Showing posts with label growth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label growth. Show all posts

Monday, January 1, 2024

Year in Review : Reflecting on 2023

As we wrap up another year, I spent some time on reflecting on the highs and lows of 2023, a year that brought its fair share of challenges and achievements. This tradition of year-end reflection not only helps me appreciate the journey but also sets the stage for what lies ahead.

I've been doing this tradition of reflecting back on a year for the last four years, and it's been great to look back at each year-end review. It's like flipping through the pages of a personal growth journal, seeing the progress, the lessons learned, and the challenges overcome. Here's a snapshot of my 2023 story:

  • 2023 kicked off with me joining Ship30for30, a writing course that taught me the importance of consistency, generating ideas, and embracing constructive feedback. Check out my 30-day writing adventure here.
  • Throughout the year, I had the pleasure of being a guest on various podcasts, discussing topics like observability for testers, the importance of representation, and the concept of shifting testing left. You can catch some of these conversations 👇
    • Shweta on QA Q & A - here
    • Interview with Nicola Lindgren - here
    • Marie Cruz and Nicole van der Hoeven on Adobo & Avocados - here
    • Conversation with Ruslan Akhmetzianov - here
  • My time at Thoughtworks was like a journey through a place where I learned and grew a lot. Working with great co-workers on different projects, making friends forever, and tackling challenges have all contributed to shaping a better version of myself.

"Growth always happens when you step out of your comfort zone."

  • One of the personal milestones of the year was delivering workshops at conferences. From a 99-minute session on continuous testing to an in-person workshop on inclusive cross-functional requirements, the feedback from attendees was incredibly rewarding. You can find more about these workshops here. If any conference is seeking workshops on these topics, feel free to reach out to me as I'm looking to do more of these in 2024. Apart from these workshops, I got an opportunity to be part of a panel discussion on 'Driving a culture of quality' at TestBash Autumn 2023. It was an honour to be part of this alongside Ben Dowen and Calab Grandall.
  • Said goodbye to Thoughtworks and jumped into a new role as the Quality Practice Lead at CFC. The first month has been a rollercoaster of learning, and I'm excited about what's coming next.
  • In response to health challenges stemming from remote work(not taking frequent breaks), I committed to a journey of healthy eating habits. Shedding 12 kgs wasn't just about adopting healthy habits but also about dedication, consistency, and bouncing back after setbacks. This achievement stands out as a personal highlight for me in 2023.
  • Being named a RisingSTAR Finalist was an honor. While my idea on cross-functional requirements didn't take the top spot, standing among brilliant finalists was a win in itself.

  • Additionally, I contributed as part of the program review team for Testμ 2023 by Lambdatest, adding my voice to the testing community as a reviewer. I was also invited to be a Llambdatest Spartan which is a great community to be part of.

As I bid farewell to 2023, I acknowledge its ups and downs. Each challenge has contributed to my growth, and I'm proud of how I've navigated them. Despite falling short on consistent blogging, 2024 holds a simple goal—write at least 5 blogs. Putting it out here for public accountability! 😄

In closing, I'm grateful for the experiences and lessons of 2023. Here's to growth, resilience, and the untold stories awaiting in 2024! 🌟🎉

Stay tuned for more adventures! ✨

Saturday, December 31, 2022

A Year In Review - 2022


It's the time of the year to look back and reflect on what happened during the year 2022. It's not just about reflecting back on growth and success but also to look back at the challenges and various different decisions that helped me to grow throughout this year. The common theme for me this year has been - "Getting out of comfort zone".  I have been doing so many things that were absolutely out of my comfort zone throughout this year and it has definitely helped me to grow in many ways and to learn about my ownself.

  • The year started with settling in at thoughtworks and the project that I was working on. It was a complete new experience to work on such a huge product with 12+ cross functional teams. Initially I was totally lost to get to know so many teams and to understand where I need to focus on. Slowly I got into the flow and focused more on my team and the area of the product that our team owned. I was the only tester on the team, I took this as an opportunity to coach, mentor and influence my team all about quality and testing. The goal was to enable the team so I don't become the bottleneck and be the only person to test the stories/features. It was slow and challenging process of months but it was worth it. I was focusing so much more on the whole holistic testing and all types of testing that was required. Running workshops, organising knowledge sharing sessions, pairing with all different roles and creating a community space for observability are just few of the highlights to mention. So much more that I was able to do and deliver on this team.
  • I wanted to have all my focus on the work I was doing on the team so I had to say no to few conference speaking opportunities which was not easy to say no to but had to. I got an opportunity to speak at XConf Europe in July which was a thoughworks organised conference. This was my first in person conferece since the last one being in 2019. Absolutely new experience of presenting the same talk at 3 different locations in 3 days with Day 1 at Stuttgart, Germany, Day 2 - Manchester, London, Day 3 - Madrid. Here's the link to all the recordings - link and a link to my talk - A Peek into observability from tester's lens.

  •  One of the absosolute hightlight of the year was being invited for a keynote, a dream, a goal that was on my list.

  •  While preparing and working on my keynote since I came to know I'll be delivering a keynote in November , I also started working on a new project which was completely backend and api focused. It was yet again absolutely different experience to work on such project. It was hard to leave the previous team and project that I was working on but I guess that's how a consultants life is going to be like. I was sad to leave my old team but at the same time I was happy and excited to work on the new project with all new challenges. 
  • Finally the time came to deliver my first ever keynote AgileTD Potsdam in November, a very very special one in many ways. A huge thank you to José Díaz who believed in me and entire AgileTD team. I talked about influencing skills, how they can help us build the quality within the teams and  how to develop those skills. Infact more than what I mentioned here, a story of my own experiences. Here's the sneak peek of my keynote on these sketchnotes
    • Sketchnote by Lisi Hocke - Link
    • Sketchnote by Eveline Moolenaars - Link
  • Special thanks and mention to Tristan Lombard and Helen Scott who have helped me throughout this journey of keynote. They have constantly supported and motivated me by continuous feedback from the idea generation phase to dry runs. I am forever thankful to both  💖. A huge thanks to Lisa Crispin for helping me through dry runs and feedbacks. Thank you to Lisi Hocke, Samuel Nitsche and Vera Baum for helping me with your valuable feedback and dry runs that helped me in delivering my keynote. Apart from being a keynote speaker, it was so great to meet Toyer, Marie Drake, Emna Aydi and many more for the first time in person. 
  • I also mentored and met so many people through mentoring platforms like  Mentoring Club and ADPList
  • I got an apportunity to be an AWS Community Builder and was also invited by Manoj Kumar to be a LambdaTest Spartan which I'm so looking forward to contribute and learn from this community. I was also invited to be on a panel by Lambda Test which was a great chance to meet few Spartan's - Link to the panel recording
  • Towards the end of year I started giving more importance to my own health by making sure I do some kind of workout atleast twice a week and eat healthy which I'm going to take this forward for the next year too. 

Few things for 2023 

  • I'm hoping to present the same keynote or even a new keynote talk at any other conference this year. 
  • I want to try my hands with running a workshop as my next goal.
  • I also want to write and share consistently which I have not been doing since last 2 years and I really want to get back on this If I can. 
  • I want to work on being more technically confident tester(If there's anyone who would like to pair with me on this or someone who is looking for an accountability partner please reach me out as I would love to have someone). 
  • I want to focus on improving my existing skills and want to learn new skills.

I'm excited for the next year and thanks for reading this post. Wishing you all a very happy new year 2023!