Overcoming burnout in software QA with surfing

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2024 by RAMCHAM FLOYD T. GAID

Life has been changing and challenging as the future arises. Fear and anxiety is bringing risks to business owners, employees and to our families because of uncertainties of the future. With the technologies evolving rapidly with AI and the Cloud the Metaverse world becomes relevant in the near future. Life is supposed to be lived in happiness with a healthy lifestyle, good relationships and being productive to our responsibilities in the company that we are working for.

Overcoming burnout in Software QA with surfing

Software programming is in demand across the globe but we need to relax from all the stresses we get from work. This is why having a sport like surfing helps the employee to think better and provide the inputs needed by the company or the project team.

Tools and testing teams

One of our responsibilities in the tech industry is to write the code to automate the Desktop, Web, Mobile, Visual Regression, API, Database, Security, Performance and the Command Line Interface using the DevOps methods adopting the agile best practices with the use of version control such as Github, and Circle for continuous integration and deployment pipeline in the containerized environment with Docker and Google Cloud for cloud technology following the software development life cycle. These technologies are needed by the tech companies like Cyber Security Firms, Meta (Facebook), Google and Amazon to easily detect issues, edge cases, and regression bugs during the development stages in dev, and test environments as this is important to make sure that the quality of the product is meeting the requirements.

Leading a QA team with 1 or more people is also an essential responsibility as this will cover more test coverage and can test as many features in every sprint of the project. Doing peer review for test cases, automation scripts and test plans is a required practice in the organization. This will make the test activities understandable and be able to produce a highly reliable work output. In addition to the team, having a good relationship with the members will bring the project to the next level as the workers will do their best to complete the task as early as possible. Working on team analysis based on the status by getting the reports that contains the list of opened bugs and metrics on a daily and weekly basis will determine which improvements do we need to work on so that the team’s productivity will be at its full potential. Once the application has been tested in integration testing, functional testing, non functional testing and passed the acceptance testing phases in accordance with the exit criteria a Beta version of the software could be available to the public.

In this way it will also build confidence in the product and convince the managers and stakeholders that the team is effective in doing their tasks. This will lead to more project investment by following a proper company analysis on their return of investment. Based on my experience in QA testing, not all projects can be done remotely as there are devices and information that are highly confidential like the latest Oculus Quest that are only allowed to be tested in a certain country or area. Additionally, Independent testing is more effective than a developer running tests on its own program because QA are more interested in testing the software based on the test cases and project requirements.


Working on test automation

Being a software engineer in tests is never an easy profession. The coder must be flexible to every required language of the project in order to fulfill its role. We have a lot of languages that we need to know such as C++, Shell Script, Java, C#, Javascript, Php and Golang and it all depends on the project needs. These languages have their own libraries to develop methods for running tests with various tools such as selenium, appium, request, yargs, smtp, locust, fuzzer and mysql that will also run on different platforms like Unix, Windows, Linux, and Mac. It takes a big responsibility of the project team in order to deliver the features based on the project requirements and be able complete the tasks in every sprint. Only highly skilled software professionals would be able to effectively do the job as it requires a lot of experience and practice to become a very good contributor to the software project. The project estimate and the deadline is pushing everyone in the team to work outside of their limitations so that the project will be delivered on time. The demand of each sprint in a project is so high that sometimes the employee burns out and needs to think and meditate on the problems in order to create a solution to solve the task.


Surfing in the Philippines

Surfing on the other hand is a sport that connects people with nature. In the Philippines, Taylor Knox and Evan Slater who are professional American Surfers with one of the known surf photographers John Callahan went to Siargao Island to surf and take surf photos in the famous cloud 9 way back 1992. They contributed to making the place known to the world which opened accommodations, bars, restaurants, shops, bike rentals, and surf lessons that provided income and jobs to the local residents. Siargao is now known to be one of the best tourist destinations in Asia. There are many types of surfers but they can be the athletic surfer who joins the surfing competition and a free surfer who works from home that only surfs during the surfer’s free time to experience the unexplainable happiness provided by the ocean. Surfing is a very fun sport that can be a good social activity with family members as part of their get together. Learning how to surf will also bring the person on understanding more about nature and how to take care of our waters. Typically, people around the coastline are promoting beach clean up and educating the locals about how to manage the beach and the wildlife for the next generation. In addition, Surfing keeps our mind, and body fit and healthy as this will contribute to the success of our lives. Based on study, surfing helps the people in their mental health to survive the challenges on a daily basis.


Overcoming burnout with surfing

It is a trend that IT professionals are working remotely at their homes or they visit the office at least 2 times per week, this is also called hybrid office setup. Many of the professionals are working in the office as well. People can surf during their free time. Doing software programming in QA, running manual tests and having a sport such as surfing is essential as this will make our lives healthy and happier. As we become stressed at work with all the pressures from the project deadlines and complicated tasks we always need time to meditate and think so we can solve the project problems effectively. By doing surfing we can be away from our computers and have a cleaner slate in mind before jumping back to the problem. Mother nature has given us a quick and easy way to cope with problems by meditating in the sea and watching the beautiful sunshine. This gives us a better mindset to think and be able to solve problems more quickly once we jump back to work. In this way we do not have to take a long time off.

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