2020 - A year in review
So, 2020 is almost over. And what a year it has been! While it started off as a regular year (remember that?), Covid-19 quickly threw a spanner in the wheel and things changed. A lot.
I count myself blessed in that the pandemic has not caused me a lot of trouble, like it has done for so many others. My LinkedIn feed was flooded with people having but short their assignments, losing their jobs and looking for new contracts and employers. I really hope that all of you are still employed or have found a new position.
For me, personally, it has been an interesting year, and (mostly for my own sake) I’m taking a bit of time and (web-)space here to reflect on what 2020 had in store for me.
With my ongoing consulting gig being ended abruptly in March (and I guess I don’t need to explain why…) I could fully focus on my main goal for this year: building and expanding my training business. And I’ve been pretty successful with that, if I may say so.
Where I did 49 training session in 2019, this year I’ve done 67 of them:
- 20 full day sessions (11 on site, 9 online)
- 47 half day sessions (6 on site, 41 online)
I’m very happy with that increase, of course. I have to add immediately that I would not have been able to do this without the training partners I’ve worked with in 2020: Vijfhart, Improve Quality Services and Black Koi Consulting. I really hope to extend our collaboration in 2021. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking for additional partners to work with as well.
Another interesting and positive thing is that more and more of my training clients are coming from abroad. Where last year I had clients from the UK and Romania (next to those in the Netherlands), this year my clients were also in Sweden, Norway and the United States. And things are looking to go even more global in 2021.. But more on that hopefully in the 2021 recap.
I can be pretty brief about this one: I haven’t done a lot of consulting this year. I had a consulting client early in the year, but they had to let me go in March. Which was a pity, of course, but in hindsight also a good thing, because that meant I finally had enough time to work on other projects.
I’m not sure if I will do consulting next year, part of me would like to (under the right conditions, no more pure staff augmentation roles for me for the foreseeable future), but on the other hand, if I look at how fast my agenda is filling up with training gigs, I wonder if there will be a lot of time left to take on consulting clients.
Never say never, though, and if a client comes along where I really think I can make a difference regarding their test automation strategy, I’m definitely up for discussing that.
Needless to say, there weren’t a lot of conferences this year. A lot of them went online (and I skipped those), so there weren’t a lot of speaking opportunities. I still did two talks (an in-company one for a US-based client) and a talk at the Sydney Testers Meetup.
I really hope to do more public speaking next year, once conferences come back on the agenda. Or maybe do some more webinars, or in-company talks. Who knows..
2020 was an even better year writing-wise than 2019, with 16 articles published:
- 2 on ContinuousTesting.com
- 2 via LinkedIn
- 5 on the SpecFlow blog
- and no fewer than 7 on the TestProject blog
Links to all of these articles can be found on the Articles page. Apart from these, I’ve also written 7 blog posts, including this one. I hope to write a couple more next year, and maybe do fewer ones for other websites.
Apart from the above, I’ve also spent a lot of time working on the TestProject Python OpenSDK, which was released in July of this year. As you can read from my experiences here, this was a really fun project to work on, especially since I’ve learned so much about software development in the process.
I’m currently working on another development project for TestProject, one that I’m at least as excited about. More news about that without a doubt early in 2021!
These projects, next to excellent learning opportunities, have been a lot of fun for me to work on, and I’m definitely open to more of these development projects in the years to come. I’ve got a couple of ideas for other libraries, but I’ll definitely keep my eyes open for other opportunities, too, if the conditions are a good fit.
Next to working closely together with Vijfhart, Improve Quality Services and Black Koi Consulting, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve teamed up with the people at Testing Times and Pactflow this year, too. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of these collaborations go live in 2021 and beyond.
Finally, I’ve also spent time doing some other things:
- I’ve created a 5-part video series on ‘Getting started with SpecFlow’ for the SpecFlow team. You can find them on their YouTube channel.
- I’ve had the pleasure of appearing on two podcasts, those being Quality Sense and Inspired Testing. Thanks again to Federico and Karen and Gareth, respectively, for having me and putting up with my ramblings.
All in all, it’s been a pretty diverse and interesting year, and I hope to continue that in 2021. I’ve realized once more that I just like too many things to narrow myself down to a single activity.. Again, I’ve been blessed to have remained healthy and with plenty of work in what has been a difficult year for a lot of people.
I can only hope that 2021 will treat me similarly, and that we see the end of the pandemic and better times for those of you who were not as fortunate. Here’s to a fantastic 2021!"