Thursday, April 29, 2010

As I Explain Myself...

I'm assuming that if you are visiting this little corner of the web, you are at least somewhat interested in my plight and wondering just what the hell I'm doing.

I'm hip.

I am 57 years old, soon to be 58. I have been mostly unemployed since mid-April 2004. I've had a few small contract positions but they have been limited duration and small pay. During this period I have lived outside Tampa, FL and San Antonio, TX and am now back outside Tampa again. Each day, I check the jobs on Monster, HotJobs, and Craig's List. I don't even bother to apply if I don't think I'm at least a 90% match for the stated job requirements.

Here's part of my problem. I do have a couple of holes in my skill set. Although I have a Computer Science degree, I realized very early on that I did not have the patience and skills to be a programmer. The vast majority of Software Quality Assurance positions are looking for a "QA Programmer" or Automated Tester experience. I have had some training with one of the auto testing tools (SilkTest), but have not actually used it in real life (other than reviewing runs for regression testing). Another problem I have is because of the work I've done for various state and local government social service applications, I have not had much access to the most commonly used development tool sets such as Mercury and Rational. What little access I have had with them has been quite useful but few social service agencies have the funds to purchase the tools. Frequently, I joined a project as it was within a couple of months of starting formal testing with the instructions of "You're running the testing of this. We don't have a test plan, here's a document that is the closest thing we have to a requirements document. We don't have any defect tracking and oh yeah, testing starts next week. Have fun!"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So Here I am

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Welcome to my little corner of the web. This is the place where I will tell people about things that move me, muse about life, and generally pontificate on whatever I find of interest as I go through the days