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  • Writer's pictureMarie Cruz

Month in Review: February 2021

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

I really wanted to write another technical blog post but February has been crazy busy! I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, Managing and Achieving Goals, that I use a bullet journal to help me track my progress. While that's been having a positive impact, I want to reflect on what I did this month before moving on to the next month.

Job Change

February brought in a lot of new changes. The main change for me was I joined Zoopla as a Quality Engineering Manager after being at News UK for almost 3 years making me a Zoopligan! Having been on the technical side of things mostly all my career, I want to explore/improve on my leadership and people side. The on-boarding process so far has been interesting for me because one of my main worries was switching jobs during the pandemic but.. everyone's been really welcoming so far and the inductions have gone smoothly. We are on a hiring surge at the moment so if you fancy working with me and other amazing individuals then check out their vacancies page or let's have a chat! Just check my availability in my Calendly account.

Virtual Event - Quality Advocates

I think I overdid it with the virtual events this month! But.... it's been so much fun doing them! Most of the events were panel talks so no slides were needed for preparation. It's also a great way to have fun debates and learn from others.

February started off with an event hosted by Marco Pesano from Xpertise Recruitment. The event is called "Testing Times, Testing Topics: Flipping the script on manual testing..." and I was joined by Stuart Day, Callum Akehurst-Ryan, Elizabeth Fiennes and Oleg Pantsjoha. We debated about manual testing and automation amongst other things. What I really enjoy about these panel types of talks is that the conversations are natural, there is no script to follow and you just end up having fun (while learning!).

If you're interested to see what we talked about, you can watch the recording of the event from Xpertise's Youtube channel by clicking on the screenshot above.

Virtual Event - Testim Community

I was also invited by Tristan Lombard, Community Manager at Testim to a virtual coffee/drinks chat together with Suman Bala and Parveen Khan to talk about accessibility, testing toolkit, automation and how to advocate for quality amongst other things!

We all had our own circles at Toucan which means attendees can choose which topic they want to participate in. This is my first time facilitating an event and we talked about some burning questions about accessibility.

Screenshot of a Jamboard slide containing questions about accessibility on different post it notes.
Burning questions about accessibility

Virtual Event - UI Automation Panel

I was also invited by Ministry of Testing to be part of a panel with Angie Jones, Julia Pottinger and Vernon Richards as our moderator. I was so thankful that I was picked as a panellist! Angie has been my inspiration for a long time and it was awesome sharing ideas with her during the event and hearing her wisdom and wealth of knowledge.

If you're a pro member at Ministry of Testing, the recording has now been uploaded! I just have to warn you that my daughter has decided to gate crash the event and told me that I was too loud while speaking.

Virtual Event - Automation Guild 2021

I was invited by Joe Colantonio last year to be a speaker at Automation Guild 2021. I liked that the session is pre-recorded so I didn't have to prepare much on the day since I have already submitted the session ahead. I was so overwhelmed with the responses from the community especially because this is my first time presenting.

Positive comments from different attendees during Marie's automation guild session.

I also made a conscious effort to add subtitles on my session to make it more accessible and it paid off. I think this is something that we, content creators and presenters, should do more.

Comment from one attendee with the text "I really love subtitles on the video, makes Automation Guild more accessible".

Virtual Event - Cypress UK Community

We invited the one and only Filip Hric as our guest speaker for this month and wow, the event turned out amazing! The format was slightly different from previous meetups because Filip prepared an interactive quiz and poll for us using Slido. The top 5 people who got the most marks were also the recipient of Cypress swags.

If you missed the session and want to watch the recording of the event, it has now been uploaded to our Cypress UK Community YouTube channel.

Course Announcement - Introduction to Cypress

I was so excited when Ministry of Testing released my Cypress course this month! Mark Winteringham also introduced a UI automation pathway to give learners a much better direction in their automation learning. If you are already a pro member, then this pathway is completely free! You will learn about the building blocks of the internet, followed by an introduction to JavaScript and finishing with my Cypress course.

First UI Automation Pathway in Ministry of Testing

Gabby turned 4!

We had a fun day as we celebrated Gabby's 4th birthday during lockdown! There were a lot of balloons, paw patrol toys, a Princess Elsa costume and of course her favourite, rainbow cake 🌈

Where's Gabby?

Personal Development

💪🏼 I've been really focused on my health so I have been continuing my workout plan and trying to eat healthy as much as possible (I still get takeaway every week, which is something I need to stop but baby steps 😂). I finished a 6 weeks workout plan from Team Body Project and am /currently starting a new one. I definitely feel stronger and have lost the lockdown weight which is always great!

📖 I have read Cashflow Quadrant, The Business of the 21st Century, S.U.M.O and currently in the middle of reading Sapiens.

🎧 Been listening to more podcasts this year. Apart from testing podcasts, I've been listening to business and health podcasts too!

🗣 I am learning Spanish! It's either learning a new language or learning how to play the ukulele! I decided to go for the language.

Next month

I've got a couple of online meet ups lined up for next month so stay tuned for those. Next month, I hope to have more knowledge at Zoopla to help me with my job and will just continue on my personal development 😊

250 views2 comments


Amelia Deng
Amelia Deng
Feb 27, 2021

Thanks for providing those useful event recording links. They are fantastic! Really enjoy them!


Marie Cruz
Marie Cruz
Feb 27, 2021
Replying to

Thanks Amelia! That’s great to know 😊

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