The Mojo of the Weasel

It’s been a heck of a year.

I joined a new team at MS fourteen months ago, and it’s been the busiest fourteen months of my career. To be fair, I worked more hours during my stint in Xbox One, but the role I’m in now has even more responsibility (more on what that means some other time). Since I haven’t really blogged much since I joined the team, perhaps a recap is in order for context.

I’m working on a yet-unannounced, and possibly-soon-to-be-released product. I was hired as “the quality guy”, but expanded the role over the time I’ve been on the team to take ownership of all of our build and release infrastructure as well. Basically, I’m responsible for everything from the moment code is checked in (including check-in quality gates), until it hits our production servers (at this time, “production” is for beta users only). This includes our CI system, build systems, test infrastructure, deployment, and a bit of manual testing as well. To this end, I’ve ventured back into management, and manage a small handful of full time employees, as well as a larger handful of temporary (vendor) testers. I’m responsible for making sure we have systems and strategies that enable us to get a good product to our customers frequently. I make sure the code is ready, and that the product is well-tested. It’s also my call on whether – and when to push bits to our production environment. It’s a killer job, but one deep in my wheelhouse. I’ve grown in many ways over the last year, and learned even more.

But it’s taken away a bit of who I am. I don’t write much anymore. I speak much less than I used to, and I’ve all but disappeared from twitter (one plus is that I’ve been really happy with the AB podcasts that Brent and I have been delivering). While part of me is growing and learning, another part of me is withering and dying.

So I need to make a change. Not necessarily a change as big as changing jobs or changing companies, but I need to remember that my job is just a job, and it’s not who I am. Like a lot of people, I lose sight of that sometimes, and I need to see if I can get myself back on track – and start by (re) connecting with the community that inspires me and drives me to do even better things.

I remain excited about the product I’m working on, and the team I work with – but perhaps more excited about speaking at Test Bash, getting back to talking with old friends on Twitter, knocking the dust off, and sharing a bit more with my friends.

Here’s to re-engaging.


  1. We should get over coffee or lunch sometime. We did that one Test meet up when I was in GoDaddy and I did one more after that but I feel guilty that it’s been a while I couldn’t give back anything to the community. Maybe because I am now in Amazon. 😉

  2. Welcome back Alan, look forward to seeing your posts. Always insightful and enjoyable to read. I understand how a project can suck you in, and the need to “re-emerge” into the sunlight.

  3. Glad I found your blog, Alan (thanks to Ministry of Testing, to make sure it’s properly credited). I am looking forward to reading and listening to more podcasts (I’ve listened to 4 so far!) I’m also looking forward to meeting you next week in Philly!

    BTW – what is the Slack team again? You all keep mentioning it but don’t actually give the name anywhere except one time during episode 45, where you kind of mumbled it 😉

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