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!