Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

While shopping at Costco for our New Year celebration yesterday I could not help overhearing people talking about their new year resolutions. How they will stop doing this or start doing that to make things better in the new year. I don't really think resolutions themselves work as you have to better yourself all throughout the year, not just once. At least people are trying. Hearing these people did cause me to reflect on 2011 and further back.

When I was going to school in Siberia in Winter (which was about six-seven months of the year) and it snowed, I had to trudge through snow drifts to get to school. We had no buses. When you were late the teachers yelled at you, they did not care about the weather. Unlike here where schools close with three inches of snow. :-). During those times I resolved to find out what I needed to do to get out of there and then do it. I see resolutions as a lifetime commitment not as just a once a year wishlist.

We celebrated New Year's at home and it was very festive, much different from in the US and Europe. I miss that aspect though we continue a lot of the traditions in my family. Technology makes celebrating better too. Today I used Skype to celebrate New Year's with my family at 11:00 EST, they are 13 hours ahead of me. We toasted with champagne, cheered and ushered in the New Year in Siberia. We then did the same with my family in St. Petersburg a few hours later. That was awesome.

I have had one of the best years of my life and don't want 2011 to end. I have had a great year professionally. I've attended three conferences - Quest, CAST2011 and MoDevEAST, finished the AST Foundations and Bug Advocacy courses, and tested 200 uTest products\services. I have gained so much experience and met and worked with many great colleagues. I want to thank all of them for the chance to learn from each other and for finding so many bugs.

Two things happened at the end of this year to inspire me to think out of the box and broaden my horizons more. I got the best Christmas present this year. My son made me an origami praying mantis. That fact that a child can be so creative and patient really surprised me. On a not so proud note I failed at an Accessibility test on an iPhone app a few weeks ago. I thought I thoroughly tested an update until I got an email feedback from a visually-impaired user who could not read the news after the update. I swore to try to test every conceivable scenario, as hard as that may be but I did not think of this test. These positive and negative events impacted me in way to strive to be a better tester I can be, to remember not to be complacent and continue broadening my horizons.

С Новым Годом! (S Novim Godom!)
Happy New Year!

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