Tester Interrupted

Public Relations for Quality

I haven't made very many posts this year, but I figure QUALITY over quantity is a good thing. It's what I do after all. 

It's odd. First because - I had a lot of plans at the end of last year about how 2020 would roll out for me. Like everyone did. I had several conferences I was speaking at. Several articles and workshops planned. Several -- you get the point. The world changed, and I found myself at home, working, like a majority of people in Techland. 

Not only that, but my job changed. Four times at Unity. Yeah *mentally checks count*. I was hired at Unity Technologies as a Quality Lead. When I went to Unity from Thought Works, I only had two other folks. 

Then, at Unity, I became a QA Manager, hired more people. Then I was shifted to a consulting and coaching role for an experimental team called Quality Elevation (like that name? I like it a lot.). I had an SDET and a Tech Writer reporting to me and we worked with three teams to help them "elevate their quality" (see what I did there) on whatever initiatives they were planning. In my job now (I think it's my mostly final form - as some of you Pokemon enthusiasts would say) is a Manager, for Software Engineering, focused on Quality. 

What exactly does that mean?

Well, glad you asked.

It means I'm doing a similar job as the experimental team I was running, but instead of applying it to three teams, I'm applying it to a WHOLE ORGANIZATION. Seventy teams. Over a hundred team leads, manager, directors... and part of my job, along with those on my team, is to help all of them assess what they are currently doing, find gaps or places where we could make quality improvements. OR just help them improve things in general. 

My definition of quality has changed over my career. I don't only associated it to the software under development. I associate it with customer interactions, documentation, network reliability, developer friction, and general "QUALITY OF LIFE" for everyone that ever approaches Unity Technology in some manner internally or externally.

Is that too broad? 

Maybe. But if I think about it like that, and then I have those around me think about it like that, and then they share there thoughts with others around them.... well, hopefully you get the idea. It's not a one-person job, but it's my PR campaign.

*OMG - My PR Teacher from college is going to flip. I told Kathy Menzie at one point that I didn't think I would ever go into Public Relations, and here I am... doing PR for Quality. My words are bitter, but delicious, as I eat them*

I've had a moment to breathe, figure out this new role, and adapt. So, I thought I would stick my head up and let you all know what I've been up to this year. 

I did manage to do one webinar. (You can check it out here.)

I've been quiet on my Tech-Twitter account, mostly. I've been doing retweets because there were more important things happening in the world with more informed people talking about them. 

Which brings me back to this blog. My hope is that for 2021, I can start writing more *crosses fingers* about my management experiences, about my PR for quality experiences, and my consulting and coaching experiences. I'm going to aim for having a post once a month related to a tech topic or one of the topics I listed above. That's twelve blog posts. Pretty manageable. 

Another thing that changed with all of the things I've been doing at work - finding a way to have a creative outlet that WAS NOT WORK. That took a lot of therapy and time to develop. My creative writing has been a huge source of my defocusing process and has overwhelmingly contributed to me being more successful at my job. 

How did that work?

Well - when you are hyper focused on your job - funny enough - your job becomes your life. This was detrimental to my overall mental health. As with all things in life, sometimes you have to find the experts that you'll listen to that tell you "Hey, let's make some healthier decisions here."

So, you see, I'm not exactly a tester any longer. However, I'm not looking to update my tech handle. Testing and quality related topics are where I came from. They are the waters I still move through on a daily basis. 

After all of the changes of this year (UNDERSTATEMENT), and likely more changes to come, I can say that I'm pretty happy about where I'm at right now in Techland. I have a better work-life balance, and I understand what that phrase really means to me. 

If you haven't seen me much, it's not because I haven't been busy. It's because I've been doing that heads-down work I needed to do to be able to come back and say hi - here's what I've got so far. Let's compare notes. 

P.S. - I am forever grateful how Ministry of Testing supported me in my career growth. If you have time, and a little to spare, please help support others in our community and around it.


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