I’ve started 2017 by working on Seth Godin’s Freelancer course. Of, course, I have worked for myself for a long time, on and off, but this time, I really want to work in a way that maximises the good effect I know I can have, if I put my mind to it. Following on from GTAC and other experiences last year, I want to find myself and flourish this year – in my work and in my personal life.
I like Seth’s blog, so, let’s see what he can say that helps.
The course starts with a series of quick lectures to camera from Seth with some immediate ideas about WHY one might wish to freelance, and some characteristics: “A freelancer is a warrior without a king”. I listen, watch and take notes.
And then, the first exercise. Seth challenges the student to think about 6 questions about their desired freelance career, and answer these (reasonably) publicly – blog or facebook. So – here goes!
The six questions are:
- What do I want to do?
- Who do I want to change and how?
- How much risk will I take?
- How much work will I do?
- Does the work matter?
- Is it possible?
The first challenge from Seth…
What do I want to do?
My work, my purpose, is to enable individuals, teams and organisations provide software products and services that truly delight and enhance the world.
I want to build and use my talents and skills as a teacher, story teller, mentor and coach, to enable others to provide those beautiful software experiences.
Enhancing and using my talents and skills as a quality management, testing and user experience (UX) practitioner, will allow me to enable others to provide those beautiful software experiences.
Analytical, cognitive and emotional skills that I have, need to be maintained, enhanced and nurtured, so that in research I can find and share evidence of what is required to provide those beautiful software experiences to people within software teams, in order that they might share them in their own work.
In order to do this I want to cover some specific work, not being done elsewhere (as far as I know)
- Carry out research on the UX of testing tools and provide evidence and guidelines of what is required to improve them, leading to an improved tool set for testers
- Speak, write, teach, mentor, coach and advise people in software teams about quality, UX and testing
- Take part in projects, demonstrating by my own practise the ideas I am advocating.
Who do I want to change and how?
Organisations, teams and individuals who are designing, building, testing and delivering software products and services.
How do I want to change them? By changing their attitudes to UX, making it an essential rather than optional part of their delivery. By enabling them to provide a beautiful UX, and giving them permission to use the methods and techniques they need. By broadening the industry’s understanding of quality.
How will I do that? By providing coaching, teaching, support, and guidance. By example in my own work. By providing evidence of the current status of UX and what is required. By story-telling, performing, writing, and teaching.
How much risk will I take?
I have already stepped off the cliff, and I am gliding. I have already taken risks: personal, financial. This is it, this is the thing I want to do.
I need to make sure I have a home, food and other essentials. But I need to fly.
Risk: a 6 to 8, out of 10 is what I am prepared for and am taking.
How much work will I do?
My world needs to be balanced, rounded. It needs to contain things other than work. So, this will take diligence, enthusiasm, dedication. It will be hard work, especially to learn new things. I can see myself spending 50-60 hours a week on this.
I need to allow time for all the balance of yoga, meditation, sewing, walking, reading, gardens, and the other things that recreate myself. I need to allow time for friends and family.
Does the work matter?
Yes. Although I did not get funding from the WII application that I did last year, the feedback said the idea of investigating UX for test tools was potentially a game changer, and ground breaking. The feedback also said this is at a research stage. So, the research project is vital as a next step. I need to find a place/way to base the research so it is well founded and leads to useful results.
Is it possible?
- There are others successfully offering consultancy in quality, testing and UX (but as separate subjects)
- There are others researching into the UX of other tools used in software development and support – test tools is in a gap between research
This is not outlandish, but it is new.
Coming soon: what Seth challenged me to do next… and whether I succeeded…