Happy Tuesday! It’s been a long, well-deserved weekend, but I’m ready to get back into the office and beast through the rest of the week. As many of you know, I started a new job about two weeks ago and I’ve been working hard on trying to get acclimated with the policies, procedures, and workflows of my team as well as the organization. As a result, things around here have been on pause. If I had to rate my new job on a scale from 1-10, it would definitely be a 20. I can’t even begin to explain how ecstatic and grateful I am to finally be in an environment that aids in cultivating and supporting new ideas, creativity, innovation, and work-life balance.
I was recently tagged in a post by one of my absolute FAVORITE people in the world to do a post about my work life, and I felt this would be the perfect way to provide an update on the new gig.
Current Gig: I am a Software Quality Assurance Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry specializing in applications that use IoT. I manually test the code written by a team of software developers and I write code/test scripts when automating test cases to ensure that the software meets acceptance criterion and is of quality. I also collaborate with software developers to aid in building software that maximizes the end user’s experience.
One word that best describes how you work: Analytically
Current mobile device: iPhone 6s Plus (Company provided & recommended)
Current computer: Dell Latitude Laptop (Temporary device)
Take us through a recent workday.
Right now, I’m commuting. (In the future, I won’t have to so vacations will be lit, FYI) I have a 1.5 commute on a bad day, which is almost every day since the drivers in New Orleans are of a different breed. It’s a peaceful commute up until I make it to 1-10, but I’m able to endure it with podcasts, or my Ratchet Trap Music Playlist on Spotify (mainly as of lately). I head to my company’s reserved parking garage, and after a 5-10 minute walk, I am usually in the office between 9 AM – 9:30 AM.
I usually grab fruit from the Coffee Point in the office and then I settle in at my desk. By 9:45 AM, I’m in my stand up collaborating with my team. We participate in a round-table type discussion where we all share what we’ve completed, what we’re working on next, and if we have any issues or blocks that are preventing us from completing the rest of our tasks. This meeting usually lasts around 15-30 minutes and then we’re back to work. Depending on where we are in the sprint, we’ll have a meeting for backlog grooming, sprint retros, and/or sprint planning.
For lunch, I make it a point to leave the office, even if it’s only to the food court 30 floors down. The weather’s been really funny lately so that’s been my only option. On good, sunny days, I’d venture throughout the CBD to dine in or grab a lunch and bring it back to our Coffee Point/Breakroom. I’m often in good company with the Sr QA on my team and
her our work buddy/Scrum Master.
After lunch, it’s back to work, maybe another meeting, and then I’m finishing up my work by 3:30 PM and heading to the parking garage at 4 PM.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you live without?
Since I use a company cell phone, I use the following apps throughout my workday:
iPhone Stock Calendar
iPhone Stock Mail
Medium for entertainment and think pieces on the go
OneNote for meeting notes and checklists
Box for storage and syncing to my work laptop
Skype for Business for meetings/conferences
What’s your workspace setup like?
Right now, my desk is nothing special. I haven’t had the opportunity to organize things “Carla Style.” It’s in an open desk area where two 24″ desk monitors sit on the back panel of the desk. A bean bag rests in the middle of the aisle of me and my teammates’ area in case we’d prefer that type of seating at any time. I always tell people that it’s like everyone comes to hang out while managing to get work done. I love how lax it is.
What’s your best shortcut or life hack?
I journal my day. This particularly helps when I’m trying to acclimate or learn on the job. But also, I write down everything so that I can review when needed. There’s a ton of things that are going on in my mind on the daily and I just cannot remember everything. Additionally, this is helpful when I have to write my annual reviews.
I also make lists. I find satisfaction in making lists and drawing a line through tasks as I complete them. And when I don’t have time to write, I make lists on Google Keep and condense at the end of the if need be.
Lastly, organization. Since I work so far from home now, if I forget something, it isn’t a quick 15-minute drive. So the night before, I also put my clothes out and pack my work bag, regardless of how tired I am. Oh, AND I have snacks in the car just in case I’m rushing and forget breakfast or lunch.
Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them?
Definitely my entire team, but also my Sr. QA teammate who I’m shadowing until I become fully acclimated.
How do you recharge or take a break from work?
I take a walk outside or down to the shopping area on the 2nd and 1st floors of the building. Also, since the company provides us with drinks and snacks, I help myself to what’s available in our Coffee Points/Breakrooms as well. I get laughs in on Twitter, perhaps get a few tweets out, peruse Instagram
What’s your favorite side project?
I’m going to have to go with two: my blog and photography.
What are you currently reading, or what’s something that you’d recommend?
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Feel the fear, but do it anyway. Never feed your fears.
Oh and two trues classic from The Alchemist — “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” and “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”