10 Things I Love About my New Job

I am starting a new job after such a long, wonderful tenure at Hewlett-Packard. After 10 years, if you include my tenure at Peregrine Systems which was purchases by HP, HP gave me walking papers in the nicest way 11 weeks of severance plus vacation pay. And my boss actually got me the lead for this job!

But it’s a break, a change. What’s going to happen? Will I do OK? Will I like the new job? I am a guy that likes small changes on a steady base. So I was not so much of freaking out but ‘concerned’. Let me tell you that those concerns were laid to rest.

  1. Challenge – I am not going to say this place is perfect because it’s not. That is part of the attraction. I have never been satisfied at turning bolts all day. I have to find a way to make it better. If it was heavenly already, the I couldn’t help raise it up. They seem to be caught in a scrumbutt world and I know their issues from experience. Hopefully I can develop enough credibility to have an audience.
  2. Automation! – Yes that’s an exclam. I am NOT a programmer but I like to solve problems and I can solve some test efficiency & capability problems with automation. I was able to build a proof of concept in the first few days using ruby as the language, net/http as the library, and irb as the interface tool. I was running manual tests more efficiently in a hurry, and the developers started using those tools too.
  3. Nice People – I felt that everybody give me criticism in constructive ways, tries to listen to me even when they don’t want to, and answers tons to good and bad questions. They take the time to explain the business logic and why the system works the way it does. The first 20 minutes of the weekly QA meeting is to discuss what happened on the weekend.
  4. Good Coffee & Free Snacks – I would never take a job because of coffee, free cokes, free juice, healthy snacks, and some not so healthy snacks. I still appreciate them being there. The company wants us to be comfortable. I stay away from the sodas.
  5. Treat Contractors like people – I have been a contractor before so I know about the ways they can be treated differently. I am one again (3 month contract before conversion to employee). Despite the difference, I have not been treated any differently. I have been invited to lunch-n-learns, holiday parties, etc. – many things forbidden at other places I have worked at.
  6. Lunch and Learn – the company actively participates in teaching everybody in the company about the products the company makes. Perhaps there are other topics, but that’s what I’ve seen so far. Next week, I will try introducing the QA team to Ruby as a test tool next week in a similar type of event.
  7. Protects People – the product that I work on protects people from their online privacy being invaded. That’s usually a good thing.
  8. Apple – I have not used Apple products (outside my iPhone) since 1989. I now use a Mac and I will seriously consider that for my next home purchase because of the time savings I get (start-up, fewer questions about security, etc.).
  9. HP – As if I couldn’t get away from my beloved former employer, I am using QC, SiteScope, and my baby Service Manager. I am hoping to get a LoadRunner license to help in testing performance in the future.
  10. Supportive – people are giving me some room to run around and try new things… even before I have developed a lot of credibility with them. That kind of support is so valuable to my happiness because I can focus for a while on investigations without worrying about what people will think.

I have no idea how the future will turn out. I just want to be a technical (and spiritual) leader in my new job. I think it’s going to be mutually beneficial to say the least!

– Dave McNulla

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