Showing posts with label reflecting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reflecting. 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 πŸ‘‡
    • 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 TestΞΌ 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! πŸ˜„

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

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 JosΓ© DΓ­az 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  πŸ’–. 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!

Friday, December 31, 2021

A Year in Review - 2021

 Another year passed by and its the time of the year to look back and reflect. This year for me was more of trying to recover from year 2020 loss of my loved one and taking care of myself. 

Reflecting back to me is all about being grateful and learning from all those experiences and continue to grow. So I wanted to look back at my 2021 journey.

  •  Networking and making friends was one of the huge advantage of attending in person conferences, I had made some from 2019 conferences that I had attended in person. I had an opportunity to share a short story in colloboration with Niranjani Manohoran for an initiative called as RISE hosted by Synapse QA where we shared how we met at a conference and continued helping each other πŸ˜‡
  • I got an opportunity to pair and collaborate with Maaret PyhΓ€jΓ€rvi to test the application under test to create a course.
  •  I joined Thoughtworks in May as a Senior QA Consultant which was one of the most exciting news. I had followed and got inspired by many thoughtworkers, I was very excited to start a new chapter of my journey as a thoughtworker. It's been just 7 months since I joined and I already feel so confident about everything that I have done so far and how much I have learned. There's so much more that I'm looking forward to in 2022 that I have planned for . 
  • I continued sharing my learnings about Observability with the community, I still consider myself as a newbie in this topic and there's so much more to learn and explore. This topic is one of my favourite and I'm very passionate about it, I'm hoping to learn more about this in 2022 🎯. Was part of the panel along with Miss Amy, Shery Brauner, Tiani Jones and Thom Duran which was hosted by LeadDev - Getting your engineers on board with observability. And also contributed on LeadDev where myself including Liz Fong-Jones, Kristie Howard and Lesley Cordero have shared experiences around how the teams been using Observability. I loved sharing and reading about how others have been using it. Interested in reading? Here's the link - How Netflix, Teachers Pay, HoneyComb and more used Observability 
  •  I got invited to be one of the reviewers for Super Reads 2021:Synape QA Global Write-A-Thon. It was great to be part of the awesome panel of reviewers.I loved reading so many stories and articles throught the review process. 
  • I did speak at few conferences this year including TestFlix 2021, Appium Conference 2021, API Summit 2021, Conf42:Site Reliability Engineering 2021 and Dev Day 2021. I had a privilege to be a host at Agile India 2021 Conference to host Manoj Kumar where he delivered a talk on Tips from the Trenches : Accessibility Testing.
  • It was an honour to be on TestGuild Podcast hosted by Joe Colantonio, it was such an awesome experience and enjoyed the conversation sharing all about quality.
  • This is my first and last blogpost of this year 2021. I did not or shall I say I could not write any blogpost in this year. I did get very anxious about not writing any blog. But slowly I learnt to accept that it's ok, it's ok to not write, it's ok to take a break from something to take care of yourself. Gradually I started feeling less guilty about not being able to write which was a huge relief for my ownself. And I'm looking forward to 2022 to take small steps towards getting back into writing and sharing more πŸ’ͺπŸ’«πŸ’₯.

 What a journey and a ride it was, Year 2021. With so many great things, had miserable moments too. Even though I could not do as much as I had thought of, I'm happy and grateful of what I was able to do. All the learnings, experiences, struggles and challenges have given me a lot of strength and confidence. I'm grateful to all those people who were kind, empathetic and encouraging. 

While I'm planing and building my goals for next year, this is the tweet that is going to be a reminder and going to be stuck in my mind 😊


Looking forward for the year 2022 πŸ™ŒπŸ’« 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Reflecting on Year 2020

⚠️ Content warning: This blog contains mention of death 

 The year 2020 - A year filled with a lot of uncertainties, learned whole new definition of being adaptable to the changes, surprises which were both good and bad, a year of learning about all new fears. Year 2020 to me has meant all about empathy and humanity. It's been a mixed year which has entirely changed the way I look at life and the impact has been real.

This year had been a real toll in terms of mental health and adapting to the new way of living with a lot of unexpected situations to face. I almost decided not to write anything about reflecting on this year. But I decided to do it. This is my first blog post in the last 6 months. 

The year started with a lot of excitement and goals that I wanted to achieve. A lot of planning and passion went in for what I wanted to achieve and learn while I was on my Testing Tour. Setting out on Testing Tour was not just about learning topics and sharing but it was more of getting out of my comfort zone. I am so glad I took the courage to do it and it proved to be worth it. I met known and new people from across the world which was an amazing experience. 

I got introduced to the whole new topic of Observability or O11y where Abby Bangser and Shelby Spees has helped me in a way that got me hands-on with so much better understanding and clarity about this topic. Shared my learnings from Testing Tour and Observability at multiple conferences

 I lived in fear since I came to know about Covid-19, fear for my family who live with me and who lived back home in India. I have seen Covid effect really closely. Three of my loved ones caught it one after the other. First my Mom, then my Dad and then my brother. In this battle, I lost my Dad who was my inspiration and role model. This hit me so hard that I'm still trying to recover to come out of that loss and pain 😒 which is never going to heal. These were one of the toughest days I have ever faced.

I still wanted to look back and reflect on the good things that happened to me. 

  • Went on Testing Tour and had 15 different sessions on 15 different topics and blogged about each of those sessions. 
  • I learned about a lot more new topics and tried my hands-on with new tools. I learned about Observability, Performance testing using Jmeter, Microsoft Azure and lot more. 
  • I got an opportunity to be part of Observability for testers series organized by Anne-Marie Charrett along with Lisa Crispin and  Abby Bangser which was a great opportunity to learn and explore more about observability.

