Now that it is the last day of 2018 I want to reflect on the past year. Reflecting on the past year is something I have done for the past few years and I find it very valuable. It helps me to appreciate what I achieved and it also tells me what was tough or did not go very well. This is also the time to look forward to 2019 and what my plans are.

From employment to freelance

At the start of 2018 I worked for a consulting firm as a software tester and I was very happy in doing so, in fact: I remember 1 year ago I said to myself I would not look for other employers in 2018 and enjoy my time with the employer I was at and that I would focus on following various training programs.

2018 carried on where 2017 ended, same project with the same people. A very enjoyable team and a project in Identy & Access Management. I had already agreed with my employer that they would find me a new suitable project in the first half of 2018 since my current project was coming to an end and I did not want to start up something new there (because of a long commute and I like a new environment every 2 years or so).

Early 2018 I was told they were already working on finding me a new project and it was going smoothly. Near the end of January I got a new project that would start per April 1st. Close to home and exactly the type of project I wanted to take on next.

In January however I was also contacted by another company to discuss the opportunity to start as a freelancer and join in a partnership with them. I had always considered going freelance as the ultimate career goal but never thought of it as something I would start at that time. Some more phonecalls and an in-person meeting convinced me this was something I should take up right away.

I met up with many freelancers and business owners in my network and spoke to many other testers I had previously worked with. I decided to go for the freelance opportunity but I was going to pass on the partnership. I felt (and still feel) that it did not resonate with what I wanted from working as a freelancer.

I informed my employer in due time to let them know about my plans and would thus not start in the new project they found for me.

Fast forward to April 11th which was my last day at my employer. A clean break-up and a much sooner end to my employment with them than either side expected.

April 12th which was my first day on my first project as a freelance software tester. A new field for me (broadcasting) and a very big and exciting project as well.

Right now on the very last day of 2018 I am still working on the same project and I expect to be here for at least 6 more months, possibly more. It is a great company and I see lots of extra opportunities related to testing here in which I can add value.

Training in 2018

At the start of the year my focus was mostly on improvind my Java programming and Selenium Webdriver skills.

Early 2018 my attention shifted towards learning about freelance related topics. Where to find projects, what types of projects, what administrative work does this bring, what does everything cost and how to deal with taxes.

Once I got all of the relevant knowledge and skills that I needed as a freelancer, there was time for software testing related training again.

In my project I get to do testing with API’s. I took an interesting course on SoapUI on Udemy which really got me up to speed quickly. So quickly that I actually never finished the course. I am now working on the final sections of this SoapUI course before I dive into the next topic.

In the summer I took a 30 days of automation in testing challenge, which I wrote plenty of blogposts about. Quite demanding but also very valuable. After completing this I actually found that I could use a break from the long work-related evenings. I felt like I had worked double shifts for the past 2.5 years and I needed a break badly. I have not done much besides trying to keep up with various blogs

Now that the new year is almost here I am excited again to pick up some evening work. I want to share my plans for 2019 in the next post.

For now I wish everyone a happy new year and a wonderful and healthy 2019!