2018 In Review


As it has become a yearly tradition I will attempt to summarize the most popular and important articles I’ve written over the year along with some other forward-looking (and likely wrong) statements mixed in with past reflections.

You can find previous years here: 2017 | 2016 | 2015

What happened in 2018?

So much seems to have happend in 2018! I lost a job (laid off by a startup having problems – a startup on the brink of closing) but quickly found work as an Automation Engineering at BloomNation. That has led to new and interesting challenges both balancing time with my family and commitment to work. I’m learning lots of new things including how to program in JavaScript and the intracacies of SEO.

I’ve always spent a lot of time volunteering for the non-profit Association for Software Testing but seemed to take it to new highs as I recruited, promoted and led what I like to call “Season 1” of our webinar program. I also taught a class or two for AST-BBST and was elected to the Board of Directors!

Our home came very close to burning down in the most recent Southern California Wildfires (fires were stopped a few hundred yards away). Oh and I did a little writing:

The Five Most-Viewed Articles:

  • How To Run Your Selenium Tests Headlessly in Docker – A guide to setting up your test automation framework with a Chrome docker container for running your Selenium tests headlessly, complete with code examples. This has been my default configuration for the last year or so due to its simplicity.
  • Good and Bad UI Test Automation explained – Richard Bradshaw went off on a Twitter deep dive on UI test automation and the subtitles involved with doing it well. I enjoyed the tweetstorm and the topic so I decided to annotate those tweets and provide more context. I think I have enough information now to do a part 2 of this!
  • How to set up Apple Pay on Mac (non TouchID) – I was testing Stripe’s ApplePay integration but for some reason I wasn’t seeing ApplePay enabled through Safari. Googling didn’t help so after I figured it out I wrote a how to guide.
  • 8 Tools I use to Accelerate My Testing – The Modern Testing Principles introduced the concept of accelerating the achievement of shippable quality. Along those same lines I wrote about the tools I was using to accelerate my testing work.
  • A typical day of Testing – How I worked in 2018, aka what a typical day of testing looked like for me. It’s amazing what a year difference can make!

The first two articles made it into my top 10 articles over all, which is great. Traffic to this site continues moving up and to the right over time. In 2018 alone I had more than 100k page views. So crazy!

A few other Important Articles:

  • After attending TestBash in San Francisco in November my family and I came home to find the surrounding areas of our home on fire. I find writing helps keep me calm and allows me to vent a bit so I wrote about the experience.
  • I enjoyed TestBash so much I wrote a recap of both Day 1 and Day 2.
  • Most of the year I wrote for myself and for WonderProxy but I also wrote one article for Stickyminds on Participating in Code Reviews as a Tester. Turns out it was one of the top 10 articles they published in all of 2018!

Highlights:

  • Hosted 6 webinars for the AST on a variety of topics. Not bad for part time thing. I’ve got a lot of ideas for 2019 too!
  • Elected to the Board of Directors for the AST. I’m now the Treasurer!
  • Attended 2 in person conferences, TestBash SF and CAST2018.
  • Gave a workshop at CAST2018 on the test technique Domain Testing.
  • Flew to Des Moines, IA and gave a workshop on Git + GitHub to a local meetup there.
  • Published two articles per month on average for this site, plus another five elsewhere. As I mentioned above the Stickyminds article was the 6th most popular of 2018!
  • Started a new job as an Automation Engineer at BloomNation!

The Future (aka 2019):

Predicting the future is fun and yet meaningless. But here are the things already on my radar for 2019:

  • Publish at least 2 articles per month here. This pace was challenging for 2018 but doable so my goal is to continue this and maybe do some outside writing.
  • Still pushing my understanding of when and how to use data to better understand our customers. After all Customers are the only ones who can judge the quality of our software.
  • Finally start updating AST’s BBST program. Working with my AST partner in crime Simon Peter Schrijver we’ve got some big plans to update content.
  • Finally migrate this blog to DigitalOcean & begin monitizing with sponsorships!
  • Continue practicing JavaScript development with NodeJS

Cheers to the rest of 2019! What will you be doing?