  • I gained 1076 followers crossing 1000k followers on  Twitter which for me is a huge number. 
  • I learned to listen to my mental health and say no to few of the opportunities. I had to prioritise myself over other things which I struggled initially but gradually learned that it's absolutely ok to stop and take a break to take care of yourself. 
  • When the entire world went remote, initially I was happy that I will get to work from home but gradually it became challenging to work from home with two kids around as they had their virtual school sessions. Throughout this process, I learnt not to feel guilty for not being able to give full attention to both my kids while they are on their virtual school sessions. Learnt to be patient and adapt to each day as it comes. 
  • Our testing community is not just to learn and share about all things testing but it proved to be supportive during my difficult times which I'm so thankful for. 

Reflecting on all these gave me so much happiness, confidence and pleasure πŸ’«πŸ˜‡. It's always good to look back and see what you have been doing or learning on the way. Looking forward for year 2021 with an attitude of being grateful for what I have. Thanks for your time for stopping by and reading my post πŸ™‚


Monday, February 17, 2020

Testing Tour Stop #9 : Pairing up on Sketchnoting with Marianne Duijst

My ninth stop on my #TestingTour was with Marianne Duijst to learn about Sketchnoting which I have been trying to learn since I came across some of Marianne's and Lisi Hocke's sketchnotes. I had briefly met Marianne at TestBash Brighton 2019 while we were in the queue for 99 secs talk.
I was really super excited for this session. I am a note taking person whether I'm in a meeting, while in conference or even when I'm watching any recorded talks. I even take notes when I'm reading a blog to make note of some interesting points. I usually use my notebook, pen and highlighter while taking notes. I was really interested to learn about sketchnoting to make my notes even more interesting while I'm reflecting back on those notes.


I briefly shared about my Testing Tour with Marianne when we started our session. I was very quick to mention that I don't have very good creative skills to draw something really good. The entire session was hands-on and interactive. We ended up having our session for almost 2 hours and 30 mins.

When we scheduled our session Marianne gave me the list of materials that were required for this session. Marianne joined the zoom call from two of her devices, one to screenshare while sketching using procreate app and other screen was used as our video call for us to talk.

First thing Marianne mentioned to me was that, sketchnoting is not about creative drawing. She also mentioned that a lot of people has this perception of relating sketchnoting to creative drawing. While scheduling our session Marianne asked me to pick a topic which we could use it for our sketchnoting. I picked up my Testing Tour as my topic to be used while I'm learning to sketchnote.

The first step we started off by drawing a banner and the title. I followed step by step instructions and I was also able to watch and follow while Marianne drawing it. Then next Marianne asked me to mentally divide the entire empty space into blocks and then draw shapes into each of those blocks. Shapes which I draw in those blocks were square, circle, triangle, oval and spiral oval.  I had no clue that these shapes are going to be converted into people. Next Marianne started adding a circle on each of those shapes to make it head. Next step to add legs and different types of hands to each of those shapes. I was already in awe to see those people all over my paper. She mentioned a point here about  sketchnoting which I totally agree with.

  • Visually appealing
  • Fun to do 
  • Easy to share
  • Easy to read
Then we continued to draw speech bubbles next to each person and added the names with whom I paired during my Testing Tour sessions as my stops. Next, we added another speech bubble to add the keylearning next to each person. I was already very excited to see the sketchnote to visualise my Testing Tour. And here's the outcome of this session which I feel so proud to share.

By Parveen Khan
By Marianne Duijst


  • I'm making this sketchnote for me and for future me. 
  • Sketchnote is like a summary which triggers the reflection.
  • The core of sketchnoting is its notes and its content. 
  • Go slow to go fast.
  • Constrain yourself to free yourself. And the way to do this is by sharing before you think you are ready. Until we share the anticipation is not gone and we have the feeling of adding some more details to the sketchnote.
  • If we don't know how to do it, it's hard. If we know how to do it, it's simple.
I'm so grateful to Marianne for teaching me about sketchnoting and for her time. It was yet another amazing session of my Testing Tour to learn something unique. And a huge thanks to Marianne for inspiring me and motivating me throughout the session. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Reflecting back at 2019

This is the first time I’m writing a blog post on reflecting back on a year. Its been a different year so I thought its good to look back and see what I have learned, what challenges did I tackle or face and what was new during the last year. I always end up in not appreciating or acknowledging myself on what I learned or achieved. So I thought it would be good to look back so I know what’s 2019 been like for me.

  • I also presented at 3 online conferences, 1 online meetup and was part of a panel discussion with Lisa Crispin, Simon Prior and Joe Colantonio. It was such an honour to be on this panel and I had a great experience being part of this. 
  • I gave my first conference talk at Testing Summit London 2019 and I got invited to present again at Test Summit London in 2020.
  •  I was new to this entire testing community and 2019 was the year of networking. I never used twitter or slack groups but I started being more active since this year. It really helped me in lot of ways. I could share my learnings, my happiness, my achievements, I'd reach out if I had any questions. What's more wonderful was the overwhelming response from the community to help me find my job 
  • The pattern for me in 2019 was all about coming out of comfort zone, doing things which I  have never done before, being brave and courageous, had ups and downs and still trying to learn to deal with those things, learning new topics. Overall it was an awesome year for me and really looking forward to continuing learning and sharing more in 2020.