Snow stopped play on a few fronts this week. Normally I try to get along to a local board gaming meetup once a month, but the tundrous (don’t think that’s a word, but it looked pretty tundra-like outside at points – so I’ll take it!) weather literally did stop play for this particular event.

Apparently Belgians have no regard for the weather whatsoever…

Wishing Beren Van Daele the best on his travels to Brighton!

  • I was able to use the time I would have spent on other activities (like venturing outside of the house) to catchup with some automation I’m working on for a side project. It’s respectably challenging, since the environment I’m automating against and the application itself couldn’t reasonably be described as automation friendly, but its a good learning opportunity and helps to keep my skills sharp while I’m not so involved in hands on QA activities on a day to day basis.
  • Working on some test automation is helpful on some other fronts also, since the challenges and experiences of doing so feed into some of the planning for upcoming TestRail releases in which we expect to have a strong automation focus. More on this to come; watch out for a TestRail roadmap webinar coming soon.
  • In addition to my own experiences, it’s helpful to hear how other organisations approach their testing and the challenges they face. I’ve had conversations with Apple and NASA over the last couple of weeks, along with many others, and have lots more to look forward to. The salient points from those discussions feed directly into not only our feature development roadmap, but act as sensors for my product management activities, and our business processes too. They’re incredibly valuable on so many fronts, and one of the best things is, our customers value them too. Even if we can’t necessarily implement some of the specific requests, just knowing their voice has been heard and responded to directly makes a real difference.
  • I’m thinking a lot about stories at the moment. Lots of people have written about how deeply ingrained a sense of narrative and storytelling is with respect to the human condition. I suppose my main interest at the moment is the use of story as a mechanism for more effective communication e.g. with respect to the webinars I expect to be working on over the next few weeks, but also as a persuasion device for catalysing change in the people and teams with whom I’m communicating. I wrote a little about this in my Experimenters Regress blogpost last week, and will likely touch on this some more in the future. It’s one of the main reasons I write this blogpost each week: by inspecting my activities and thinking about my motivations for them each week, I become more aware of my own narrative. The story I tell myself about who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m heading becomes more visible to me, and open to feedback and adjustment.

So on that note…

Thanks for reading. Feel free to reach out via a comment or on the socials if anything resonates.

Cheers,
Simon

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