Friday, 30 August 2013

Great CAST - but now what?

So I finally made it to a CAST Test Conference - and it was good.

Great to meet people that I'd only know online and feel them turn into real people.
Great to meet new people.

Lots and lots to reflect back on, thoughts and ideas to work through.

But it could be easy to let this go to waste and fall back into bad old habits.

How to avoid this?

- I have already committed myself to doing a presentation to the company on what the test conference was about and what I learned from it.

- Inspired by the talk from Eric Brickarp I am putting together some lists to work on.

- With great timing I read a blog post this morning on Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone. I did this at CAST - people I knew online I talked to in real life, I sat down to breakfast with people I had never met before ( not even online ) which for me was A Giant Step. I survived it, in fact it even felt good so I need to remember that changing yourself can be scary but I can do it.

- A further push for me to carry on with making these changes is that the new footy/soccer season is just about to start. I have my first game assignment and it's for U11B which is a step-up from last season. I could hit the 'Decline' button and stick to doing U8s but I want to take this challenge.

Any hints or tips from readers about how to keep the conference momentum going and not slip back into your old ways?


Stephen Blower said...

For me rather than thinking about doing something at sometime, I make it publicly known and set dates and make those dates know, also if possible I'll try and get someone else to commit with me.

It was great watching CAST and with the tweet machine it almost felt like I was there.

Unknown said...

Stephen, I understand where you're coming from since I had the same approach until somewhat recently, however now I find the technique more a hindrance than help. It's one I've come across quite often with time management techniques, but when used I'm not so much "charged up" about something as nervous and worried about getting it done. This turns it into work that I don't derive nearly the same enjoyment from. (I work in testing at least in part because I find it fun and exciting, especially when it's hard work, that's one of the reasons CAST was such a great experience).

I find, when something sits for a while I lose my excitement about getting it done, but if I keep doing, working towards, or talking about the things that excite me (even without specific commitment) it's easier to keep that momentum going and stay excited about actually making changes. Try making a list of specific "end goals" you want to hit, and force yourself to write each out (not copy/paste, but actually write or type) along with what you've done today to further the goal or keep excitement alive. This includes beginning to implement, talking to people about it, reading about it, etc. Make a plan for at least 1-3 "active" entries per week, adjusted for whatever the situation allows. An active entry would be either actual progression towards the goal, or alternatively something that produces excitement for others about the goal (blog post, introducing someone new to the idea, etc.). Passive would be something like "read an article from a tester with experience in it" or "watched an introductory presentation on the method", to motivate or inform yourself.

The method has worked for me, though not sure where I originally encountered it. I know it's been adapted over time to fit my own mindset and strengths/weaknesses, and wouldn't recommend putting in place without adaptation for anyone else either.

Erik Brickarp said...

When you both mentioned me and handed out such an interesting question I of course have to answer but... Not now (just came home after the trip).

BUT, I wanted to tell you already that you made a great impression on me Phil. I think you have plenty of both courage and commitment seeing how you followed through with your challenges during CAST. Great things are coming your way mate!

srinivas kadiyala said...

Great post, and Comment from Unknown is motivating to Kepp the goals upfront and practise it to move forward.