June 4, 2015

Twitter connects us all!

Sometimes I am amazed at how easy it is to send a note to people via Twitter. I am more amazed how often people respond!

Starting in December of 2014, I decided that if I ever was going to do it, now was the time for one last big push to attempt to finally find a company who would take a chance on me, bring me on board, and start getting me up to speed with automated testing with Selenium / Java. For most of my fifteen year QA career as a manual tester, coding was never part of the job. I had last programmed in Java in grad school ... ten years ago. Switching from a manual testing job to an automation one was going to be a hard sell.

After finding myself unexpectedly on the wrong end of a company layoff early December 2014, I decided I needed to devote my time to studying Python, Java, and Selenium at least forty to fifty hours a week as I was job searching and interviewing. It kept stinging each and every time I would hear, after coming so close to being hired at a company, the infamous words: "You just aren't technical enough".

This blog? It's my wife's idea. She saw the copious amounts of notes I was taking, the computer textbooks I was reviewing, and the frustration I was feeling as I was trying to do whatever it took to get myself up to speed. Why not capture all the knowledge I was researching and put it in blog form? It would be a good way to organize my thoughts. Let me tell you, it has helped me a lot! You know how people say the best way to know if you really understand something or not, try explaining it to someone else? I have been finding that doing just that -- but in blog form -- has the same advantage! Who cares if nobody but me looks at the blog? Because of the posts I have researched and written, I can talk about the Shifts in Software Testing at the drop of a hat. I have been able to walk into an interview and talk about "What is a QA Engineer?", and the difference between the Waterfall and Agile software development methodologies.

I have to say,  if it wasn't for this blog, I don't think I would have passed the screening process for Fitbit.

And with Twitter,  I have been able to say "Hello" to my favorite computer textbook authors, and my favorite online teachers as I have been pushing myself to absorb information. It has been the main thing that has kept me motivated.

... And, yes, I realize that I come across as an overexcited hyperventilating fanboy when it comes to Selenium WebDriver and the people who create the open-source tool! ("OMG! They said Hi to me! **faint**"). If you had to spend a hectic two weeks before every single release day performing regression testing, looking at the same exact website using twenty different browsers and platforms, testing every bit of functionality six ways to Sunday, including IE8, and do all this with just your own eyeballs, a keyboard, a mouse, and an MS Excel spreadsheet, you would become a fanboy of the technology, too!

With Twitter I can drop someone a line:

... If I like someone's personal stories.

... If I really enjoyed a YouTube lecture.

... Or if I really, really, really like a technology, especially if it means, once the tool is set up, that I never, ever, ever have to look at another web site in IE8 again!

What can I say? I am a fanboy! :)

-T.J. Maher
 Sr. QA Engineer, Fitbit
 Boston, MA

// Automated tester for [ 3 ] month and counting!

Please note: 'Adventures in Automation' is a personal blog about automated testing. It is not an official blog of Fitbit.com

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