How was 2017 for you?

Care to share how 2017 was for you?

The best bits.
The worst.
The challenges.
The new things.
The saying goodbye to the old.


Best bits: starting my career as a tester - 6 months in and loving it!
Worst: the period before becoming a tester when I wasn’t sure if the study (ISTQB) and job applications would pay off and trying to do all this whilst learning to manage my anxiety!
The Challenges: learning to balance my expectations and set myself realistic goals, I sometimes don’t recognise the progress I’ve made and am too hard on myself
The New Things: awesome work colleagues and a fantastic work environment!!
Saying Goodbye to the Old: turning my back on 10 years working across Social Care and Education, making my peace with letting go of a familiar (but not a healthy career choice for me) and embracing change!

2017 has been scary at times but ultimately has been a really good year for me! :smiley:


Best bits: attended my first international conference, loved every minute of it.
Worst: I hired the (good)guy who became my “micromanager” (not boss, nor leader).
Challenges: continue learning what I know less and improve my coding skills, down on my path as a SET.
New things: be able of turning ideas into actions as a co-organizer of MoT Milan Meetup.
Saying goodbye to the old: despising! having had no chance to argue about the company decision, but I do care a lot more of mine health and improvement!

2017, on work, has been tough, a roller coaster of feelings, from excitement for a new path to a bad situation of risk to loose it all. My stronger side still remains my family, they always gave me the chance to calm down, analyze what’s going on and take the best decision.

cheers to all of you.


This year, 2017, was the first year our Meetup group was the Ministry of Testing - Boston. We’ve hosted so many different events this first year under the Ministry of Testing umbrella:

  • We’ve seen membership grow from three hundred to eight hundred software testers.
  • We’ve held thirty events in 2017, from Lean Coffees, to 99 Second Talks to having speakers from all over come to talk to our group.
  • We’ve had a lot of support from the local software development field, from­,­,­ and especially
  • We’ve had hands on instruction with many local workshops from­ and remotes ones from­.
  • We’ve been a stop on an automated testing book tour, with Eran Kinsbruner, Mobile Technical Evangelist from Perfecto.
  • We’ve had remote speakers such as Angie Jones, an SDET from Twitter, and Moshe Milman, COO from Applitools.
  • We’ve received video messages from Alan Richardson, the Evil Tester, talking about how you can move from manual to automated development, and from Bas Dijkstra talk about his free online workshop about API Testing with REST Assured.
  • We received a 10% discount code from the­ himself for Alan Richardson’s Selenium WebDriver with Java.
  • For people remote from Boston proper we’ve invaded webinars such as the one on Richard Bradshaw, FriendlyBoss of the Ministry of Testing UK HQ, who gave an Ask Me Anything about Automation.
  • As the Meetup Organizer I’ve hosted 23 out of 30 Meetup events this year!

And I went to my first ever software testing conference: TestBash Philly!


2017 has been a huge year for me.
Best Bits

  • Moved halfway across the globe
  • Started a new job in an entirely new context
  • Got involved with the MoT Cambridge community
  • Made it to my first TestBash in Manchester!
  • Met up with a whole swath of testers I’d only previously chatted to online.

Worst Bits

  • So far, just having to deal with the odd day of home sickness


  • Mostly what’s up in the Best Bits. Moving country, new job, new context, creating new social groups
  • Starting a job that very few people out there seem to be doing at the moment. Bonus is I get to work on designing my own techniques to get the job done.

Goodbye to the old?

  • Not a lot at the moment…That happened at the end of 2016

The best bits

  • Starting work with MoT :ninja_blue:
  • Being accepted to three companies for work. I suffer from imposter syndrome big time so that was a huge confidence boost!
  • Organising TinyTestBash Belfast.
  • Travelling to Stockholm and Australia.

The worst

  • Changing jobs twice quite close to each other was pretty stressful from a financial perspective. It was worth it in the long run but difficult at the time.
  • Earlier in the year, leaving a team I got on really well with who had a great understanding of testing.

The challenges

  • Moving from a pharmaceutical company to a financial company. Testing was still the same but understanding the new languages was a challenge initially.
  • Moving to a fully remote position. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but I have struggled to discipline myself properly with it. Getting there :smile:

The new things

  • Moving from a pharmaceutical company to a financial company earlier in the year.
  • Moving to working with MoT.
  • Buying a new ish car, not directly work related but saved enough from working hard to finally do this!

