Last year, my challenge was a seemingly easy one – Start a blog, aim to write something every week.

I started my blog, although I didn’t quite manage to publish something every week. I think this was a goal that was almost impossible to achieve. Additionally, attempting to achieve this goal was resulting in some blog posts being published too soon. My best blog posts took longer than a week to write.

This year, my goals are going to be a less strict. I’m going to take my time on them, set more reasonable deadlines. There still needs to be a deadline, else the goal might be abandoned unnecessarily.

Furthermore, just as my circumstances might change, the goals might also change. Some might be discontinued, or new ones created. The new year shouldn’t be the only time for setting goals.

These are the goals I’ve decided to set for 2020 (as of 5th January 2020):

Actually complete the #30DaysOfTestability challenge

Last year, I made a start on this challenge but never completed it.

During the last year, I changed job and most of my notes were based on experiences at my original workplace. For this challenge, I will take all the notes gathered from my first attempt at completing the challenge and apply them to my new place of work. It will be interesting to see what the differences are.

The great thing about this challenge is that a lot of the work is already done. It just needs to be reviewed, completed and written up.

Complete the #30DaysOfTestability challenge by the end of February.
Write a blog post for each activity, to be published by the end of March
(some related activities can be merged into single blog posts)

Learn a new programming language

I love programming, however I tend to only use C# at work. I want to expand my skills by learning something completely new. For this, I’ve chosen Python. The main reason, I’ve never used it before.

I learn better from books so I purchased ‘Python By Example’ by Nichola Lacey’. I chose this book because it focuses on practical examples rather than long-winded explanations.

This book includes 150 exercises in total, most pretty straight forward but essential when attempting to gain confidence in a new programming language. I’m going to start with these exercises then identify more complex challenges to complete throughout the year.

Complete all 150 Program challenges from ‘Python By Example by Nichola Lacey’ by end of January.
Identify more challenges to complete throughout the year.
Write a series of blog posts about my experiences, to be published throughout the year (minimum 1 blog post per month)

Attend more meetups

I really enjoy attending meetups. I regularly attend the #MidsTest meetup which alternates between Birmingham and Coventry. I also recently started attending tech meetups in Worcester and a Women in Tech meetup in Birmingham.

One thing I’ve learnt over the years is that no work place is the same. Meetups provide the opportunity to learn and develop new ideas by speaking to people who share a common interest but have different experiences and therefore approach things in a different way.

My aim it to attend more meetups, but not limit myself to QA focused meetups or local meetups. This will provide the opportunity to meet new people each month as well as learn something new. Learning opportunities are severely limited if I restrict myself to the same meetups each month.

Attend at least 3 meetups a month.
Minimum 1 meetup a month that I’ve never been to before
Write and publish a blog post for each meetup I attend