You might be reading this and asking: Why do I write a year review blog post?
I’ve been asking myself this question every year since I started blogging. And you’re right if you notice: I didn’t write a review each year. Because the answer to my question was different every year.
I usually want to have a good reason to write. The nice part is: “good” is totally up to my own judgment. This is my website, this is where I share stuff I learned, but this is also my diary and I want to embrace that part a bit more than I did in the past.
This year, I feel like I have a number of good reasons:
- Since I’ve left Twitter for good, I need different ways to celebrate my successes, and store and share the stuff I’m proud of.
- As it seems, 2022 might be the ending milestone of some important parts of my career and professional life
Twitter is dead
At least to me. It was a great platform to connect with people I wouldn’t have been able to connect with otherwise, I found friendships, great conversations, learned so many things, and I would certainly not be the person I am today without it.
But Twitter always had flaws and vulnerabilities, and when the mediocre, unremarkable manbaby bought it to make it his right-wing conspiracy-myth-celebrating hate-speech platform, these vulnerabilities were exploited in a way I don’t want to participate in any form with.
I didn’t find a real replacement for it yet. You can find me on a number of platforms and you probably already know that if you’re reading this text. It will be interesting to see what 2023 will bring to that topic.
I’m a keynote speaker now
This is one of my absolute highlights of 2022: I gave my first two keynotes at respected tech conferences.
In my view, this is remarkable because of the relatively few talks I do at in-person conferences every year. I’m not at the couple dozen talks numbers a lot of well-known speakers do, mainly because I have strong boundaries about being away from my family.
That means that – since I want to be recognized as a speaker – every talk I give counts. At least that was my way of seeing it and approaching my speaking game.
Database-Security: Return of the Jedi Hackers
This was my first keynote at Apex Connect 2022 in May: a polished and improved pair-talk with my dear friend Sabine Heimsath which we had given in 2019 for the DOAG conference.
It was awesome to bring our story-telling and acting to another level and I really enjoyed it, but it still felt a bit odd to have “just” a recycled talk as a keynote (this is no judgment, it’s just how I felt it)
Trouble in the Old Republic – A Story of Relations and Relationships
And then there was Agile Testing Days 2022 and my keynote “Trouble in the Old Republic”.
It was special in so many ways, a real milestone for me. Not only because I started working on it in November 2021, when I got the message to be given a keynote. It was the first time when I could let my ideas flow with the full support of the conference organizer (and so many friends who helped).
Smoke? Yeah, sure. Allowed to make a mess with the stage? No problem. Lighting instructions? Yes, Sam, we will make it work. No introduction before the talk because you’ll enter the stage later? We got you!
And I did let it flow.
The main messages of the talk would work without any of the shenanigans, of course, but for me, creating all these small and big details was the most amazing part of preparing this keynote.
Here are some pictures and additional information.
There are so many collaborators, helpers and friends that were necessary to make this keynote possible.
Here’s an (incomplete in people and activities) list
- Lena Wiberg for being my constant sparrings partner for over a year, encouraging me, reviewing slides, dialogs, and content, for adding the best jokes to the talk, for calming me down when I was nervous about the tech, for helping me with make-up and getting dressed up before the talk and for being a true friend <3
- Tobias Geyer for reviewing lots of stuff, adding ideas, giving feedback, always having an open ear, providing the hint that finally made “The Device” work, for also handling “The Device” and letting A3-LPC fly and lots of small things I can’t even remember anymore
- Veerle Verhagen for constant feedback and ideas, reviewing content, cheering me up whenever I had another crazy idea, and protecting the no-trespassing area during the talk
- Lisi Hocke and Gitte Klitgaard for providing honest and helpful feedback from a very early time on, for helping me navigate ideas and questions I was not sure about
- Johannes Werner for giving me, a stranger from the internet, lots of his time with an intro into Reason and answering a lot of questions so I was able to create the soundtrack for the talk that I dreamt of
- Lisa Crispin for giving me early feedback on sound quality and clarity of voices of my co-presenters and providing her own view of “unicorn land”
- Bastian Knerr for handling all of my tech stuff before the talk, making sure that everything works, calming me down and discussing all the necessary things with the conference tech crew
- Vera Baum for encouraging me constantly and giving me a lot of small but helpful feedback over a long period of time
- Karen Todd for giving me feedback and very practical help with some main layout obstacles in my slides
- Benjamin Fischer for always encouraging me, listening to my ideas, cheering me up and believing in me
- Pepe Diaz for giving me this amazing chance and believing in me
- The whole trendig team, but especially Uwe and Stephanie for making every strange request I had a non-issue
- My colleagues from the MASH program for providing helpful feedback at a number of stages
- Lots of people from the Oracle, broader database, and testing community for doing 7 dry-runs with me up-front to practice and polish the talk
I guess I should give this one its own blog post.
I always had the idea of using “the force” on stage in some way, and what would be cooler than using a force push to get rid of a nasty Sith-lord manager?
To do this, I had to create “The Device” that would let A3-LPC fly through the room.
After some unsuccessful tries and a great hint by Tobias Geyer, I was able to create a device that would translate the ~50cm of distance a person pulls into ~1,5m of distance at the end of a transparent nylon cord. The result would be very fast movement.
After some practice with Tobias, who would also handle the device, this was the result on stage:
I created a soundtrack, because I love doing some music.
You can listen to it via the trailer I did for this talk. If you want an MP3-version or the original Reason files, reach out to me.
Huge Changes ahead
My 2022 had a lot of highlights and I will not write about all of them, but one of the most impactful changes is that, after 6 years, I quit my current job and will start working as a Software Quality Consultant for QualityMinds in April 2023.
This has some implications which make this change pretty huge for me:
- 6 years is quite a long time
- This will be my first fully remote job
- This will be my first role as a consultant (like, on paper, I guess I worked in that role for a while, but never had that title)
- This will be my first role in the testing and quality space
- QualityMinds seems very different to my previous employers (but that’s something I might write about in the future)
The change in title, role and space also means, that I will become much more involved with the testing community, but it also means that I will probably shift away a lot from the database, especially the Oracle community.
I honestly don’t know yet, but I could imagine that my future tasks will not overlap with most of the interests of the Oracle community anymore.
What I do know, however, is that I made a lot of friends while I’ve been in the database space, and these friendships will not just go away.
No matter what, I’m totally looking forward to this upcoming adventure – and it will be one – because I know I’m going to join an amazing team: I will join “Team Badass” <3