel comfortable playing some game or browsing Facebook during working hours. You know, impressions. So I decided to start browsing LinkedIn discussion groups for some questions I would be able to answer or some new ideas or techniques I could use in my work.

I had never really been very active in LinkedIn before apart from updating my profile every once in a while to keep it up to date but this time something clicked. I started to write actively to various discussion groups related to testing, test management, agile and so on. Some people agreed with my views, some disagreed, some asked for more information and were curious to know more about the way I see things. So I kept participating.

Turning point

After a couple of months of active writing, I came across a discussion thread about reducing the cost of software testing. It had been going on for a good while and it was gathering a lot of attention and participants. There were plenty of very good advices on how companies could cut down on the costs related to software testing without compromising the quality of their product. I felt compelled to share some points and views from my own working experience, plus there were some points that I disagreed with and felt I wanted to counter-argument.

A few weeks later I was approached by Govind Kulkarni via email, asking me if I was interested in participating in a book project that was meant to collect a number of testers from around the world, to share their views on the topic of reducing the costs of software testing. Naturally, I was interested – perfect opportunity, who wouldn’t be? So I said yes please, count me in. This resulted in an avalanche of events.

I got in contact with people like Matthew Heusser and Markus Gärtner, heard about Miagi-do School of Software Testing, got accepted as a brown-belt student and got invited to STPCon as a speaker about the book. I was also invited to the Rebel Alliance, an informal group of top-notch testers from around the world sharing ideas, helping other people learn about testing and just generally having fun together with like-minded people at conferences and other professional gatherings.

On top of all that, I got in contact with Tiina Kiuru when she organized the first testing dojo in Helsinki and got really excited about that. I had discussed testing dojos with Markus Gärtner and I was a bit sorry I hadn’t been able to participate in any Weekend Testing sessions which are somewhat similar. I absolutely loved the idea so when I heard about the dojo I signed up immediately. This resulted in the two of us starting to work together to organize more testing dojos in Helsinki (keep posted, we have some big plans regarding this for the near future).

…Fast-forward 6 months…

After many way too long days at the office (a big Thank You to Uoma Oy for allowing me to work on my book chapter during office hours) and getting out of bed in the middle of the night to add or edit a sentence I just had to have there, the book chapter went through a couple of review rounds and was finally finished and sent to the publisher.

As an icing on the cake, I just received an email today stating that I have been selected as a candidate for Finnish Tester of the Year 2011 (only available in Finnish).

All of this because I had a slow day at the office about a year ago and decided to spend that 1 free hour doing something personally interesting. So the message is simple: Cut yourself some slack – it’s not just refreshing, it could be more rewarding than you can imagine!

Compulsory shameless promotion section: The book release date will be September 7th, 2011. More information can be found on the publisher’s website: How to Reduce the Cost of Software Testing.

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