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Perception at Work (Nicky Tests Software)

On November 18, 2014, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Lately, I’ve been thinking a fair bit about perception – both at my past workplace Assurity and my current workplace Vend.

While writing this blog post I did a quick Google search to see the definition of perception:

The way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.


Thoughts on Perception in past projects

I worked at Assurity, a testing consultancy, for two years. I learned a lot while I was there and worked with some amazing people from Assurity. Looking back, I can also say I’m extremely proud to have started my testing career with them.

During this time I had a lot of encounters with how important perception is. I remember early on, we were told to not surf the internet when we were at our desks – even if it was during our lunch time or morning tea break, because if someone walked past, they might not know it is your break and may wrongly assume you’re slacking off. If we wanted to have a break, it was best to just leave our desks.

An incident in particular comes to mind when I think of perception at past projects. In my last project with Assurity there was a foosball table. The project was pretty stressful to say the least and our team was under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines. In our lunch breaks and morning tea/ afternoon tea breaks some of us would play (others opted to smoke their cigarettes during their breaks, this was our way of blowing off steam). At one point, we were told to stop playing foosball – I assume it was because it wasn’t a “good look”.

So now as I look back, I wonder. Is playing foosball in my breaks not a professional look? Maybe. But then, I worked my ass off, helped people in my team and got great feedback from the people that I reported to.

Thoughts on Perception at Vend

For the past two and a half months I’ve been working at Vend. I love it even more than when I wrote this blog post.  I remember when I was thinking about applying to Vend and I was reading about them in the news and also following a few of their staff on Social Media. My thoughts: Man everyone seems so darn happy. And that stuck with me. If I were to describe my impression of Vend before I worked here I’d say:

  • Forward-thinking
  • Cool
  • Happy
But lately, I’ve also been wondering how Vend (as a place to work) is perceived by the general public. If you were to go on any of my (and a bunch of people I know) social media accounts you’d probably think this is how I spend my typical work-day:
  1. Turn up to work 
  2. Pat a dog while I test software
  3. Eat cake
  4. Play pool
  5. Eat more cake
  6. Play table tennis in a fat suit
  7. Go home
Yes, at work I get to pat dogs, eat lots of cake and play awesome games like pool and table tennis. But that’s just a small snapshot of what happens here. Sure, I take photos and post them on Instagram and tweet about these awesome things. But please keep this in mind when you read about my workplace: You’re not getting the full story.

I can’t exactly take photos and post on Instagram the mind-maps I use for testing. Nor can I take photos of the exciting things we have in development that retailers will soon have coming their way. 
Hands down, Vend is an amazing place to work. The cute dogs, constant fattening food and awesome games contribute to that. But for me, it’s mainly because of these two things:
  1. I have ownership over my work and am trusted to do a great job.
  2. I am surrounded by very talented people who I trust, whose company I genuinely enjoy.

 

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