Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Buy my e-Book! (I mean, uh, Happy...Thursday!)

It's already Thursday. For those of your that didn't get Monday off, I'm sure the week feels like it's dragging. I did get Monday off and the week, so far is whizzing by.
It probably helps that I'm busy at work. I like it when that happens. At the moment, I have the type of projects that absorb me from the time I get into the office until the time I leave. It's actually fun. I get to use my brain. For me, this is a feat. I confess, until recently, I don't think I used my brain at work in quite a long time. Unless, of course, you count the effort it takes to calculate how long I have to surf until the coworker-who-can-always-see-what-I'm-doing-on-on-my-computer-when-he-turns-his-head returns from the bathroom. And yes, I admit, I do pay attention to this sort of information. When you used to have adequate time to surf the web and are now reduced to seconds, you learn when the vital moments happen. Also, you learn to surf Facebook on your phone. I have recently learned this is a wise decision; my company has just restricted access to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

A few months ago, I would have been outraged at this. However, MySpace is SO 2008. EVERYONE uses Facebook now, I mean, come on, MySpace, really? I have a MySpace account but I haven't used it in several months. It's all about Facebook. And Twitter?

Well, I admit, after probably what adds up to be over a year, maybe two, I still haven't, um, figured out the whole "Tweeting" thing. As someone described it to me, it's like posting a status update on Facebook for any subscriber to see. It makes sense...theoretically. However, hearing the horror stories of 'tweets' from celebrities, I just can't be bothered. At least on Facebook, I know the people who read my updates are 'friends' of some kind or another.

I suppose I should be irritated that my company has stripped yet another freedom from us. In actuality, I don't even care. If I didn't have a Blackberry, I might. After all, even if our PC's or, in the case of 99% of my coworkers, Mac's, are blocked from finding Facebook, they can't block my Blackberry. Thus, when I get into the office, I'll just hit my Facebook App's 'search for updates' option and see what my friends are up to. They can take my freedom, they can take my liberty but they can't take my cunning or covertness from me. I WILL continue to keep abreast of my friends' Facebook updates, darn it, oh yes, I will.

Yet, even with this minor distraction, I'm still keeping busy at work. I'm shocking myself with my productivity. I'm actually annoyed with myself for doing so much work. However, I will admit when I have a project that makes the day whiz by while you're trying to get it done, it makes work feel pretty decent. I won't say I LOVE my job because, well, frankly, that would be a lie. However, I can't say I don't like my job because, at the moment, that, too, would be a lie. I'm testing software at the moment. I'm being paid to try to break it. To me, that's a challenge. I hate to sound arrogant, but I think I'm pretty good at it, too. According to several of the programmers I work with, I have a 'unique' way of testing. When they say that, it has an air of disdain. To me, it has a tinge of victory. Of course I have a unique way of testing it! First of all, I remove all my intelligence and try to approach our software like I'm a newbie who has no idea what they're doing. Then I give myself a cool name like Sookie Stackhouse, Buffy Summers, Hermione Granger, Lorelie Gilmore...whatever I feel like naming myself. Then I test our software as though I'm clueless. It's a failsafe system: I end up finding the weirdest bugs that our entrenched, experienced programmers had no idea existed because they don't think about seeing the software through new eyes.

I'm not saying I'm great at my job just that I do have a unique approach: I pretend I've never seen it before. On occasion, I'm told that I'm being naive, that, chances are, the user will know what they're doing and the bug I find is minute and insignificant. To me, it's always significant. I found it, therefore someone else will.

It's my job and I don't mind it at all, as long as someone listens to me. Even if they don't, I make my point known in our staff meetings. My boss looks at me for a moment and then his eyes glaze over and I know he doesn't care why I think a bug is significant. However, to me, it is. It's a tiny thing but it means something.

The nice thing is that if I find a bug and no one acknowledges it, chances are that a client will find it a few months later. It becomes significant then and I get to play the "I told you so," card. That's a valuable asset, unto itself.

In the meantime, I continue to find creative, out-of-the-ordinary ways to test our software for bugs. It's working nicely for me, even if it means I have to use my brain.

As long as I don't use Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. Because that's forbidden.

Happy Thursday!

PS* If you do get to surf the web at work or at home or whenever, feel free to check out my first e-published novel. At the moment, you have to read it on the Amazon Kindle or the iPhone Kindle App but, shortly, it'll be available on any e-reader that's out there. It's cheap, $1.99 for an entire novel...but please feel free to help out a struggling's worth your while, I promise:

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