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  • Writer's pictureMarie Cruz

2020 Year In Review: Software Tester

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

I finished watching Death to 2020 on Netflix and as funny as it was, at the same time it's also unfortunate to look back at the events that have happened so far. 2020 has been difficult for a lot of people including myself but today I want to focus on the positive things. As I say goodbye to 2020, I want to look back at how I've grown as a tester and found my place in the community.


Career wise, it has been like riding on a rollercoaster. I have achieved so much this year compared to previous years. Late 2019, I started blogging and this year I managed to write 36 articles on my personal blog, 2 articles on the Applitools blog and an article about accessibility testing that I collaborated with Laveena Ramchandani (links below if you are interested to read it). Blogging offered me a way to share what I've learned to the wider community and also opened up other opportunities such as being invited by Lifelites to write a blog post for them and Synapse QA for being one of their super reviewers during their first Super Reads event.

Interestingly, my top five most viewed articles include Cypress related topics as well as my tutorial on how to use Pact for contract testing which are all linked down below.

Cypress Ambassador

This year, I was also accepted to be a Cypress Ambassador which led me to connect with top engineers all over the world and learn from them. By being a Cypress ambassador, I met Giridhar and he asked me to co-organise a Cypress UK meetup group with him! This year, we managed to organise 6 virtual events and we also created a dedicated slack channel for the community to ask specific questions about Cypress. Hopefully next year, we can organise our first in-person event.

Giri and Marie having lunch at Wagamama
Catch up just before lockdown!

Applitools Hackathon

This year, I also participated at two hackathons hosted by Applitools. Visual AI Rockstar, on which I was a silver winner and Cross Browser Hackathon, on which I was a gold winner.

Gold Winner at Applitools Cross Browser Hackathon

Having won something where thousands of engineers joined across the world was a pretty amazing experience! It also led to an event where I was given the opportunity to talk about my experience on modern cross browser testing during one of Applitools' Future of Testing event.

How Modern Cross Browser Testing Gives You More of Everything You Need (with James Lamberti from Applitools)

Virtual Events and Conferences

I was pretty disappointed that TestBash Brighton was cancelled this year due to COVID as it would have been my first ever TestBash to attend. Nevertheless, Ministry of Testing has organised amazing virtual events for the community. I personally attended TestBash Home, Test.bash('Online') and HolidayBash and they were all amazing. Ministry of Testing also offered me amazing opportunities such as participating in two ask me anything (AMA) sessions and delivering an online course (more to this later!).

In total, I managed to speak at 23 testing related events this year. I wouldn't have done it without the following people:

Panel: What is Quality and who cares about it?

From speaking at online events, I met more amazing people from the testing community, improved my speaking skills and also my knowledge on certain topics. There were some events where proposals of mine were rejected but that is okay. Part of the experience is to get rejected and just try again and improve for the better. One of my goals for next year is to speak at an in-person conference!

TAQFull Cypress Lunch and Learn session

The good thing though from events now hosted virtually is that you can join them at the comfort of your home and attend events that you couldn't physically attend before. I learned so much from so many people this year and here's just a few of my favourite talks:

A sketch note from Lisa Crispin's talk Testing is a team sport
First Sketchnote from Lisa Crispin's talk Testing is a Team Sport

Course Instructor

This year gave me the opportunity as well to become a course instructor! I will be forever thankful to Angie Jones and Test Automation University for allowing me to share my course on accessibility testing. Angie is one of my inspirations so being able to connect with her and learn from her is such an amazing opportunity ❤️

Test Automation for Accessibility course

A huge shout out as well to Richard Bradshaw, Mark Winteringham and Sarah Deery for their support for letting me create an introductory course on Cypress which will be released February next year. It's been such a pleasure and hopefully I can have more opportunities to create more content next year!

Introduction to Cypress course

Wrapping Up

On a personal note, 2020 has been challenging but I'm happy that career wise it's been pretty exciting. This year intensified how important health is (physical as well as mental) and for next year, I'll be making this as one of my top priorities.

Massive thanks to everyone who inspired and connected with me this year! I am thankful to everyone who keeps sending me positive messages which encouraged me to continue creating content. I wouldn't be able to achieve what I've achieved without your help. Being part of the wider testing community is amazing. Why settle for 1 mentor when you can have the entire community to help you out? Seeing other people's contributions and progress also inspires me to give back so next year, I will continue to be active 😊.

Happy New Year and here's to 2021!

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