Skill Development List 2014

Inspired by Erik Brickarp’s Skill Development List, I decided to create my own for 2014. I wrote up the draft January 1, 2014. I don’t mean to accomplish everything on this list this year. It’s not a to-do list. It’s a list of stuff I could do and would like to do as I believe it could help me become a better tester.

Updated March 6, 2015. Eventually, I ended up doing other things than were on my list, such as getting a new job and doing hands-on testing on a project. I haven’t written a reflective blog post about 2014 yet because the beginning of the year was tough due to funerals in the family. I’m not sure I will write one because 2014 seems to become a blur already… It might be a good idea because I tend to forget the good stuff I’ve done.


  • article for The Testing Planet ( reviewers: Huib Schoots (@huibschoots), Jari Laakso (@JariLaakso), Patrick Prill (@TestPappy), Ruud Cox (@ruudcox), David Högberg (@DavidoHogberg).
  • article for StickyMinds – I have a draft but haven’t decided when to finish it or where to publish it
  • finish up blog posts: BBST, risk reporting, how we use mindmaps, reader/writer resp, reliable reporter – wrote about other stuff instead
  • practice explaining testing concepts in writing – didn’t get to it, actually; now it doesn’t look very important anymore


  • mobile app testing – still in the back of my head but haven’t committed yet
  • testing challenge (I actually did one in Copenhagen but it was a group setting; I mean to do an individual one by some of the great testers); joined in on a challenge at CAST; I also did a Miagi do challenge and got accepted to Miagi Do school of testing (unfortunately I’ve had no further activites there)
  • ask for a coaching session
  • join another Weekend Testing session
  • practice explaining testing concepts in speech (I guess doing the workshop for programmers on testing will cover this one) – also have practiced this during Transpection Tuesday
  • continue practicing discussing testing&asking questions in Transpection Tuesday sessions (added 1/30; just realized this is and has been of critical importance) – the sessions have changed somewhat but otherwise we’re still going strong


  • take a Python course (in progress) – still in progress; haven’t committed due to lack of energy
  • program a game – nope


  • create an in-house workshop on testing for programmers (I ran the workshop 3 times as there were almost 30 people)
  • Bug Advocacy by AST – not sure I will take it, actually


  • keep in touch and have discussions with people who have approached me for advice (currently I’m mentoring a Per Scholas graduate) – done
  • get new people to attend PEST (there was a new person at PEST 4.5 but it wasn’t my doing; my testers had other engagements as the heads-up came pretty late) – looks like there will be new folks around
  • inspire someone – hopefully I did that
  • go to local meetups and find ways to make them even better – went to meetups but didn’t change much about them


  • attend a testing conference (Copenhagen Context, TestBash, NTD, CAST)
  • attend a peer conference (PEST 4.5)
  • help organize a conference (Nordic Testing Days – in progress)
  • mentor someone (added: 1/26, I shall be mentoring a Per Scholas graduate)


  • practice sketchnoting and blog about it – have practiced but haven’t blogged about it
  • research mindmapping to find good ideas – have read stuff but nothing I could call doing research
  • visualize our testing (plan, coverage…) at work – have some examples, so need share


  • work on focusing on a few key things – the list above is an obvious sign that I suck at it; but I’ve been trying to get the focus right and do less.
  • be brave and practice yoga – haven’t done that as much as I would’ve liked
  • meditate frequently – also, not as much as I would’ve liked
  • write a daily journal entry (success, drawback, emotion) – (I’ve been doing it but not consistently (1/26)) – more or less…
  • reflect on my communication skills – I’ve been doing that, found some interesting stuff
  • reflect on my learning from mentoring experience – thought about it but haven’t articulated concrete takeaways
  • learn to handle pressure and people I don’t like – I feel like I’ve become better at it. Finally.


  • the rest of the systems thinking books – oh no
  • Tacit&Explicit Knowledge and other stuff by Harry Collins – not yet
  • more attention to quality and reflection, less on quantity (less blogs and articles) – more or less

One thought on “Skill Development List 2014

  1. Pingback: This Year Shall Be Great | The Pain and Gain of Edward Bear

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