I’ve been asked (kindly) to do a blog post, to get some content up on our web page. “Talk (write) about things that might be interesting to people in the tech community” they said… Or anybody who might be interested in Rebels’ story, and frankly we have a pretty interesting story; so here we are. We’re about 4 years in, sitting-pretty at 12 people and a lot of plans for 2019.
As it’s a New Year, the first thing that came to mind to write about was motivation. Gaahhhhddddd it’s hard to get out of bed at the moment, and that’s tricky enough at the best of times. I consider myself lucky, I just got my new Toyota CHR (hybrid, yes I’m one of those people…and it’s awesome) so I’m genuinely pretty excited to get out of bed just so I can drive to work. I’m an equal measure of terrified and excited as it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought.
However, my partner, numerous friends, my mum, and a tonne of other people are deep into their ‘struggle to motivate thy-self to go to work’ mode, post-Christmas. It’s a tough one. How do you dive right back into full-time work after having what feels like 3 months off? In reality, it was probably closer to 10 or maybe 14 days. But not getting out of bed until it was acceptable to open a beer or pour a prosecco has made getting out of bed now, while it’s still miserable and dark, pretty tough. That said, at least it’s not too cold for January (because the planet’s heating up and we’re all going to die…).
Again, I’m incredibly lucky. In my role as an account manager, I work with loads of businesses across lots of regions in the UK. Partly due to the fact I’ve become a ‘test-specialist’ and partly because I work with every consultant at Rebel in some capacity or another. Right now, I’m actively working 4 test vacancies which is the least I’ve had since September time (at one point we had about 15 roles on…it was both mental and awesome because I pretty much had multiple places to send virtually any candidate…but mostly just mental!). Given the signs we’re getting from the businesses we work with, we’re anticipating a fair bit of action in testing this year too. So, alongside my non-test roles, I have plenty to focus on when I get in to work on any given day.
Testing, as with anything in tech, is evolving. Which is similar in some ways to the explosion software development has been experiencing over the last 5-10 years. It also seems that businesses are adopting a more serious mindset towards testing. In the age of Twitter complaints, companies must take the quality of their products more seriously; – to stand tall and absorb the load and pressures unpredictable customers will inevitably throw at them – or crash and throw up that annoying error, or worse, just do nothing as customers click/tap away creating new explosions that p*ss the dev team off.
Testing is one way to mitigate at least some of the risk that comes with releasing ANYTHING. We know you can never test everything, but as we’ve learned from TDD+BDD and the success of Agile: if you understand your goals well enough, prioritise what you need your products to do, and allow customers to help you with understanding their behaviours, it becomes easier to figure out what is and isn’t worth testing. This saves you a lot of time in the long run. It’s an exciting time to talk to testers and work on testing roles, there’s so much going on in this sphere of technical existence, it’s cool.
Another thing that’s giving me some motivation as we trundle our way deeper into the new year: our tech community. Tech is a cool and exciting thing to be a part of. Anywhere in the world for the most part, regardless of where on the periphery you’re sat, tech is constantly growing and developing. I’m lucky enough to be a part of an insanely welcoming community. The Notts Tech community is incredible, we read about it quite regularly with some amazing advocates and masses of amazing individuals. I’m able to go along to Notts Test every month (first Wednesday of every month, check it out on Meetup.com!) where I get to hang out with people from the local world of test.
(I started this thing shortly after I joined Rebel where I’d agree to do things I knew I wasn’t necessarily going to like or be good at. For the 3 years before joining Rebel I was galivanting around the world where I was regularly thrown into situations outside of my comfort zone, so it didn’t seem like an all-too-stupid idea to do the same now I’m settled in the UK. Alas, it wasn’t!)
I’ve been taking on things that are outside of my spectrum of knowledge. Going to local meetups, working on new roles like marketing and tbh, that’s how I got into recruiting testers. The idea didn’t appeal much at first, but the demand Rebel had didn’t leave much room for passing on the opportunity. Now, Notts Test is a highlight of every month and working on numerous test roles at any given time just means having options for people!
For the most part things have generally worked out, and in line with just saying yes to things, I’ll be giving a bit of a talk at next months’ Notts Test (Feb). My talk will be with Dan Caseley on recruitment – something he first suggested back in about September time last year. The idea is to give a bit of an overview of what’s going on in the market relating to testing. Testers are IN the market, so surely they know what’s going on in said market, right? Apparently not always the case. Dan pointed out that many people focus almost exclusively on what’s going on in their role because that’s what puts money into your account. Who really has the time – if you’re not searching for a job – to look up the kinds of technologies, tools, languages, frameworks and so-on that other businesses are using?
Soooo that’s a bit of a gap we’re looking to plug, along with other topics like do’s and don’ts of finding a new role, how best to present and approach finding a new role, and what businesses need to offer to find the best people. Should be interesting!
So, these are a few things that have subconsciously been motivating me over the last 3 or-so weeks. Off to get that presentation sorted….
Happy new year!
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