This is yet another first for me during this 30 day challenge. I have always been a lurker on the blog scene. At most I may tweet out an interesting read but in general I find the comment area to be a bit tricky on the more specific and technical posts so prefer to chat people up in other venues. But the challenge calls and I just can’t say no, plus it has given me a chance to give a shout to an awesome tester and friend.
I met Melissa at TestBash NY in 2014 and we managed to chat well into the single digit hours of the evening. If I remember correctly a group of us were out so late at the pub that I ended up canceling my hotel room and just crashing at the airport due to my early morning flight! Since then I have had the pleasure of crossing paths with her at another conference in Romania (European Testing Conference 2016) which she managed to self fund, and online through an amazing chat group, 1 on 1 chats and debates, and endlessly helpful edits of my presentations and now blog posts.
Melissa continues to lead by example and encourage me to step outside my comfort zones and in this blog post she is speaking about her own experiences with that. Yes you may be able to say its a cop out to just post encouragement, but as I spoke about in Day 8’s post about feedback that builds confidence, I really believe that this type of feedback has stand alone value. In addition, I really appreciated remembering back to the training program day where I deployed to Heroku and sharing my technique for overcoming similar challenges.
To expand a little more on this, the afternoon was programmed as a 3 sprint project where teams of 4 were expected to decide on a tech stack, and produce working software iteration 1 while incrementally improving it for iteration 2 and 3. My team was 3 developers and myself (a coding hopeful, but definite noob). We struggled but did get something working. The thing is…I didn’t think I really got it even though I was so excited about the event. The next day I was stuck waiting for a delayed train (and then on the long train ride) so I took the time to recreate the whole 3 iteration process. Even though it was only about 18 hours after I had completed this with the team, I was hitting road block after road block. Actually executing it myself was so much more difficult. But a couple hours later I emerged with my own Heroku site.
That experience opened my eyes to the software deployment process for the first time (which has since become a huge interest of mine and will be my topic at TestBash Philly), encouraged me that full stack development wasn’t out of my reach, and forged a fantastic relationship for me with the workshop creator which years later continues to mean support both professionally and personally. All that just from being willing to try something for myself and see it through.