Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Living in the United States, Thanksgiving takes up an interesting position in the holiday season. Wedged in-between the more commercialized holidays of Halloween and Christmas, as casual outsider might completely miss Thanksgiving if it hadn’t been sanctified as the entrance gate to Christmas shopping.

It’s probably best when talking about the holidays to gloss over intimate details of their beginnings and focus on their intent. With that in mind, Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday growing up. The family would get together, most of us would help get the meal ready in some form or fashion. Then I’d get to relax and watch football or movies, while the turkey cooked. It’s like Christmas without all the pressure and ceremony, plus I love all things pumpkin in the pre holiday spice days it was about the only timed you’d get to see or taste any of it.

I really see the value in talking stock of the blessings in my life. While it might sound contrived, I am thankful to be a tester. I love working with software and here are a few reasons why.

Thankful for Evolving Roles

While it may still be happening, the days where a tester role was siloed into being handed complete software to test before a release are numbered.

The industry is changing and expectations of testers are changing too. Testers grooming user stories, being involved in design meetings, pairing with developers, these are all things many testers only dreamed of and now they are often everyday occurrences.

Being a tester is about the most open ticket you can hope for on a software team. I’m thankful for the respect testers are being shown through this evolution.

Thankful for Opportunities to Learn

Part and parcel with the evolution of testing roles is the need for continuous learning. As testers we are sandwiched between the development and program/product management worlds often having to be able to deftly shift between the two.

While intimidating trying to keep up, the amount of quality training material that is either free or low-cost is outstanding. I truly am thankful for Pluralsight, but there’s alsoTreehouse, Free Code Camp just to name a few.

I am thankful to work in an industry that values learning and to work in a time where learning materials are plentiful.

Thankful for Opportunities to Grow and Share

In my day job, I primarily write automated tests of some form or fashion. This year I set up my teams build server. It wasn’t something I had done before, but moving toward continuous integration/continuous deployment was something I was definitely interested in. Next thing you know I am knee-deep in build scripts…

Outside of work, I started a local testers meetup group, and got up and spoke for a lightning talk at my JavaScript group. I hadn’t planned on doing these things, but they have been great growth opportunities.

I’m thankful for working in a dynamic and challenging role that help me push my limits.

Thankful for Community

I’ve mentioned it a few times on this blog but the tester community is fantastic.

I got a taste of what a conference feels like being on Twitter during the CAST 2015 live stream. Hopefully I’ll get to attend in person next year.

Through the BBST course, Weekend Testing and twitter I’ve gotten to meet and share ideas with testers I would have probably never met.

I am thankful to be a part of and contribute to the testing community.