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Tue, May. 25th, 2004, 05:01 pm
Realisation

There are people in this world who can handle the kind of workload and pace we've been handling for the past year and will continue to be handling for at least another six months.
There are also people who cannot take it - sure they can keep going but it tired them out and leaves them good for nothing but work and relaxation, nothing creative or fun or any of the things they really like doing. Perhaps it is because they like making things that they burn out, their outlet for proper relaxation not being accessible to them any more in any real, meaningful manner.

Either way, I've come to the conclusion that I fall into the latter category. It's not helping that on top of the workload I've also been moving house. I can feel some sort of breakdown on the way, it might be a pissy fit or it might be a full on "fuck this job" screaming match. Whatever, it's starting to depress me in a fairly serious manner and I think I need a way to avoid it.
(Deleted comment)

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 01:01 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

All time off has been cancelled until the end of june, after that we were supposed to be slowing down and getting some time off but that's sort of vanishing since our brainiac boss has decided that July would be a great time to start doing loads of training courses.

So fires it is then :)

Tue, May. 25th, 2004 09:44 am (UTC)
taliesinn

Its probably more the moving house thats doing it too you. Moving house is one of the most stressfull things you can do. It's up there with breavement and divorce. Hang in there Glen, it willall be over soon.

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 01:05 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

It can't be helping but it's being remarkably theraputic at the moment. I'm going through my gear and deciding what to keep and ditch, tidying the place up, getting my room how I want it - it's all very calming and gives me a serious sense of control.
Nah, I'm going to go with my original theory that it has more to do with working so many weekends and late evenings with management constantly breathing down our necks and remining us how much pressure is on it while sending down more and more moronic requests and doing nothing to stem the tide of "problems" from other departments that could be solved by a child with an ounce of reasoning ability.

alternatively, I haven't killed anything in a PC game in over a week now, I am lacking several essential vitamins and minerals, video game violence provides 80% of your daily allowance of these vitamins.

Tue, May. 25th, 2004 09:53 am (UTC)
socmot

It's the house. Housing issues are stressful. Maybe you could take some time off to get it sorted out? Or is that just wishful thinking?!

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 01:07 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

Wishful thinking, they've cancelled all time off and aren't signing off on any more. Now while I will happily call that bluff it just means that when I got back I would have a days worth of work to catch up on, only increasing the stress.

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 02:03 am (UTC)
etherealfionna

I have said this before, but you need to change jobs. There must be testing jobs available in Dublin, testers who know what they are doing are a rare commodity worldwide.

Have you considered contracting with Accenture or one of those crowds?

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 02:30 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

See, the problem is that at this stage I'm working here a bit over four years, so if I hang around until the five year mark I get to keep all those lovely pension contributions (the company matches the amount I put in). On the other hand I have to check - they might not be worth all that much, certainly not enough to justify this amount of annoyance.
The second thing is that while the attitudes in this place annoy the hell out of me, I'm not entirely convinced that things would be different elsewhere.

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 03:25 am (UTC)
etherealfionna

The second thing is that while the attitudes in this place annoy the hell out of me, I'm not entirely convinced that things would be different elsewhere
Well, they mightn't be any different, but then again they might. I've worked in testing for going on 8 years now, and haven't run into the kind of attitudes you have, so there's hope there.

Think up questions you can ask in an interview - the interviewers might lie to you, that isn't too difficult to spot.

My rules of thumb are to run if they:
1) don't know the difference between black box and white box testing
2) don't mention test design
3) say something about testers being the final stop or endpoint in the SWE methodology
4) say anything that suggests micro-management - this can come up if you ask about the rest of the team

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 04:04 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

"1) don't know the difference between black box and white box testing"

Honest to God, every single year I bring this up in my reviews about how we NEED someone who can do white box testing. Every year it's an excellent point and every 365 days later nothing has happened.

"3) say something about testers being the final stop or endpoint in the SWE methodology"

Regardless of where testers fall on that line, the theory is always trumped by the moronic reality :) I'm not even sure we have a methodology here to be honest.

"4) say anything that suggests micro-management - this can come up if you ask about the rest of the team"

I have nothing against micro-management in theory, it's that our timetables never account for the time that micro-management wastes.

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 05:53 am (UTC)
etherealfionna

black-box v. white-box: I've just found that if they don't even know what you're talking about, then they are only looking for what I call "pointy-clicky testers" - or beta-testers, more accurately. Not to disparage beta-testers (er, except by calling them pointy-clicky testers), but I'm not one, so it'd be a waste of my skills.

testers last stop: I know what you mean.

micro-management: I loathe micro-management. I can do nothing with anybody looking over my shoulder, and I hate admin tasks.

Wed, May. 26th, 2004 06:13 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

Oh they know what a white box tester is, they just don't bother either hiring one (since they would inevitably offer too little pay to attract a QA person with the appropriate skills) or training one of us in the rudiments of the languages used. God forbid we save everyone time and hassle by discovering bugs before they even get to the proper QA phase... madness!

Thu, May. 27th, 2004 12:02 am (UTC)
utterlymundane

We're starting to set up a QA department, if you seriously consider
changing jobs. We've already got a manager, but so far the rest of them are on loan from other parts of the company.

Thu, May. 27th, 2004 01:47 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

Whaddya do?

Thu, May. 27th, 2004 01:48 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

and where do you do it?

Thu, May. 27th, 2004 06:15 am (UTC)
utterlymundane

We do credit card and mobile top-up selling terminals, and the back-end systems for them. Testing would probably cover the machines, the management front end (web-based) and the back-end systems (perl on unix).

We do it in Sandyford Industrial Estate, which is a short and merry jaunt from your new apartment. The place has some major headaches at times, but they're largely caused by the lack of a decent testing department. I can vouch for the apparent competence and human-beingness of the QA manager.

Thu, May. 27th, 2004 07:10 am (UTC)
mr_wombat

Sounds different and interesting enough to me. At this specific moment in time I'm saying "I'll ask again in about eight months or so" but that could have changed by the end of the day, much less the next two or three months.