I want to wish all my readers of “Realistic Cooking Ideas” and “The Testers Edge” a wonderful New Years! Instead of making yearly resolutions, I have a vision for my life. Typically they end up being 3-year visions. For those who are familiar with agile approaches my vision is similar to story mapping. I have a vision that can have multiple goals and over time different activities and tasks develop those goals and vision. For 2014 I would like to encourage everyone to dream big and find activities to work towards that dream. Plus get out of your comfort zone – when we stay in our comfort zone we reduce our learning opportunities. When we are afraid to fail, we never take the calculated risks that are necessary to grow our careers, our blogs, and other areas of our life. I believe in “failing quickly”. Try something new at a manageable level so you can quickly learn from it. For example, if you are trying a new test approach, try it with a smaller project where you can quickly learn what works and does not work. For those of us who cook, lets try a new ingredient that we are not real sure about in a small dish before tackling a more complex dish.
For my professional career I want to get deeper into different testing techniques and approaches to increase and broaden my testing toolkit. This includes understanding agile approaches and techniques to learn how to use them in environments that do not have self-managed teams. Plus I want to learn more about different context-driven testing techniques. From a quality viewpoint, I believe everyone, regardless of job title, has an important role to ensure quality from a product and service perspective. I would like to better understand how we could improve quality from all aspects within an organization.
When I started “Realistic Cooking Ideas for Busy People” in February 2011 it was to share recipes and ideas on how to make a quick dinner after work. Typically there is not much time and often we are tired. Too many times we go to a restaurant and pay too much money for a sub-par dinner. I have shared a lot of quick to make recipes and casseroles that can last a few days. When I can, I share tips on how to make dinner a bit easier to make. In 2014 I would like to find more recipes that you can make quickly or make in steps to reduce the time once you come home from work. For Christmas I got a pressure cooker – I hope to share a few recipes – and my thoughts on using it after a busy day at work.
I believe all aspects of our life are intertwined from our careers, home life, hobbies, etc. When you accomplish a challenge it makes you stronger in all areas of your life. Today I would like to share with you some beautiful pictures from Mt. Willard – a mountain in New Hampshire that Greg and I climbed this past September. Officially this is our first mountain that we climbed since hiking to New Hampshire waterfalls does not qualify. At one time hiking a mountain was way out of my comfort zone! It took three trips to New Hampshire and a lot of training to get to this point. The hiking in New Hampshire is much more rugged and difficult than in Western New York. They really do not have rocks – they have boulders and thick intertwining tree roots. Every step can twist an ankle! Hiking is more of a straight up climb where after a few minutes you wonder why in the world are you doing this? Imagine if after the first trip to New Hampshire we just gave up on climbing a mountain because it was too difficult. What a wonderful experience we would have missed with such fabulous views! I would encourage you to dream big and have patience to work towards achieving that goal. Go outside your comfort level but remember to always manage the risks. I would never recommend that you take dangerous risks to achieve a goal. There are many mountains in New Hampshire with a higher elevation than Mt. Willard. But for me climbing Mt. Willard is the maximum of my physical and mental capabilities after a three-year journey. Below are pictures from Mt. Willard and a video that I hope you will take a minute to watch, as it is a beautiful view as you arrive to the top!