Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 Achievements and 2013 Goals/Resolutions

With some prompting from this post on Software Testing Club about accomplishments for the year, and my own here about resolutions for 2013, I figured a blog post was in order. So here we go:

2012 Achievements/Accomplishments

  • Became more involved in the QA community (see previous post about joining STC)
  • Started blogging more, and working on articles to submit to publications
  • Improved the hiring process at work for my team, though I have a LOT of work to do on it still (if you see my twitter feed on any given weekday, you’ll know what I mean)
  • Worked on my interviewing skills ( I interviewed a LOT of people)
  • Convinced my company to be a bit more involved in the community, and got sponsorship of a local conference out of it 😀
  • Got the ball rolling on performance reviews at my company, too (reviews themselves will probably happen after a deadline in January… I hope)
  • Became an aunt (again) to a baby that decided to arrive at home on the kitchen floor! She’s got my genes for sure 😛
  • Went to an amazing conference – KalamazooX – for the first time. Only conference I got to this year 😦
  • Had a case of mono that left me working from home for 2 weeks. It was wonderful!
  • Found a good guy, and moved him and his cat into my place 😛
  • Made entirely too many tweets/FB posts about how I was “still at the office” late into the night and on weekends. Got to know the janitors in the office pretty well, though :/
  • Attended a ridiculous amount of networking events for IT, representing my company and looking for fresh blood
  • Found a few really good gluten-free beers. Really expensive, so I don’t get them often, but just knowing they exist makes me terribly happy
  • Very nearly started a new opportunity, but was called back to the current one at the last minute. I took the counteroffer, let’s just leave it at that…
  • Launched the community edition of our software, which was a huge painful effort 😛


2013 Goals and Resolutions

  • Achieve a better work/life balance. This will be the most difficult of all of my goals…
  • Attend CAST, KalamazooX, IT in the D, and maybe some other conferences too
  • Submit a talk to a conference and/or user group
  • Actually do above talk
  • Submit articles to QA publication
  • Attend at least one GiveCamp; I didn’t attend any this year and I’m jonesing for it!
  • Assist in coordination of and/or attend Detroit GiveCamp
  • Seek out new opportunities…
  • Finally write that Android app I’ve been thinking about for a while
  • Write more code in general. Ruby, Java, C, and of course my favorite, Perl.
  • Continue to be involved in the QA community
  • Hire some people that actually know WTF they’re doing
  • Actually go to the gym I have a membership for >.<
  • Be a better leader


I think that’s all for the accomplishments and goals (except for a few personal goals I’ll keep to myself :P). What about you? Have you thought about what you want to do next year?


Intro on STC

I’ve recently gotten involved with Software Testing Club at a.”volunteer community” level. Here’s my intro post 🙂

Inspiration from a sushi chef

Recently, Craig Earl (@beardedtester) posted on Software Testing Club asking “Who Has Inspired You?” (here). My immediate response to this question is Jiro Ono. I learned about Jiro watching a documentary on Netflix called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi“. I highly recommend it, even if you don’t like sushi. If you do, you’ll drool the whole time – be prepared!

Jiro Ono is an 85 (or 86 now) year-old sushi chef. He holds 3 Michelin stars in his 10-seat restaurant, which is unheard of. Jiro is the very definition of a craftsman. In the beginning of the documentary he says:

Once you decide your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That is the secret of success, and is the key to being regarded honorably.

I find this to be so inspiring in the first few minutes of the film. I immerse myself in my work. I love my work. I do, however, complain about my job sometimes 😛 I am dedicating myself to mastering my skill(s), and I am finding some level of success in it. I am Jiro!

A food critic featured in the documentary that is “still nervous” every time he enters Jiro’s restaurant, says the follow, which I think matches up with any craft:

A great chef has the following five attributes:

First, they take their work very seriously and consistently perform on the highest level.

Second, they aspire to improve their skills. 

Third is cleanliess.

The fourth attribute is impatience. They are better leaders than collaborators. They’re stubborn and insist on having it their way.

And finally, a great chef is passionate.

Sure, they don’t all apply to all crafts (cleanliness being one – my desk looks like a dust bunny tornado hit it!), but in general, these five attributes make anyone great at their profession.

I think I love this documentary so much because even the fish vendors say some profound things! One says:

Just when you think you know it all, you realize you’re just fooling yourself and then you get depressed…

He then laughs for a moment, then looks a bit uncomfortable…

Finally, Jiro’s eldest son says this at the very end:

Always look ahead and above yourself. Always try to improve on yourself. Always strive to elevate your craft.


I just watched this documentary again tonight because I really needed some inspiration. Jiro Ono is the epitome of what I look up to in my career – passionate and tirelessly working to make himself better. I also like sushi 🙂

I highly recommend it, again, if you need some inspiration or just want to watch some yummy sushi being made.

Dealing with failure

Are you a test lead or manager? How do you deal with failure of your team? I’m interested in how you deal with individuals that fail in their jobs, as well as an entire team that failed in a task.
How do you hold individual QA accountable?