For the past 5 years I have worked at a company that is over 100 years old. My business group has been ordered to use the waterfall software development process. Although my current boss along with everyone else in my group impresses the hell out of me on a daily basis, I’ve known for a while that I would be looking for a job when I finished my masters degree. (A note to CEO’s everywhere: asking great employees, especially the geeky ones, to innovate with tools from 1995 is a WASTE of everyone’s time.)
In the time that I’ve worked for my current employer, my husband and I have developed an ongoing love affair with America’s Pacific Northwest. We’ve traveled there many times for business and for fun. One of the reasons why I submitted my presentation to PNSQC was its locality. My primary goal was to make as many contacts as possible for the job search I was planning to begin this January. I had plans to quit my job once New Years arrived, and move to Seattle so I could look for a job.
So I’ve graduated. This was supposed to be my need-a-tester? post. Last year, I made a short list of a few places whose employment prospects really made me drool. Here are the requirements I had:
- location must be Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington metro areas
- MUST be agile
- must have a pro-testing culture
- product must have web 2.0 or semantic web features
- I must love the product I test so much that I giggle with delight when I use it.
- testing must include a pragmatic approach to manual testing and test automation
- company must be a place where I can make a significant contribution
The reason why this was supposed to be my need-a-tester post is because I already found a job. Yes…it IS possible to get a job in this economy. Not only is it possible, but the job I found fits almost every requirement I had.
The interview process was incredibly rigorous and there were more than a few times when I thought to myself, “there is NO WAY I will get this job.” I’m not just saying this because I know my new boss reads my blog (Hiiiiii!!) I’m going from testing a command-line interface to a full-on, Web 2.0, check-this-api-byatch application of epic proportions. Let’s just say I know a lot more about TestNG and Selenium than I did before my interview. For those of you on twitter who remember me talking about my “bugs on a plane” testing session, that was part of my job interview. Not only was I finding bugs on the plane ride home from PNSQC as the power faded on my Mac, but there was a screaming, pretzel-throwing 3-year-old in the seat next to me who did not stop screaming for a full 4.5 hours.
Which requirement in my list was not met? Unfortunately, I will not be moving to Portland or Seattle, although I still LOVE them both. I will be moving to Sydney, Australia.
That Sydney, Australia.
I’ve been hired by Atlassian Software. Although I applied when they began their campaign to hire 32 engineers for their Sydney office, I was already planning to send them an application. I did not feel the need to look further because they were already tops on my list, regardless of however much of a longshot I felt it was.
I discovered Atlassian in Spring 2008, during my independant study of Web 2.0/Semantic web concepts when I was studying code coverage tools. Their tool, Clover, not only shows code coverage, but also creates visualizations based on your source code. And so it was that yours truly was truly hooked and Atlassian became my top choice for employment.
If you look at Atlassian’s products (most of which are $10 for 10 users, except for Clover. tsk, tsk people.) and read through some of their blogposts, you will see that they meet all of my other requirements. Atlassian has something special going on, and I’m not the only one to have noticed. It starts with, of all things, their core values and shows up in the quality of the products they create and their almost fanatical user base. They have the most holistic approach to software I think I have ever seen and, although I haven’t seen their numbers because they aren’t public, they seem to have some pretty good profit margins. So far, they appear to be winning with integrity. I’m being a bit cheeky here because this is my blog, but if I were running a company, this is how I would approach it.
I’m taking my well-planned out map of a future in the Pacific Northwest and tossing it out for an opportunity to work at a company who’s software made me reconsider what I thought was even possible for software development and also for testing. It’s a place where I feel the best of my many crazy ideas will be encouraged.
Over the next month, I’ll be selling my stuff, filling out more paperwork and tieing things up in the States. Working for a company as great as Atlassian and living in a city where everyone, including my new boss, runs around in flip-flops will be challenging, but I will try to manage. Not to say that this won’t be the most challenging job EVAR, and I won’t totally be working my toucas off in the coming year…but, excuse me while I go look for my 50+ sunscreen…