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  • Writer's pictureMarie Cruz

Month in Review: November 2021

Updated: May 4, 2022

Zoopla Work

This month, we went live with our UPRN version 1 of the new property details page. Using Optimizely's feature flag, we did a gradual roll out until we hit 100%. This was such an amazing milestone for everyone and it felt really great to be part of a team who made this happen. From the different APIs that my product team is responsible of, there were no issues 🥳

From a technical work perspective, I supported my team in doing some load testing for our other APIs, exploratory testing on our new address search service and setting up a programming session with some of our Quality Engineers to write some contract tests between our GraphQL layer and new consent API. I also provided some support on doing an accessibility audit on our new Zoopla Product & Technology blog.

From a managerial perspective, this month was such a great month! I completed the third module of our People Management Programme and learned more about situational leadership, how to create psychological safety at work and more coaching sessions. I also received a message from our CEO congratulating me for the work that I've been doing as a manager because I received an NPS score of 100 in the last Peakon round 💜

We also kicked off our first Quality and Risk Communities of Practice session! We did a collaborative session with everyone (also asked them what's the weirdest food they have eaten!), asked for ideas on which one to prioritise as a community and set up future ways of working. We used Miro for this session and its voting feature was really amazing! I'll be co-leading the Test Tooling and Cross Browser Testing subgroups and will be working with other engineers to prioritise different goals for the next quarter.

Voting feature in Miro

Women of Silicon Roundabout 2021

I started off this month by attending Women of Silicon Roundabout on behalf of Zoopla. It was great to attend a conference again in person and network with a lot of attendees. I met colleagues from Zoopla, old colleagues from News UK and even met Laveena in person! The food was great and the swags from different sponsors were even better. Apart from networking, I attended a few talks and the below are my favourites.

How to Become a Better Engineer by Kirstie Myatt

Speaker, named Kirstie Wyatt, giving an in-person talk to attendees.
Kirstie Wyatt giving a talk about how we can become better engineers without coding

Kirstie gave a really nice talk on how we can become better engineers. Skills such as curiosity, flexibility, ability to teach and share knowledge to others, show empathy and collaborate well with others are some that we talked about. We also talked about how activities that you do outside of work such as writing, cooking, being a mother and even practicing martial arts can help you become better engineers!

Our Journeys in Engineering

My next favourite talk is from our very own Zoopligans! Louise, Adriana and Anna shared their journeys in Engineering and it was truly inspirational to hear their experiences on how they got to where they are now.

The Internet is for Everyone: How We Can Make it More Accessible

I love attending talks that are focused on accessibility. This talk by Laura Hanna-White was very insightful and beginner friendly. She explained what accessibility is, tools that we can use and she then provided tips on how we can make websites more accessible. I also love that she talked about how the typewriter was invented as a disability aid and until now, this is being adopted and used by everyone. Everyone benefits if we think of being inclusive!

Leading from the Middle

This is probably my most favourite talk! Gill, who I used to work with back at News UK, gave a really relatable and inspirational talk on how you can lead from the middle and influence people even if you don't have authority in your roles. She talked about how to combat unconscious bias, how to use tools like the stress bucket (reminded me of my previous manager David 🙂) and understand how your behaviour can impact someone.

Take off your Camouflage: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Finally, Take off your Camouflage is a talk by Jenn Donahue. Everyone of us has experienced having imposter syndrome and she provided tips on how we can overcome it. As a woman in tech, I lost count on how many times I've been the only woman in the room or in a meeting and most of us would have developed a camouflage in order to fit in. Jenn talked about how our camouflage can hold us back from our full potential or how we can get rid of this camouflage and being ourselves.

Community Work

This month, I gave a talk on how to leverage Cypress beyond functional testing at EuroStar Huddle Automation Week. The sessions are now available on demand when you register at EuroStar's website. I also participated on a panel talk with Perfecto User Group to talk about emerging test automation frameworks. It was such a privilege to be on a panel with leading experts such as Gleb, Laveena, Paul Grizzaffi, Kristin Jackvony, Eran and Johnny Lam.

I recorded my talk with Joe Colantonio this month for TAU: The Homecoming. I also received a new mic from Applitools for participating on the Future of Testing panel which was really nice of them.

As part of Synapse Super Reads 2021, I've also been reviewing many articles from different authors and providing general feedback. There's a lot of great submissions this year!

Personal Development

💪🏼 I hit my step goal of 10,000+ steps consistently! I also signed up to Team Body Project again and back to doing their workout plan. Food wise, I do need to start eating healthier again!

📚 I finished Everything I Never Told you by Celeste Ng and started reading Ted Talks by Chris Anderson.

🎧 Listened to various podcasts everyday

✍🏼 I've also gone back to the habit of writing regularly. This month, I wrote Experimenting with Cypress Studio and I've also submitted a draft proposal to Applitools Blog.

November Favourites

  • 90s Massaoke

  • Meeting Suman and Kiaan for the first time with Gabby

  • Dim sum pre Christmas party with friends

  • I tried a Filipino inspired ramen from Ramo Ramen which was great

  • It was my birthday this month! I celebrated with loved ones and it's been a great few days of food and company.

  • Finally, I watched Book of Mormon which was amazing 😂

181 views2 comments


Amelia Deng
Amelia Deng
Dec 02, 2021

amazing ! happy birthday. Your blog is my fav :)

Marie Cruz
Marie Cruz
Dec 06, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Amelia! 😊

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