The saying goodbye to the old

  • Said goodbye to test cases :smile:

Good things:

  1. Spoke at my first two conferences - Quality Software Australia and Australian Testing Days, and went to my first overseas conference - WeTest 2017.

  2. Wrote my first ever article for a testing magazine - this month’s edition of Testing Trapeze. Also was invited to my first ever podcast with the great lads from Super Testing Brothers

  3. Still gainfully employed - which is very welcome of course :wink:

  4. Completed a great course in PenTesting and Web Security, got a Distinction.

  5. Spent a month visiting the UK, France and South Korea

  6. Bought my first property, with my wife

  7. Got back into Blogging again.

Worst Things:

  1. Fell out of the loop with respect to test automation. The last few jobs have been purely manual.

  2. Had to take a semester off uni due to a protracted house purchase and move.


The best bits.

  • The ongoing challenge of my new role (which I moved into at the end of November 2016), learning from colleagues about a whole new (to me) application suite that we sell worldwide;
  • Getting to know my new colleagues, both testers and devs as well as the marketing and other people in the company;
  • Meeting the whole testing community - after more than twenty years testing (almost) in isolation, starting in this new role and finding a colleague was already engaged with the testing community and taking that opportunity to widen my own contacts and experiences;
  • Which led to my giving my first testing presentation to the Midlands Testers meetup, about testing in the corporate world, based on my career experiences;
  • And (by extension) finding a whole new audience for some of my tall stories about umpteen years of office life, systems and incidents! :slightly_smiling_face:

The worst.
That was mainly 2016, when my previous employer declared in-house testing to be an “unaffordable luxury”, and the nearly six months it took me to find another (my current) role. But as for 2017 itself, not a lot apart from a health scare and a minor road traffic accident (which nonetheless meant I ended up changing my car, although for the better).

The challenges.
See The best bits.

The new things.
As above, but there is the prospect of getting to grips with performance and automation testing, both new areas for me, as we ramp up to rolling out a new product in 2018.

The saying goodbye to the old.
That’s been my story since 2014, when I took up my last role and downsized my accommodation. Since then, nearly everything’s been new for me - and that can only be good.


The best bits.
Attending and talking at Test Atelier in Leeds
Being able to attend Leeds Tester Gathering regularly
Finding a way to relate my creative poetry side to testing (
Running workshops on Testability and Assumptions at work
Sharing my Periodic Table of Testing with everyone through my new blog (

The worst.
What people call impostor syndrome affecting a lot of the above
Losing friends prematurely

The challenges.
Putting together submissions, talks and workshops
Balancing all the things I want to do with family
Being brave enough to press the publish button; stand up in front of others

The new things.
Public speaking to testers
Publishing my thoughts

The saying goodbye to the old.
Embracing my ability to just do things by believing that I don’t need to ask permission. I.e. not asking who will let me, but who will stop me.

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The best bits.

Starting my new job and career shift into Software Testing.
Working with a great new team, huuuuuge opportunities to learn and build a career that can follow me for life.
Discovering an incredible community of people genuinely excited and passionate about Software Testing.
Being excited about going to work again.
Being able to come home to my family every day.
Learning again

The worst.

Moving house, then learning that the storage unit that our belongings were in had been broken into and our stuff tampered with.
House renovation costs roaring out of control.

The challenges.

Letting go of the security of my old job to step into the unknown.
Baby #2 due to be born before our new house is livable.
Trying to get the Rover driving again!! (fingers crossed for January)

The new things.

Everything tech and testing.
Acquiring new skills and knowledge
New house, new job, new baby (due Jan)

The saying goodbye to the old.

Hanging up my boots as a Communications Warfare Specialist in the NZ Navy, saying goodbye to friends still in the service, and leaving the defence force house to move into our own place


The best.
Getting made redundant from the failing mess of a company I’d been with for several years.
Getting my current job and feeling like it’s actually worth coming in to work again.
Getting really good feedback from a job I was interviewed for but didn’t get
The worst.strong text
Dealing with recruitment agencies while trying to find a new job, there are a few professionals in the field but my experience is that they are the exception rather than the rule and you generally end up wasting your time dealing with clueless muppets.
Getting nervous as the redundancy money started to run low and I hadn’t secured a new position
The challenges.
Adapting to new systems and ways of working after doing the previous job for so long - quite a system shock, particularly when you’ve got used to pretty much working on your own and suddenly you’re part of a team again.
The new things.
Starting to work with SOAPUI automation, I’d wanted to get some experience of this previously but never had the opportunity.
The saying goodbye to the old.
Sorry to walk away from colleagues at the old company ; even though I’d long since had enough of the company it’s a wrench leaving good friends behind on a sinking ship, though we have stayed in touch.


