So, at the beginning of my journey I wanted to achieve 2 primary goals :
- ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst Certification
- SCJP Certification
Whilst I’ve been progressing & learning, I’ve come to realise something – I don’t think certification is for me (I’m definitely not saying certification is bad/evil/money-making)
This shouldn’t have come as a shock to me as I’ve never been academic & have always preferred to just do it.
I think my reasoning behind it was I have seen a very good friend of mine achieve so much academically after deciding university wasn’t for him – He is now a Chartered Surveyor with a degree & a Masters under his belt. This was one of my primary motivations for achieving certification.
What I didn’t take into consideration is our industries are wildly different & that I believe certification is more important in his world than in mine.
I also think that the goals of being certified were in themselves blocking my development. I would always be trying to put aside an ‘hour or so’ in order to get properly stuck into something. This ‘hour or so’ never magically appeared, so I ended up browsing the web, or some other form of procrastination.
Now, I largely browse my ever growing Twitter favourites (I delete them after I have read the post/link) when I have a few minutes & when I do get extra time, that’s when I get stuck in. I no longer feel that the time I need to achieve the certification is slipping away & I can focus (free from guilt) on my family.
This obviously is a change in direction & goals, but I am glad I have been open to other suggestions & that I can adapt my path accordingly.
I am now using the certifications mentioned above to provide context for my learning. There has been a real mental shift from training to learning. Previously I was learning, but it was shoe-horned into the concept of training – It didn’t fit for me.
I definitely feel I can still add value to my testing & the project I’m working on without certification. I believe that my experience, and my online portfolio will provide potential employers all the information they need as to whether I am suitable candidate or not.
As for getting through the Recruitment Agencies CV buzzword scan – There should be enough information on the CV to get me noticed, & if the agent is worth their salt, they can scour my online portfolio for more information.
So – new goals then.
- Continue studying & reinforcing my understanding of software test design / techniques – e.g. EP, BVA & Exploratory.
- Expand into different areas of testing – e.g. test automation & security testing
- Continue responding to peoples blog posts & responses as well as asking & answering questions on sites such as Software Testing Club & SQA Stack Exchange
- Get that Liverpool Meetup arranged!
- Start looking at other fields, the information & knowledge from which will add value to my testing – e.g. social sciences.
- Actually learn about learning & Epistemology – thanks to Rob Lambert & James Bach for ideas to widening my learning.
- Explore freelancing opportunities with SMEs in order to widen my experience of different customers/clients/teams
- Continue working through Head First Java (HFJ) to gain insight into Java language
- Start committing code from worked examples in HFJ into GitHub (link to my GitHub account on CV etc as evidence of my abilities) – going to blog about this when I get time.
- Continue pairing with Programmers (on my project) to deliver automated checks related to stories
- Gain a greater understanding of automated testing in general at all levels – e.g unit, integration & GUI
- Sell my SCJP Java 6 Study Guide (any takers?!)
At the moment, there is no deadline / target date for these goals as they are all ongoing. Obviously, clients will change, & with that will come new challenges & new goals.
Here we go then – Until next time.