Follow your dreams!


What follows is a slightly strange post (well for me at least) in that it’s more of a news update about two very exciting things that have happened recently for me.  I will however share with you a short story, about my past and how I came to view things in life, before sharing my news.


As a kid I think it would be fair to say that I was slightly different from the other kids I was friends with.  I was much more intrigued by the how and why of everything than the others were.  Anyway throughout my childhood several people took notice of this and mentored and encouraged this side of me, and for that I am very grateful of course.

One such man who I looked up to and respected a lot was my Uncle Reg.  Reg was a very opinionated man; a scientist who loved to tell tales of his life and experiences.  As a kid listening to these stories and of his past growing up in Jamaica was truly fascinating.

Reg had hoped for great things for me in life, he was always encouraging and supportive.  I truly looked up to him and respected his opinions.

One day he told me something which to this day I still stand by.  He said “Darren, never do a job that makes you unhappy, always follow your dreams and do the best that you can possibly do for yourself in life.”  I can’t recall what age I was at the time, perhaps I was eleven or twelve, however I still remember those words clearly to this day, in fact I can still see him telling me it as I think about it.

Reg has moved on now, but I’m sure he’ll look down on me from time to time and smile.  I strongly believe in what he said still to this day, and never will stay for too long in a job that makes me unhappy.  As I’m a creative person with lots of ideas I’ll always look for a company who are willing to let me have some room for my creative side to experiment with new techniques and approaches.  If there is a problem I’ll naturally look at ways to solve it, if not then why bother fixing something which doesn’t really need fixing?

Ah the news!

As such I’d like to share some sad, but also very exciting news!

Last week I began looking for a new job.  Things went very quickly, in fact much faster than I’d anticipated, and by the end of the week I found myself being offered the chance to work with a very exciting, innovative company on the west coast of Scotland.

I’ll be heading up the test effort for them, which in itself is a fantastic opportunity for me, and one which I’m very excited about.  This company are developing something which genuinely could change the world of cloud computing!

When I was originally told this was a company which could change the world, I was sceptical, I really was!  However after some research I found it was truly game changing technology; mind boggling to say the least!

So I’ll be sad to leave my current position at Sword Ciboodle, and the people I’ve worked with there for nearly four years now.  I think though the time is right, and although there is a lot more I could have done with Ciboodle, I believe that I can and will do even more in my new role.

Of course I would like to thank everyone I worked with over the years, but the one person I truly think deserves a thank you the most is my boss Michael Johnston, who has given me the freedom, guidance and encouragement to let me develop into the tester that I am today.  So thank you Michael, it has been a pleasure to work for you and you’ve been a fantastic boss.

So a fresh start for me now, and a chance to watch a new project grow and to play a key role in its success.  To say I’m excited at the prospect is an understatement!

Other news?

Well I mentioned on Twitter about a month or so back that I’d got asked to speak at a testing conference.  Humbling this was, and I’m very grateful to a certain Mr Lambert for putting me forward as a speaker.

There were a few topics I’d considered talking about, however I finally settled on speaking about mind maps, and how these could be used as a key tool in your testing toolset.  You can read more about my talk and the other talks on the Next Generation Software Testing (NGST) conferences website.  If you’d like to come see me and the other speakers talk, I’d be honoured, and would love the chance to meet you.  It’s all happening in London this May between the 18th and 19th.

Sad news?

Well apart from the people I’ll miss when I move onto my new role, this blog will become slightly neglected whilst I focus on working on my talk for the NGST conference in May.  I’ll try my best to post a few items between now and then.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me in the testing community over the past year, it truly is a fantastic community and I strongly believe that we have something special here.

Thanks for reading.

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