13 years ago i stumbled into a job that turned into a career called "QA". i learned how to test software, websites, servers, all thing computers. i learn QA methodology, ways of testing, how to catch bugs before people in the real world go to use the product.
(Moth found trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1947. The operators affixed the moth to the computer log, with the entry: "First actual case of bug being found". (The term "debugging" already existed; thus, finding an actual bug was an amusing occurrence.)
i've worked with some amazing people. a few jerks. but mostly awesome folks. i've tested car insurance ratings software, a mortgage company website, back end severs & databases, electronic medical record software, a multi-million dollar project to keep auditors honest (the sarbanes–oxley act), a website to allow people to run background checks on anyone they want, websites to allow pharmaceutical companies to communicate in secure forums, a mobile app for ambulance drivers in france, and lately, software used to build demos for home improvement retail items.
i've been called a QA tester, QA analyst, QA engineer, senior QA, & project lead QA. but starting in may, i will be an "exploratory tester". there's no QA in my title!
what does "exploratory testing" mean?
"Exploratory testing is an approach to testing that emphasizes the freedom and responsibility of each tester to continually optimize the value of his work by treating learning, test design, and test execution as mutually supportive activities that run in parallel throughout the project."
As long as the tester is thinking and learning while testing and the next tests are influenced by the learning, the tester is performing exploratory testing."
in my own words: exploratory testing is a way to use intuition, creativity, real human thinking, real human eyes and hands, to find the bugs someone might never have thought about. to explore and learn and constantly vary the approach.
it's weird, creative work. i read an example of a tester who put their shoe on the keyboard of their computer to simulate someone with keys stuck!
i've checked monster.com, linkedin and google, and i can't find anyone with the title "exploratory tester". could i be the only one on the planet with that title???
i gave my 2 weeks notice to my boss yesterday. today i told my team of developers. i love these guys, and dreaded telling them.
so here's how i told my team i was resigning:
we had a 9am stand up meeting. my boss & i agreed i'd tell everyone then. but when they got to me, i burst into tears. so i just pointed to my boss and mouthed the words, "you tell them!" so he did. he explained it all perfectly. we all laughed and everyone is super happy for me.
and now they're back to throwing things at my head and making fun of my macbook. i am seriously going to miss these freaks.
i'm also going to have to study for the new job. i have 4 text books waiting to be cracked open. i have to really hit the ground running when the new gig starts. i'm going to be working with passionate, dynamic people, some of the best in their fields. and my new boss, he wants me to do great things.
this new boss... he's incredible. i've spent around 3 hours talking to him, over 2 interviews and some emails, and he's changed how i think about my work drastically. he has me excited about my job!
the hard one for me is fast food. i just love it. i've loved it since i was a little kid. but it's so bad for me. and addictive. i have to remind myself that it's usually disappointing & gives me a stomach ache. i've eaten enough fast food in my life that i am ok with never eating it again.
i'm proud of myself for doing the 2 day liquid fast. i was overeating these last few months, and i need to give my body a break, let my stomach shrink down a bit. so now i'm being super careful about following the old weight loss surgery rules. lots of lean protein, lots of water, etc...
i'm going to the gym every other day. i need to go more often, try new classes, etc... i'm so ready to be healthy & strong.
another thing i accomplished: i got off one of my fibromyalgia meds. it's an anti-seizure medicine, and it causes appetite increase, memory loss, all kinds of bad things. so i've slowly weened off the meds.
so really, i just need to stick with these rules. and eventually cut back on the wine. not ready to tackle that one yet.
a few posts ago i talked about wanting to get back on track with being healthy & losing weight. i made a list of goals:
no cough drops
drink more water
no fast food
go to the gym 5 days a week
cut down on the wine
last week i went to the gym 4 days. this week i stopped eating cough drops and fast food. i'm going to cross of some goals from that list!
i didn't do as well with going to the gym this week. had some major life stuff going on. but i'll go to my water aerobics today and get back to the pool & rowing machine next week.
so this monday, i will tackle a large goal: eat healthy. this means doing the "5 day pouch test". it's a way to get my gastric bypass stomach back to a smaller size, and a way to break the bad habit of eating too many carbs.
i can do this. 2 days of liquids only is tough, but it's just 2 days.
i have some really great stuff going on in my life, and it's time to get back to losing weight, getting stronger, feeling better.
notice that the wine is at the bottom of the list. that will be the most difficult goal. so i'm saving it for last.
in 2012 i was able to join a gym, and actually workout. i lost 25 pounds. then i had major surgery. since then, i'm having a hard time losing more weight.
i want to:
not chew cough drops
drink more water
not eat fast food
go to the gym 5 days a week
cut down on the wine
can meet some of these goals, but when i falter, i give up. i've been in this pattern for the last few months. so i'm trying something new. i'm starting over, and picking one of those goals to meet for a week. this past week i made it my goal to get to the gym as many days as possible. i made it 4 days!
next week i'll keep on going to the gym (it feels great when i go) and i'll pick my next goal: no more chewing cough drops.
what a weird addiction! i can go through a few rolls of hall's mentho-lyptus in a day. and i chew them, which can't be good for my teeth. so time to stop that nonsense.
in my family, our dogs & cats are part of the family. and when we lose one of them, we grieve. there are no funerals or obituaries for our beloved animal companions, so i try to pay tribute here on my blog.
here's one of the first photos i took of precious back in 2009. she had the funniest habit of showing her teeth when she first met us.
my mother-in-law nancy adopted precious from one of her elderly patients who had passed away. precious was an older gal, and as we know it's hard finding senior dogs a home. but nancy took her in and they became best pals.
precious was devoted to nancy. she would follow her everywhere. she'd watch her with a look of pure love. nancy gave her a wonderful home & they had 4 great years together. car rides & cats to hang out with, a yard with a garden & a pond. precious lived the good life!
losing a beloved animal companion is heart breaking. all you can do is remember the good times. and someday be ready to let another dog (or cat or even a bird) into your heart.