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  • Writer's pictureMarie Cruz

Month in Review: December 2021

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

It's January 2022 and I know it's a few days late for my December 2021 review! I spent the last 2 weeks of December relaxing and eating a lot of food (apart from the time when Gabby and I had food poisoning!) and now that I'm back at work, I had to do a lot of catching up so this blog post had been delayed 😅

I can't believe 2021 has gone by so quickly and compared to 2020 where I did a yearly review, 2021 has been different because I've been doing monthly reviews instead which I prefer. So, let's review what happened in December!

Zoopla Work

December marked the completion of my People Management Programme and after 4 months of being part of this cohort, I felt that I have definitely improved my skills as a people manager. I learned how to better handle difficult conversations, how to provide feedback regularly and reward those who have exceeded my expectations.

I was also busy interviewing for our Mobile Quality Engineer role and I've had the pleasure of talking to really skilled candidates and also getting involved in the People interview segment.

To wrap the work that we've been doing in our Communities of Practice, we've scheduled a catch up with the engineers who are interested and shared with everyone the top four subgroups we'll be focusing on in the first quarter of 2022. These subgroups are backend quality, security and analysis, test tooling and cross browser approach. I'll be co-leading the test tooling subgroup and I'm excited to see what we can achieve this 2022.

Finally, to show to the whole company the changes that we have accomplished with contract testing, together with our Senior Quality Engineer, I spoke at our internal Zoopla Engineering Meetup and shared with everyone the benefits of contract testing, how we integrated it into our pipelines, the problems that we caught along the way and our future plans. It was really well received so I'm excited to see how we'll improve this more in 2022.

Community Work

This month, I participated in TAU Homecoming as a speaker and I talked about my favourite Cypress features! This was the first time I gave this talk and I was glad that it was well received. I had to do the recording twice due to some internet issues but I'm glad it turned out well in the end!

I also published this blog post called Pillars of a Good Test Automation Framework which was inspired by the panel event that I participated in last November with Perfecto and it summarises the key pillars and characteristics of a good test automation framework.

This took at least a couple of months to do but I finally got around agreeing to record my first QAFox STET session with Ajay Lunia. For my STET session, I talked about k6 and how you can use it for testing the performance of your applications. If you want to watch the recording of the meetup, the video has been included below.

I once again participated in reviewing articles as part of the Super Reads 2021. I've read so many amazing articles from different writers and if I have to pick a favourite, it will have to be Ady Stoke's article about accessibility. As a token for reviewing the articles, Synapse has made a donation on my behalf to UNICEF to help children globally to have a better future, which is amazing 🙂

Personal Development

📚 This month, I read The Comfort Book by Matt Haig.

🎙 I listened to various podcast episodes this month especially from The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial and Kast Media.

🏃🏻‍♀️ I was pretty much consistent with exercising this month apart from the second to the last week of December due to food poisoning. I've been really unhealthy with my food intake so I felt that it did cancel out the benefits of exercising. To fix this and to kickstart my 2022 on a positive change, I've decided that I'm going to participate in this Iron Mind 30 challenge but tweak it to my preference. So for January 2022, it will be cold showers everyday, no sugar diet, no alcohol, exercise everyday and journal everyday. More updates on how this goes on my next month's review!

December Favourites

  • Decorated the Christmas tree with Gabby. We also decorated a gingerbread house this month which was way better than last year's!

  • Finally ate at Din Tai Fung which was really good

  • Watched Spiderman: No Way Home

  • Having a lot of home cooked Filipino food during Christmas and New Year's Eve

  • Playing Soundiculuous during New Year's Eve

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