Monday Musings

I’ve been thinking a lot about ways in which skills can be actively developed and improved upon. Probably because of our upcoming webinar with Matt Heusser – Getting Started with Deliberate Practice in Software Testing – but also because it’s an area that I’ve always had a keen interest in as it relates to my own career development.

Anyway, while carrying out some research I discovered the book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, by Anders Ericsson. Amongst other things, in the book he talks a lot about how the U.S Navy formed the renowned Top Gun academy to provide their pilots with the kind of programme that facilitates deliberate practice; namely, providing an environment where they can experiment, get feedback, reflect and improve.

It’s well worth a read, and if you’re interested in hearing more about how you can implement deliberate practices in your software testing, join us for the webinar on the 13th Feb.

In other news:

  • I was happy to complete my probation period this week (yup — I went employed after 10yrs of self-employment). I’m no longer a probationary Product Manager. I’m now fully fledged! Woohoo! And we have plenty of new features and improvements coming down the pipe. Stay tuned to the Gurock sites for more info.
  • One of the things I’m finding helpful in my new role is building extended periods of deep focused work into my day. I’m fortunate that since I work remotely, mostly on US time, it’s pretty easy to do that. But I’ve also added a layer of tracking to make sure I’m improving or at least sustaining/optimising the frequency and duration of those sessions over time. I got the idea from cal Newport’s Deep Work, in case you’re wondering.
  • I started using Wunderlist again to supplement Evernote as a to-do list tool. I spend a LOT of time in Evernote (writing this post in it as I speak) but it doesn’t stand up particularly well for to-do’s. There’s plenty of other to-do list apps out there though, and I’m not sure whether I might be better served by one of them instead… I’d love to hear from anyone with a strong opinion!
  • Mostly, I’ve been watching Altered Carbon on Netflix. It seems like a mashup of various stories (not that I’ve read a huge number of them) from the author Richard K. Morgan, which I think makes it a little confusing to watch at times. But it’s very good nonetheless. Looking forward to more in the same vein from Netflix.
  • I’ve been playing a whole lot of Titanfall 2, mainly thanks to these guides from Jim Holmes. Not sure whether to thank or curse him… 😀
Thanks for reading. Feel free to reach out via a comment or on the socials if anything resonates.

Cheers,
Simon

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I'm Simon Knight, Tester turned Product Manager. Helping design awesome products for testers.

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