Friends, I know I haven’t published many blog articles recently. I’d like to give a brief update on things in my life, and I’d also like to share my personal goals for 2020.
My life is busy as ever. Unfortunately, I went mostly dark for nearly two months.
Immediately after hosting Thanksgiving, my wife (Jessica) and I took a two-week trip to China. We spent a week in Shanghai and a week in Taipei. Shanghai was frustrating. We missed a flight to visit Jessica’s family in Shandong province. (Apparently, Jessica’s uncle in the CCP didn’t want to see us anyway because visiting an American might cost him a promotion at his company.) Then, we had to run all over the city to take care of bureaucratic paperwork. Taiwan, on the other hand, was awesome. We did many touristy things: Taipei 101, night markets, Jiufen, Shifen, and Beitou. My favorite part was the National Palace Museum, which houses priceless treasures evacuated from the Forbidden City during the Chinese Civil War.
During our time in the East, Jessica and I were also under contract to buy a third house. Jessica wants to invest in more real estate and operate more Airbnb listings. Buying a house is never easy. Closing went well after we returned to the States, but we had to do lots of work to prep the house. I installed a new door and fixed an attic access panel. I changed all the plugs, switches, door handles, and door hinges. Jessica handled all the furniture and decorating. We even drove a new IKEA couch from Baltimore to Raleigh on the roof of my car. We also had to shut down the natural gas over New Years due to a pesky leak. Thankfully, the house is now listed on Airbnb.
At the same time, we did major projects at Jessica’s Mama’s house. We installed a new roof and siding – expensive, but needed. At the same time, we replaced two shower valves because they were leaky. We also installed an electric air unit in the upstairs guest suite. Unfortunately, that project was a nightmare. We needed to hack a new breaker into the electrical panel, and then we discovered that the exterior air unit came broken out of the box. Our next projects will be to paint the house and install gutters.
Immediately after Christmas, my dad fell ill. He spent several days in the hospital. Thankfully, he will make a full recovery.
Needless to say, 2020 got off to a rough start.
In September 2019, Q2, a banking software company located in Austin, Texas, announced that they would buy my company, PrecisionLender. The deal completed on Halloween. Buyouts can be scary, but thankfully, this one seems okay. I still work on the same team for the same projects. Q2 has showered us with swag. We will still receive our annual bonuses. I even get to take a trip to Austin in February to visit the Quality Enablement team there. I plan to stay at Q2.
The First Half of 2020
I want to focus on speaking engagements for the first half of 2020:
- Feb 3-5: How to Start Testing with Python at Automation Guild 2020
- Feb 8-9: East Meets West When Translating Django Apps at PyCascades 2020
- Feb 14: How PrecisionLender Does Testing at Q2
- Feb 26-27: Blasting Off with Good Gherkin at TSQA 2020
- Mar 7-8: East Meets West When Translating Django Apps at PyTennessee 2020
- Mar 11: Beyond Unit Testing: End-to-End Web UI Testing with Women Who Code Python
- April 15-16: Hands-On Web App Test Automation (tutorial) at PyCon 2020
- April 17-19: East Meets West When Translating Django Apps at PyCon 2020
I might have a few more engagements. I also plan to create two more courses for Test Automation University.
The first half of 2020 will culminate in PyCarolinas 2020. I’ve had a dream to bring a regional Python conference home to the Carolinas. Thanks to many friends in the Python community, PyCarolinas will happen this year. We will host it on June 20-21 at the Red Hat Annex in Raleigh, NC. As a co-chair, I will take charge of the program. I hope PyCarolinas will be a great conference, and it should be a fitting milestone for the first half of my year.
The Second Half
My big goal for the second half of 2020 is to write a book on software testing and automation. I’ve wanted to write a book for years. Now is the time. I want to write a full treatise on the art of software testing. I will write the book’s companion code in Python because I believe that Python is one of the best languages for test automation.
Writing a book is no small task. I will need to say “no” to many good things in order to do this great thing. I plan to step back from conferences while I work on my book (although I’ll still try to attend some favorites). I won’t teach any courses at Wake Tech as an adjunct professor. I probably won’t write many new blog articles during that time, either.
2020 will be a busy year. Please encourage me to stay on track! You can follow me on Twitter at @AutomationPanda to keep up with me.