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Pivot!

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In a few weeks, I’ll be joining Pivotal Labs to work on the Pivotal Tracker team.  I’ll be mainly handling support requests and helping with some testing as well.

What drew me to Pivotal?  After all, I’ve got a job as a Software Engineer in Test at Mozilla working with Selenium tests all day every day, what more could one possibly want?  Judging by the number of recruiter emails I get, a Software Engineer in Test working with Selenium all day can pretty much right their own ticket, can’t they?
Well, yeah, and I <3 Selenium, but it’s just one part of testing.  In fact, writing Selenium tests is just one aspect of making software.  I’m ready to own up to being a specialist who knows a lot about testing and automation, but I’m also a generalist who helps make software.  At one point, I thought I only wanted to work on test automation infrastructure, but I’ve since learned that I prefer working with a product team.
This all came about while writing the credo posts that have pre-occupied me since January.  I’ve learned that I love writing more than any other occupation and that participating on a team making software is more important to me than identifying as a tester.
This change will move me into a world where I toss out my own self-imposed label of “tester” or “automator” and throw my bucket of skills at a highly collaborative software team.  In letting go of being “the tester,” there will be other skills that I now get to exercise:
  • Being a great teammate.  While this is important at Mozilla, I expect even more emphasis on this in the tightly coupled, rabidly agile environment of Pivotal Labs.
  • Since Tracker support is 100% email (plus whatever y’all throw me on twitter), I get to use my communication & writing skills as a primary part of my job.
  • The x-factor skill which isn’t an obvious skill in software, but will be crucial for support is having a developed sense of “mindfulness” or non-judgmental awareness.
  • This is all in addition to flexing my technical skills at bug isolation.
Despite leaving Mozilla, I still have quite a fondness for the company, its mission and my teammates there.  As a parting gift to them, I have stolen the following anonymized excerpt from deep within the bowels of irc.  I hope it gives you a chuckle and some encouragement to, “whisper to the fox:
FirefoxLvr404: come to think of it sweatsbac0n, I’ve seen you blogging, but I haven’t seen you blogging about how opensource html5 makes you opensmile
FirefoxLvr404: how much more delightful canvas web technology do you fucking need?
sweatsbac0n: *laughs*
sweatsbac0n: what the hell are you talking about?
FirefoxLvr404: I’m talking about firefox enriching your happiness & defending your freedom by exposing webgl & websockets APIs on top of a lightning-fast javascript engine
FirefoxLvr404: and all you do in return is treat their animonsters like DIRT
FirefoxLvr404: I hope you feel <yourself proud=”true”/>
sweatsbac0n: a little bit
sweatsbac0n: <yourself proud=”true” proudness=”15%”/>
FirefoxLvr404: I bet you assumed that blue mass was the world
sweatsbac0n: You mean it’s not?
sweatsbac0n: Is it an egg of some kind?
FirefoxLvr404: it’s the cold lonely heart within all of us
FirefoxLvr404: that can only be warmed by having a fox wrapped around it
sweatsbac0n: *laughs*
FirefoxLvr404: a firefox, warming your chest cavity.
FirefoxLvr404: making you whole again.
FirefoxLvr404: whisper to the fox, sweatsbac0n
FirefoxLvr404: wind your arteries gently through its fur
sweatsbac0n: Wow. I’ve never felt closer to a browser before.
FirefoxLvr404: I should hope not.
FirefoxLvr404: You deserve better than any other browser
sweatsbac0n: it feels so wrong. and yet….so right.
Enhanced by ZemantaIndeed…don’t forget to update your Firefox today and did you know that Pivotal Tracker let’s you have as many public projects as you want and 5 private ones as an individual for free?

9 Comments on "Pivot!"

  • Well done! Pivotal Tracker sounds like a great place to be :)

    I love testing, but also love building a business, communities and the social web. I think more testers need a bit of variety in their jobs and/or interests. It should help move the industry forward.

  • marlena says

    Thanks for such a lovely comment!

  • Hi Marlena,

    This is awesome news. Pivotal Tracker is an incredible product which I use for EVERYTHING. Great news your getting to use your passion for writing with your main work.

    Really great news. Congrats and good luck.
    Rob..

  • Good luck, hope it works out for you and looking forward to reading all about it

  • Dez says

    Congrats on the new job and all your accomplishments at Mozilla. Good luck!

    I concur with Rosie’s sentiment regarding variety in job descriptions. Being “just a tester” doesn’t sound like any fun at all and doesn’t help anyone else.

  • So, wait, does that mean you’ll be working in San Francisco now? If so, sweet! We’ll have to meet up for lunch or something. Excited for your new direction, especially since I’m an active Pivotal user ;).

  • Congratulations, Marlena. Best of luck on your new path.

  • ” I get to use my communication & writing skills as a primary part of my job.”

    I am very interested in work models in software that recognize skills outside of (hard-core) (solely) (production) coding. Outside of testing, even.

    +1! I want to hear all about it!

  • marlena says

    Thanks Matt!

    I’m nearly finished with my first week, and it’s already creating a lot of cross-pollination in my brain. There will definitely be a blog about this soon.

    In the meantime, we have this lovely post Rosie Sherry wrote about stretching outside of a testing role.

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