Happy New Year?

Being made redundant is probably not really high on the top ten list of good ways to start the new year for most people. I certainly didn’t plan to, but I guess it beats getting the boot just before the Christmas holidays. Part of the charm of working for a huge international company is that you never know when your site is going to be reorganized away to locations with lower labor rates. Back in the old days when I worked in a startup we knew we had a secure job for at least three months. I mean, how exiting was that?

The most obvious consequence of this is of course that I will need to find new work in the somewhat near future. However, due to my personal situation, laws, regulations and local agreements I also have the possibility to take some time off and consider what I really want to do and reflect a bit on just how I want to do that.

A funny coincidence is that at the end of last year I did in fact consider applying for a few months leave to catch up on a few activities. Several variations of reading, writing, studying and training was being considered and I figured I could use a break to focus on these tasks. For a few different reasons I never actually applied, but I guess I now have been presented with a fairly good opportunity to put these plans to life.

Now then, if I choose to go for this mini “sabbatical”, what might these plans include?

  • I ordered a good amount of books on testing and related topics from Amazon last year and I have a bunch left to read. The selection of books includes titles like Lateral Thinking, Fooled by Randomness, Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, How to Read a Book, The Checklist Manifesto, Tools of Critical Thinking, and Testing Computer Software, among others. All in all more than I usually manage to read while working full time. Actively working on improving my reading skill and ability to absorb the content will certainly be of importance.
  • Last summer I attended the AST BBST Foundations course which I found to be a great way to spend ones vacation. Following this up by attending the their Bug Advocacy course is definitely high on my list of things I want to do.
  • So far I have not been able to get my act together and join the fine testers associated with Weekend Testing. Now that they have chapters all over the world, and even doing WeekNight Testing, I should definitely get in there.
  • There are lots of discussions and exchange of ideas on forums like Software Testing Club. I have not been good enough at participating and taking advantage of these opportunities and I should do something about that.
  • Other opportunities to get familiar with some new tools, study and practice testing and related activities.

Due to an acquisition a few years ago I have now been in the same business for ten years almost to the date, and I have been doing testing in one way or the other for pretty much the whole time. It has sure been an interesting ride, and a lot of memorable moments. While it is always sad to part from great colleagues, especially when it is not by your own choice, I’m sure it will trigger a lot of great opportunities for many.

Being in the same business for so long is one of the reasons I am considering not rushing in to some new job at the first possible chance. I think it is healthy to take a little time to think and evaluate what has been and what could be. Maybe I find some different paths to wander that I find really enjoyable.

So, whether or not the new year will be a good one is probably a bit early to tell, but the opportunities are definitely out there. Happy or not, the year is sure going to be an interesting one.

Happy New Year everybody!

10 Responses to Happy New Year?

  1. Simon Morley says:

    Geir,
    Your potential reading list looks very good – enjoy Gigerenzer, it’ll open your eyes (or is it mind… πŸ™‚ )

    Good luck for the year and be sure to write about what you learn along the way!

    • Geir says:

      Thanks Simon.
      I just read “Why we make mistakes” by J.T. Hallinan. I don’t know exactly how it compares to “Gut Feelings” but it had some really interesting examples of how we experience things and what we think we base our decisions on.
      Some more active writing is also on the todo list.

      Regards,
      Geir

      • Simon Morley says:

        I enjoyed “Why we make mistakes”, but I think “Gut feelings” is better. I found Gigerenzer via Gladwell’s “Blink”. Gladwell is an interesting systems thinker – and his “What the Dog Saw” is a collection of of newyorker writings – from which I started to think about risk compensation.

        Look forward to reading about your findings! (reminds me that I need to jot mine down too πŸ™‚ )

  2. reidarsollid says:

    Nice summary and I wish you the best of luck πŸ™‚

  3. phil kirkham says:

    I would definitely suggest getting some books, joining the Book Boast Club on the STC and posting your reviews here on your blog.
    Also look forward to seenig you on some weekend/weeknight testing sessions

    • Geir says:

      Hi Phil,

      The books are already on the shelf, I am a member of the Club, and the blog is started. Sounds like I have no excuse πŸ™‚

      See you around,
      Geir

  4. rutty says:

    Hello fellow telecomms-based redundant tester – found your blog via the STC RSS feed.

    I read with sadness that a certain telecomms equipment manufacturer had started making further redundancies in Norway and Finland. I take it this has affected you?

    This same company made me redundant last year (end of September) and a few of my colleagues just left at the end of December.

    I’ve spent 22 years in the telecomms industry (12 in the RAF initially) and it’s a bit of a wrench to try something else, but I’ve managed to find another job fairly quickly – with another large conglomerate…

    Anyway, I like your list. There’s a lot of reading around testing that I’d like to get on with but I’m stuck to this desk for 7.50 hours a day and don’t have the time in the evenings.

    Hope you find something soon – too many good people have been let go over the last few years but I do think that are quite a few opportunities for us testers. Best of luck

    Dave

    • Geir says:

      Hi Dave,

      Good to hear you found something new. I actually worked quite a bit with some colleagues of yours a couple of years back (Howis, Hill, Loughnane, Merrick and those guys) so I am quite familiar with the whole Beeston-Coventry-Ansty travesty. I don’t think I ever ran into you though.

      You are absolutely correct in your assumptions about those redundancies, there are a few developers available in the Oslo/Norway area these days.

      Thanks for the good wishesm and keep up the photography, you have some really nice pictures on your blog.

      Regards,
      Geir

      • rutty says:

        Thanks Geir,

        I was more on the OSS side of things but I used the Norwegian-developed equipment daily. I’ve really enjoyed my experience there (and worked with all the people you mention) though pleased to be onto something new now.

        I started in Beeston in 2000, got moved to Coventry and then to Ansty. They closed all three – I must be jinxed!

        Anyway, enjoy your little hiatus and thanks for the comments re: photography πŸ™‚

        Dave

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