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What I've learned in the last 6 months

It has been a very busy 6 months at work...decided that I really need to keep track of what goes on so lessons don't go forgotten...


  • What it's like living with mostly remote teams (learning to better use communication tools)
  • Living under major enterprise systems (less control over hardware, purchasing, security, etc)
  • Empathy toward developers (experience w. development)
  • Empathy toward QA (experience w. testing & test automation)
  • Empathy toward operations (experience w. on-call paging)
  • Empathy toward management (leading remote teams is hard)
  • AWS (getting used to destroying servers, load balancers, etc, getting used to re-thinking how to design things)
  • Writing tech specs to communicate ideas (because remote teams)
  • Living with branches (complexities, missing input/requirements makes for long-lived branches that need care and feeding)
  • Understanding when the agile testing pyramid applies (sometimes the ideal is simply not possible today)
  • Understanding when and when not to focus on something (are you certain what you're doing is adding value? are you certain you understand what you're working on?)
  • The importance of communicating change across the organization
  • Cornhole (yes, we have a cornhole court in the office)


  • Modern two-factor authentication (managing, living with) (Duo, Authy, RSA)
  • JIRA/Confluence/Bitbucket
  • New Relic (Synthetics, APM, Insights, etc)
  • Solarwinds DPA
  • PagerDuty
  • AWS (EC2, ELB, VPCs, S3, Route53, IAM, CloudFront, RDS, Lambda)
  • Wildcard DNS
  • TeamCity
  • Octopus
  • C#
  • Node.JS
  • Selenium
  • NUnit (incl. parallelizing tests)
  • Sauce Labs
  • Using 3rd party APIs (Twilio, Octopus)
  • SE-Builder
  • More Powershell
  • Vagrant/VirtualBox


  • Lean IT
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things (just started)
  • Pluralsight - Creating an Automated Testing Framework With Selenium
  • Pluralsight - (can't recall the name, node.js related, though)
  • DevOpsDays Toronto 2016
  • Toronto Application Lifecycle Management User Group - Agile testing


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