2022 - A year in review
As I do every year just before the holidays, in this post I’m taking some time to reflect on what the year has brought me professionally, as well as write down some of my plans for 2023.
2022 saw two main changes for me, professionally, and I’d like to take a bit of time to look back at those first, before reflecting on all the other things that I’ve done. Those are:
- Going back to independent consulting
- The return of in-person events
Going back to independent consulting
I started the year in the role of Director at the Inspired Academy, but as the year progressed, I started to realize that the role and all it entailed wasn’t the best fit for me.
I loved creating and delivering training opportunities, as well as having conversations with clients and prospects about their training needs. However, I also found out I get far less joy out of what I call the ‘logistics’ of running an academy: marketing, finance, staffing, etc.
Ultimately, this led to the decision of not renewing my expiring contract, and going back to independent consulting again, as I was doing before I joined Inspired Testing. I really enjoyed working with the Inspired Testing team in South Africa and the UK, and I’ve got fond memories of all of our conversations and everything I learned, but the time had simply come to move on.
The return of in-person events
With the Covid pandemic becoming much more manageable in 2022, in-person training and conferences and the associated travel opportunities became ‘a thing’ again. It was after only a couple of ‘live’ training sessions I realized how much I missed it, and how much easier it is to make a training session fun and engaging when you spend time in the same room with the people you’re working with, compared to conducting training online.
Needless to say, I’m very happy that in-person training sessions, and conferences as well, can be organized safely again, and I sincerely hope that’s going to remain the same from now on. I really enjoyed the training opportunities I got with some of my training clients in the Netherlands, as well as the trips I’ve had the privilege of taking to conferences in Estonia, Sweden, Germany and Portugal.
The undoubted highlight of the year in this regard, though, was the chance to run four days of training in Cape Town, South Africa in late September of this year, in collaboration with Inspired Testing. I’ve been wanting to come back to South Africa for over 21 years, and to be able to finally do that was absolutely amazing.
With the two main changes that happened for me in 2022 covered, let’s look at some statistics for 2022 across different areas of what I do for a living, and my goals for 2023 as well.
In terms of training sessions delivered, this year has seen a steady growth compared to 2021. By the end of this year, I will have conducted:
- 15 full days of training (10 in person, 5 online)
- 55 half days of training (16 in person, 39 online)
- 27 2-hour workshop sessions (all while with Inspired Testing)
- 12 1-hour knowledge sharing sessions (also all while with Inspired Testing)
- 10 conference workshops (ranging from 2 hours to full day sessions)
I’m quite happy with / proud of these numbers, as delivering training and working with people to help them grow is probably the thing I like best. In 2023, I’m going to try and further build my training efforts, hopefully also further increasing the ratio of in-person training sessions to online.
And while I’m going to try and limit the amount of work-related traveling I do in 2023, I have set one goal for myself: to find a way to travel to Canada for work. This could be to speak at a conference, but an opportunity for in-company training would be even better, if only because it’d make much more sense financially for all parties involved.. I’ve not got a very big network in Canada yet, so I’ve got my work cut out for me in this regard.
I started consulting again in September, after saying goodbye to Inspired Testing. Since then, I’ve been working with a client in the UK, helping them in their implementation of contract testing with Pact in a Java-based distributed software environment. We’ve booked some initial successes and have built a small but very capable team that will further expand the adoption of contract testing in 2023.
I’m also consulting with a software test tool vendor as they’re in the process of building a new offering, which is something I also very much enjoy. The regular conversations we’re having hopefully help them shape a product that is going to add a lot of value to the testing community in 2023.
I’m going to stay with both clients for at least a couple more months, but will reduce my hours to part-time, which means there’s room in my schedule for more training clients, but also for another part time consulting gig. So, if you’re looking for someone who can help you take the first or the next step in your test automation efforts, mentor/coach/grow the test automation skills of your staff or (help) implement an automation solution, we should talk!
In 2022, apart from the training sessions mentioned above, I’ve delivered 24 talks at conferences, meetups and in-house with companies. Most of these sessions have been online, but there have been plenty of opportunities to speak in front of a live audience, too, both here in the Netherlands as well as abroad.
Public speaking is something I really like doing, and something I will definitely continue to do in 2023. It’s possible that the number will be a little lower, in favour of more training opportunities, but we’ll see what 2023 is going to bring!
My public speaking agenda for 2023 is completely empty at the moment, and I’m OK with that, as I’m sure that’ll change soon enough.. As I said before, I’m going to limit the amount of travelling abroad I do in 2023, and focus on the destinations I would really like to visit.
So, I’ve not done as much writing as I would have liked to this year. I don’t exactly know why, but the fact that I’ve been busy with so many other things probably has got something to do with it. Including this one, I’ve written 21 blog posts, and exactly 0 articles published on other platforms.
In 2023, I want to go back to regular writing, though, which is the main reason I’m starting a newsletter in 2023, aiming to provide a fresh and exclusive article on test automation, development and/or learning every week. The first issue is scheduled for January 3.
In 2023, I will probably focus on the newsletter and my own blog for writing, and less on writing for other platforms.
Apart from everything mentioned above, I’ve also been a guest on two different podcasts, and I have created one prerecorded video for an online conference.
Last month also saw the first couple of releases of RestAssured.Net, an idiomatic C# port of Rest Assured I created, partly to sharpen my development skills, partly to fill a gap I’m seeing in the C# API testing corner.
I have no idea what 2023 is going to bring (it’s called miscellaneous for a reason!), except that you might just see another Test Automation University course published in the first few months of 2023…
First, though, it’s time to wind down a little after a very productive and exciting year. Have a wonderful Christmas and here’s to an incredibly productive and successful 2023!"