Find (and surround yourself by) inspiring people at work

I’ve been really lucky to have found and been inspired by some amazing people at work. First off, let me give a few brief reasons as to why I think it’s important to find (and surround yourself by) inspiring people at work.

  • If you’re impressionable, then it’s great to be surrounded by these people – and hope some of them awesomeness rubs off on you (at least that’s what I’ve been doing).
  • You will learn a lot from them.
  • Lastly, they can help you discover what you can offer the world, that you didn’t know you could offer. There may be strengths you have that you don’t recognise, but with their experience and knowledge – they may be able to spot it and let you know that it sets you apart.

Below I’d like to mention a few (not all, blog post would be too long) of these people and share what they taught me.

Aaron Hodder

  • Question things
  • Opened up world of CDT

I met Aaron while I was on the Graduate programme at Assurity. He was the person who opened up the Context Driven Testing world to me – thanks to this so many more doors opened as a result. I also distinctly remember him teaching us (graduates) the dice game which taught me to not prove that your theory is correct, but find a way to disprove your theory. He also taught us to question the ISTQB exam and that it has its limitations.

Katrina Clokie

  • Make stuff happen

The main thing I have learned from Katrina is that you can make stuff happen (she even has spoken about the topic at conferences). WeTest Auckland is initially created because of all the resources and learnings Katrina shared with us when we were first starting up the meet-up. Then when I moved to Sweden, I started up Stockholm Software Testing Talks using what I learned from helping run the WeTest Auckland meet-up.

Shirley Tricker

  • Self awareness
Shirley was my mentor both when she was at Assurity and after she left. I asked her for career advice and from her, learned more about what I have to offer and what’s unique about me in the workforce.
  • Don’t focus only your weaknesses, focus also on strengthening your strengths
I reported to Pete while I was at Vend and one piece of advice I distinctly remember is to not forget your strengths. I was so focussed on trying to be a better tester my working on areas in which I thought I was weak, that I forgot to work on my strengths – what helps me stand out.
  • How to write proposals for conferences
Carsten helped me write the first proposal that got accepted at a conference. He provided a lot of useful feedback and helped me gain some perspective of where the submission reviewers are coming from.

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