Marianne Duijst

Company: Rabobank

Role in Company: Software Engineer

Country: Netherlands

Presentation Takeaways

1. Technical skills can be learned and taught, especially when the work culture fosters learning, cooperation and communication
2. Each of us impacts our work and our colleagues every day
3. You choose how you are treated and how you chart your own course in work (and life)

Speaker Biography

I am a proud Girl Scout, Diver, Brown Belt, Crocheting Artist and IT Nerd. I love to explore, meet people from different countries and cultures, read voraciously and dream outrageously. My love for IT and the Testing profession comes from a love for puzzles, logic, and structure mixed together with my creative, writing and crocheting mind. Currently employed as a Software Engineer, I held previous roles as a Test Analyst, Scrum Master, Developer and High School Teacher.

Presentation Description

In this ever-changing and turbulent world, we are all faced with our storm to weather. My department is now transitioning to DevOps as the next step from working Agile. In the process, Test Analysts and Developers have seen their roles merge into one generic role: Software Engineer. Some testers felt cast adrift as their role was radically changed, but rather than rail at this, we chose to take up the gauntlet and focus our energies on charting our own new course. The skills and mind-set I brought to my role as Test Analyst are just as vital now in my new role as Software Engineer. Interestingly enough, the need to bridge the previous barriers between the roles, and seek more cooperation required more of a cultural change than a polishing up of our technical skills. I believe my work culture is created by myself and my colleagues with small actions every day. We started to celebrate birthdays again, we recorded a video message for an ill colleague and we organized regular lunches to discuss what we want our culture to be. Every month, we celebrate events, people and achievements, where a successful go-live is just as important as the latest team outing. All these small actions, by individual colleagues of their own vocation (after some encouragement that such initiatives are welcomed), helped foster a culture in which respect, cooperation and personal connection are at the forefront. As a natural result, not only do the former testers learn more technical coding skills, but the former developers are increasingly helping out with test automation and facilitation. I wish to challenge others to think on how to proactively chart a course of your own liking, rather than reacting and railing against an ever-evolving and unruly world of change. What actions do you take every day that bring you and colleagues to work with a smile?