Since the past 2 weeks there has been a sense of freedom and a sense of calm but I have also been increasingly conscious of wanting to spend time wisely since these moments are going to be rare.

While I chose the first week to dispense with some official chores for the teams sake, I yet thought out and later prepared a basic plan of what I needed to achieve in my self-imposed period of hibernation. While the deadlines at the work-place become a source of anxiety at times driving me to achieve more often than not, I am surprised at what I have been able to achieve even while confined in non-working environment.

Here is what I have been hard at work (pun intended) on.

  • Created and updated my blog. I created one using BlogSpot’s services earlier but then moved to WordPress impressed with what I saw.
  • Started reading and responding to blogs and testing forums;
  • Subscribed since to quite a few of them but like the books I am reading I will have to move fast; I use Google Reader which serves me well.
  • I read some thought-provoking articles/blogs on testing written by James Bach and Michael Bolton and as always given the path-breaking thoughts that these guys always have, came out impressed..
  • A lot has been written and being spoken of on the web these days about Exploratory testing and this Presentation from Cem Kaner made lot of sense though its indoctrination has to be carefully planned and inculcated. The merit of ET (which is not adhoc testing) even if carried out in conjunction with scripted testing has to be understood, percolated at different levels including the immediate testing team and analysed via feedback and continuous refinement.
  • Started to learn Ruby by following the recommendations of Brett Pettichord being the nifty but very basic hackety-hack utility and Whys book on Ruby found here. I plan to pick up Watir once I am through with Ruby. Let’s see…
  • I am reading the following books (and I have not set an end date on finishing it though)
    1) “Jungle Rules-How to be a Tiger in Business” by John Imlay (fairly inspired stuff so far and all about how an almost bankrupt software application company was turned around from the brink of Bankruptcy to one of worlds largest independent companies.
    2) Subroto Bagchi’s “The High Performance Enterpreneur” – about MindTree and what went into its setup, value system etcetera.
    3) My passion about learning Adobe CS4 carries on and I am reading Lesa Snider King’s written “Missing Manual” and while I know a lot of Photoshop, she provides some tips and tricks which breathe new life into a photograph. In time I intend uploading some self-created marvels ( I  allow myself to shameless boast once in a while). I continue to grow my digital collection of photos by scanning the photos taken via the German EXA camera. Even this is an activity since I need to digitally date and correct them before calling the family over for the exhibition via Picassa.
    4) While I finished reading Brian Weiss written “Same Soul, Many Bodies” I have his ‘Messages from the Masters’  awaiting a read.

I feel highly charged doing the above while I ponder over the next assignment in my working career… Until then I will continue to be  enlightened on various fronts.

It is strangely very invigorating – this feeling of liberation.

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