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Building Your Career Through Vivit, Re-Visited

Posted By Christopher J. Scharer, Education Chair, Board of Directors, Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Being a leader means not always knowing the outcome but being able to make an informed decision that has a positive outcome. It means learning from every lesson and using that combined with your best judgment to help make future decisions and actions to progress in your career. After pondering some decisions that I have made recently and re-reading the article that Jim Murphy posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, titled "Building Your Career Through Vivit” (specifically item 1. Be willing to give away what you have learned), it made me start to think about why some people (although not as technologically savvy initially) could be more successful than their colleagues due to their experiences, decisions and ultimately their networking (especially in a volunteer organization).

In the development world (which also encompasses automated script development), we are often asked to give an estimate of how much time it will take to develop an Action, Component, etc… If you are familiar with the tools, language and/or objects etc… that you are using making this estimate can be difficult still. Imagine if you know that you can do something, but you are not familiar with the application/product or tools that you know will allow you to do it. How would you give an estimate of the amount of work required to complete the task? How comfortable would you be with the estimate after you gave it? Or let’s assume that you are familiar with the application, but it would require you to use a COM object or an API that you had never used before. Now how comfortable would you be with your estimate? Again, let’s assume that you are extremely comfortable with your knowledge of using .COM objects or API calls, but you had never used the one that you would need to use in this instance. How comfortable would you be in not only giving an estimate of the amount of work, but also in your confidence level of actually being able to succeed at the work in question?

Being in the IT industry for any period of time, it would be no surprise for a manger to ask you for an estimate of the amount of work it would take to complete a task regardless of whether you were performing application development, writing automated test scripts with Quick Test Pro, updating Quality Center 10.0 to ALM 11.0 or updating some custom reports using Service Manager 9.5 after updating from version 9.0. Having trouble determining how to move to the cloud? Can’t decide how to implement your mobile performance testing? What better way than to reach out to practitioners and end users in your local community to get their unbiased feedback and actual experience. One of the biggest advantages I’ve found to being an "active” AND "involved” member of Vivit (specifically) is that I have been able to network with some of the "Best and Brightest” people in the industry. Not just the "Best and Brightest” employees that help develop and support the applications that I’m using (which includes third party vendors and their tools), but these members are also End Users that have to develop solutions to issues that they experience within their organizations that may not have been identified by the company that provides the product or tools that they are using.

This one advantage has shown me that regardless of what I do know, there are always Vivit members that are willing to share their knowledge to help you succeed with overcoming your obstacles and in your career. In no way would I say that this is any more or less rewarding than "giving away what you have learned”, but both will make anyone in life more successful.

Ever heard of the saying, "is the glass half full or half empty?" It’s said that if you respond that it is half full, you are being optimistic, and if you respond that it is half empty, you are being pessimistic. If you want to have an optimistic response every time, then say that it is 100% full because half of it is filled with water and half of it is filled with air. ;)

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