The best:
Returning to testing after 2 years of working as “QA” (creating hardware tests for a production line… so “quality assurance”).
Finding my calling as a tester (again) after the massive setback of 2 years ago.
The worst
Navigating a sea of “job opportunities” with 40 requirements where the companies had no idea what they wanted or needed from a tester.
The challenges
Trying to adapt my mostly-context-driven method of testing to a company who has a mostly-standards-driven method of testing, while not losing the benifits of either.
The new things
API testing with Postman has been a fun challenge.
Saying goodbye to the old
After a bad experience a couple of jobs ago, I had serious doubts if I could make it as a tester. This year, I finally managed to let those doubts go. (exhale, doubt… inhale, confidence)


The best bits
Daring to move from dev to tester.

The worst
Leaving a well-driven team, to make way for my career-move.

The challenges
Biggest challenge was facing my intuition and gathering enough balls to move on it. Turns out, I should do that more often :-). Furthermore; getting used to a corporate environment had me rattled for 6 weeks or so…e.g. also a challenge.

The new things
Working as a tester. Working for a big corporate. Moving from a 3-person household to a 4-person household (yay :D!).

The saying goodbye to the old
No more saying ‘It works on my machine’. Awww. :wink:


The best bits.
Getting back into testing somewhere I really enjoy working and finally getting a role with some real responsibilities.

The worst.
Some family health issues weren’t great but overall not many “worst” points

The challenges.
Learning a whole new industry and way of working while moving house at the same time.

The new things.
Lots! New job, new house, wife is expecting our first child.

The saying goodbye to the old.
Saying goodbye too my old life in finance and getting into an interesting (to me) industry.


The best bits

  • The feeling after my proper first community talk

The worst

  • The feeling before my proper first community talk

The challenges

  • Doing my first proper community talk

The new things

  • Doing my first proper community talk

The saying goodbye to the old

  • Saying goodbye to the old, less confident, public speaking me

Best Bits: Getting to travel and speak at a lot of events, including TestBash Philly and WeTest in New Zealand
Worst Bits Balancing a number of personal challenges, including my mental health and my father’s failing health, alongside my professional commitments
The Challenges A massive software release and for my employer, working with an often strained, but a strong and diverse team. Delivering a lot of security learning to both internal teams and conferences. Being part of a massive process of change for the testing team.
The New Things Working with a new team, across the globe, learning new things about testing and myself.
Saying goodbye to the old Massive personal and relationship change lead to a house move, but also a change in employment and focus. Moving away from a security specialism, into a more coaching role


Best bits - Being able to promote context-driven testing at my previous place of employment through giving talks, demonstrating how myself and the team I was on worked, and learning how to be more assertive

Worst bits - Being laid off and starting a position at a company where everything is in flux

The challenges - Working on a new team and building relationships and understanding of testing within and beyond that team

The New Things - testing on a different product than previous work I have done and having to build up respect again at a new company

Saying goodbye to the old - learning how to be more assertive, working in an environment where QAs are permanently assigned to each product team , dealing with an environment where there is little understanding of what testing is


The best bits: Learning and getting some automation to work. Getting involved with security and penetration testing. Learning more and more about mobile app testing. Attending the Test Bash in Belfast and the Dublin meet up events. Getting a dog with my girlfriend :smiley:
The worst: Realising that I need to learn a hell of a lot more about testing! Trump, Brexit and the usual soul crushing things on twitter.
The challenges: Automation testing for me personally, as I don’t come from a coding background so very hard for me to understand everything that needs to be done. Looking after a dog, even though she’s meant to be the easiest type to look after!
The new things: Automation, penetration testing, new office for our company (which has helped a lot in terms of quality).
Saying goodbye to the old: Hopefully saying goodbye to the old way of doing things, which was manually test everything.


“Moving away from a security specialism” :open_mouth:

Best bits - Building up a new department from scratch as the first tester at a small company.

Worst bits - Spending so much time as a front line tester grinding against day to day work that moving that department forward has been difficult.

The challenges - Sizing progress in increments of actual value while ensuring that the long term value of testing remains coherent.

The New Things - New company. New products.

Saying goodbye to the old - Old company where I was rapidly approaching stagnation and disengagement.